If the ever popular Toyota Camry is the plain white bread of executive saloons, then the three alternatives you see here are loaves of wholemeal bread. Tastier and believed to be healthier than the ordinary variety loved by the masses, wholemeal on wheels is meant for aspiring non-conformists who wish to operate something more animated than a household appliance.
And it doesn’t get much more intriguing than the new Legacy. While other Japanese manufacturers prefer a cookie cutter approach to engineering mass market models, Subaru likes to create automotive shortcakes, so to speak. Which is why the firm persists with horizontally opposed boxer engines, all-wheel drive and some of the finest turbos in the business. The latest 2-litre Legacy here is naturally aspirated, but it is otherwise faithful to Subaru’s anti-establishment values, which include an eccentric sense of style.
Designer curves, together with genuine driving verve, define modern Mazdas and the 6 is no exception. Parked beside this low and swoopy number, the Legacy is unsightly and the “Kinetic Design” Mondeo is curiously unmoving. The 6’s cockpit, too, is curvy and purposeful. There is substance behind all that style, in the form of excellent equipment, enjoyable dynamics and athletic build. We shall see whether the Mazda 6 has enough Zoom-Zoom to make us go “boomz” in this three-way contest.
The third car is the Ford Mondeo. A handsome machine that plays its continental cards right, the Mondeo is more compelling than ever thanks to competitive pricing vis-à-vis the increasingly expensive (blame the high yen exchange rate) Japanese opposition. Classic cost effectiveness isn’t the only advantage of the Ford, which also banks on its European-tuned ride and handling, driving ergonomics and interior practicality.
Which car here is the most practical and most capable? Can the brand new Legacy out-“boomz” its two older rivals? Read on to find out.