Mazda6 2.2D 150PS Tourer Sport Nav
many a crossover, estate
cars continue to provide the best
combination of sleek looks, sporty
handling and versatile carrying
abilities. If youve
not been seduced
by the cult of the crossover and
want a family car that will effortlessly
double as a lifestyle workhorse
then your best bet is an estate
as Mazda badges its
smart new Mazda6 holdall...
FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE GOOD. Very good. The streamlined five-door bodyshell
aerodynamically smoothed-out to appeal to the eye as well
as minimise drag and benefit fuel economy looks
In fact, on several occasions while parked 'our' Mazda6 was taken for a Mercedes-Benz
quite understandable as it definitely gives off that selfsame
stylish yet restrained air of quality.
Canny buyers will like that almost as much as the un-Mercedes-like sticker price
(£21K-£27K); even more they'll like the running costs, which are low for this
size of car our 147bhp 2.2-litre turbodiesel recorded an average
47.4mpg during its hard-worked week with MotorBar. For the record, in real-life
driving conditions few cars like the Mazda6 will top 40mpg so near-50mpg is
impressive even more so given the lusty performance.
The other upside is that a full tank of fuel gets you a timesaving, real-world,
near-600-mile range at the average consumption rate; a long cruise should extend
that even further. And, more good news: thanks to emissions of just 110g/km,
road tax is a throwaway £20 per year and you'll pay not a penny
for the first twelve months.
When it comes to pace,
147bhp 2.2-litre four-pot
unit is virtually
the 2.0 petrol:
at tickover its muted;
pulling away, pick-up is
eager; and on the move
its barely heard
but stay alert because
80mph tends to feel
Power choices will satisfy drivers from both camps: for FOPs (fans of petrol)
there's a 2.0-litre powerplant that comes in 141 and 159bhp guises; for FODs
(friends of derv), a 2.2-litre turbodiesel is available in either 147 or 170bhp
spec. All the engines are good, and because these new third-generation Mazda
estates come packaged in a lighter bodyshell, all deliver decent pace.
And when it comes to 'pace', the 'SkyActiv' 147bhp 2.2-litre four-pot unit is
virtually indistinguishable from the 2.0 petrol: at tickover it's muted; pulling
away, pickup is eager; and on the move it's barely heard but stay
alert because 80mph tends to feel like 50mph!
And whatever the revs, the turboed 2.2-litre responds to your right foot with
pleasing obedience. Of course, the strong torque (280lb ft from 1,800rpm) plays
an important part in delivering the keen mid-range urge and in-gear flexibility.
Enough, in fact, to let you pootle along happily at 35-40mph in sixth gear if
you're a 'top gear' driver. If, on the other hand, you're the other kind of
'Top Gear' pilot, it runs to 130mph and despatches the benchmark zero to 62mph
in a crisp 9.2 seconds. Should you desire some additional poke, the 170bhp turbodiesel
can be yours for an extremely reasonable extra £400.
When you need to press on, changing gears manually is no hassle
the six-speed 'box has a positive, fast-changing action that syncs nicely with
the well-weighted pedals; together they make the Mazda6 a pleasant and easy
car to drive both in traffic and briskly on the open road. If you have many
miles to go you'll be glad of its long-legged motorway gait at
70mph in top gear the 2.2D will be spinning over at a relaxed 2,000rpm.
may have registered the 'SkyActiv' term used a few paragraphs back and wondered
what, exactly, it is. Briefly, under the umbrella of SkyActive, Mazda makes
use of a number of hi-tech features to optimise fuel efficiency and minimise
include i-Stop a smooth-operating stop-start that you'll be happy
to leave switched on. And i-ELoop (Intelligent Energy Loop) a
capacitor-based brake energy regeneration system that converts kinetic energy
into electricity when slowing or braking and then uses it to power the car's
electrical components (such as the HiFi and lights).
Mazda6 cabin accommodates five adults with no squeezing. Up front the well-padded
seats are first class, providing all the support and comfort you could need
whether you're the passenger or the one doing the driving.
When you need to
press on, changing gears
is no hassle the six-
speed manual box has a
action that syncs nicely
with the well-weighted
pedals; together they
make the Mazda6 a
pleasant and easy car to
drive both in traffic
and briskly on the
Seats are big and comfy and upholstered in black leather (with perforated centre
panels) and are complemented by plenty of upscale trim and high-gloss black
and satin chrome items.
The well padded front seats are sensibly bolstered (firm enough but not so hard
as to compromise entry and exit). Long distance drivers will be glad of the
decent degree of support for their shoulders; those sitting in the front will
benefit from the generous head, shoulder, elbow and leg room.
As good as it is in the front, those in the back are even more pampered
they enjoy lashings of legroom and semi-reclined backrests, and can truly stretch
out; and in spite of the sloping roofline, headroom is generous.
Making it all extremely liveable in row two are well-padded outer and centre
armrests, bottle-holding door pockets, dedicated air vents, and a pair of cupholders.
Plenty of room for knees and feet guarantees that three in the back is very
The switchgear is all nicely to hand plus the legible trio of dials in the instrument
panel keep you well informed with their information easily and quickly taken
in at a glance. The 3D-display touchscreen SatNav (it also covers all the infotainment
functions) is a doddle to use and is straightforward enough to be used without
recourse to the handbook just touch the icon and follow where
it takes you. Navigation routing directions and prompts are absolutely clear
and given in good time.
Much appreciated features include a warning of fixed speed camera sites and
icons on the navigation map showing the posted speed limits especially
useful now that its commonplace to find the limit has inexplicably dropped from,
say, 50mph to 40mph even when there's no logical or safety reason
apart, of course, from squeezing revenue from easy-target cash-cow motorists.
welcome equipment highlights include the quick-serving two-zone AirCon, two-setting
seat (and door mirrors) memory and three-stage seat heaters as well as tyre
pressure monitoring and Mazda's own City Brake System. The drop-down glasses
holder, located above the auto-dimming rear-view mirror, is much more useful
than it sounds, while plenty of in-cabin storage space makes it easy to organise
your personal 'stuff'.
also refreshing to find a sliding front centre armrest that doesn't block the
handbrake. And while there's good visibility out to the front and sides and
a wide rear screen, those holding the wheel will still be glad of the rear camera
Tourer's 506-litre boot (to the belt line) will easily swallow a family's luggage;
switching to its load carrying role takes but a few moments pull
the release levers in the boot and the rear seats flip forward and fold by themselves,
rewarding you with a long, flat-floored 1,648-litre cargo bay. A
low, knee-height sill ensures back-friendly loading.
Switching to the load-
carrying mode takes
but a few moments:
pull the release levers
in the boot and the rear
seats flip forward
and fold by themselves,
rewarding you with a
1,648-litre cargo bay...
The easy-operation roller luggage blind rises with the light-to-lift tailgate
for quick loading, and can be stored tidily away in a dedicated underfloor locker.
With the luggage cover fitted you can make good use of the underfloor compartment
for overspill items. Two side trays and a pair of pop-our 3kg bag hooks
one either side are also provided.
Keyless entry, start and locking makes for key-fumbling-free access and getaway.
Swing open a front door (it will shut behind you with the solid thunk
of a safe being closed) and you'll find a smart-looking and spacious cabin with
a neat dash, all clearly intended to be lived in not just until the number plate
change but for happily ever after.
Mazda6 models come very well specced even the entry-level car
boasts AirCon, electric windows and mirrors, cruise control, driver's computer,
Bluetooth hands-free (operated by touchscreen buttons, steering wheel controls
or a central wheel/button combo), USB connectivity, front fogs, and alloy wheels.
The range-topping Sport Nav trim has the lot, with black leather upholstery,
six-way power adjustable driver's seat with memory and power lumbar adjustment,
powered passenger seat, 3-stage seat heating to both front seats, smart remote
keyless entry and start, dual-zone climate control, reversing camera with dynamic
parking guide lines and front and rear parking sensors, multifunction wheel
(cruise, voice, fone, driver's info, and audio), premium Bose surround-sound
system with 11 speakers, and integrated SatNav (powered by TomTom) with a 5.8-inch
that's not all. You also get electric heated and powerfold (on demand) door
mirrors, four one-shot auto up/down windows, Aux-In socket, auto lights and
wipes, smoked privacy glass from the B-pillar back, LED daytime running lights,
Bi-Xenon headlights with Adaptive Front Lighting, and a set of distinctive 19-inch
alloy wheels shod with 225/45 rubber.
cars don't always ride as well as their saloon counterparts particularly
unladen. However, the Mazda6 does. And even on its 19-inchers the ride comfort
is more than acceptable on all roads.
The A1 driving position
engages well with
keen drivers with family
not be disappointed...
Overall, refinement is a strong point; the Mazda6 is a quiet mile-eater and
the cabin offers a pleasantly cocooned environment for the driver and passengers
alike on both short shopping runs or when undertaking a cross-country family
holiday. The acid test is passenger feedback on a long trip with
two passengers in the back we heard not a single gripe; only some über-relaxed
The A1 driving position engages well with the Mazda6's involving road manners.
Helped by pleasingly responsive steering with good body control and strong levels
of grip, it feels nimble for its size. On the run it's composed and unexpectedly
fleet of foot, agreeably so when threaded through a series of bends. Brakes
too, are very reassuring.
A good-to-drive family station wagon that's sleek enough to not look like one.
Roomy, comfortable and highly-specced, this new Mazda6 Tourer has strong family
appeal along with the ability to keep keen drivers smiling.
Mazda6 2.2D 150PS Tourer Sport Nav | £25,995
Maximum speed: 130mph | 0-62mph: 9.2 seconds | Test Average: 47.7mpg
Power: 147bhp | Torque: 280lb ft | CO2 110g/km