Mazda6 2.2D Estate TS2
was, estate cars were the lot
of hard-up families and no
handymen. Those days are long
gone and today estate cars grace the
drives of even the most expensive
properties and on any gated
estate looks to the manor born...
FETCHINGLY SMART AND STYLISH after a recent makeover, the revamped '6'
is unmistakable: a swooping, shark-shaped nose and double grille flanked by
pronounced shoulders above the front wheel arches endows Mazda's grown-up
estate with conspicuous road presence.
Inside the Mazda6 is welcoming, both in its dimensions as well as by its fitments
and fittings. The seats are comfortable and upholstered in a smart fabric that
offers the benefit of all-season usability without the summer-burns and winter-shocks
A perfect driving position can be set in seconds; the leather-rimmed wheel adjusts
for both height and reach, the driver's seat for height, and the driver also
benefits from manual lumber adjustment. Front chairs are firm and supportive;
sitting front or back you'll be hard-pressed to find anything to complain about,
plus there's more than enough room to stretch out.
fact, travelling in the rear is an altogether pleasant experience thanks to
the comfortable angle of the rear backrests (one that favours lounging),
the large and well-padded centre rear armrest and loads of knee- and legroom.
Three adults can travel side-by-side without trading blows, and near-six-footers
can travel easily behind other near-six-footers. Plenty of glass makes for an
Three adults can travel
trading blows and near-
six-footers can travel
easily behind other near-
The fascia and dash are logically arranged and wherever you look it's all easy
on the eye. Sitting in the Mazda6 you'd certainly think you were in a more expensive
car and it has that 'built to last' feel that bodes well for those expecting
to hang on to their new car for longer the more palatable alternative
to downsizing. No problems with that scenario either because it's a very easy
car to live with, either as a driver or as a family passenger.
Nice touches that make the '6' an easy-going everyday companion include feel-good
switchgear, an auto-dim rear-view mirror that you can turn on and off, sliding
front centre armrest, a decent amount of cabin storage space, anilluminated
ignition switch that's easy to find at night, very efficient dial 'n' forget
climate control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel rim that's just the right
size and is satisfying to grip when driving briskly and equally good to hold
when you're just cruisin'.
The mid-range TS2's 'kit list' is pretty good, too cruise control,
multifunction steering wheel (audio, cruise and phone), electric windows (all
one-shot auto up/down), powerfold heated mirrors, auto-dimming rear-view mirror,
dual-zone climate control, CD player with 6xCD dash-mounted changer, integrated
Bluetooth, MP3 functionality, auto 'lites 'n' wipes', front and rear parking
sensors, trip computer with speed alarm, daytime-running lights, Hill Hold Assist,
17-inch alloys and front fog lights are all included in the price.
And, backed by a EuroNCAP five-star safety rating, there are front, front-side
and full-length curtain bags, height-adjustable front seatbelts and a dynamic
stability control and traction control system.
Power comes from a 2.2-litre turbodiesel that serves up 266lb ft of torque at
1,800rpm and 160bhp. While pokey and responsive when you need it, it's also
refined and, even better, genuinely real-world economical. During a full week
with MotorBar, our six-speed manual Mazda6 managed an easy 44.5mpg with many
of our test miles racked up in town so expect to do better. Good news for motorway
drivers is that, going by its official combined cycle figure of 52.3mpg (62.8mpg
extra-urban), it's capable of over 700 miles on a single tank of diesel.
the open road the diesel pulls keenly and enthusiastically whenever it's asked
for more. The six-speed manual 'box is no hardship thanks to a polished change
action the gates are quite close so you need to be precise but
it's never a problem. At motorway speeds it makes for quiet, relaxing cruising.
Although the 6 estate
is not a small car,
visibility is good and
placing it easy.
Body movements are well
through tight corners
even when youre
pressing on some,
making it a satisfying car
to drive briskly...
The electric power steering is accurate; light enough to make town driving tireless
but more than able, away from the congestion, for the driver to make good use
of the peppy diesel and grippy handling although the '6' estate
is not a small car, visibility is good and placing it is easy. Body movements
are well controlled, particularly through tight corners even when you're pressing
on some, making it a satisfying car to drive briskly.
And it rides well, too, the suspension doing a decent job of smoothing out our
imperfect and potholed British blacktop with the restful seats doing their bit
to enhance the ride comfort. Brakes are reassuring and, should you need it,
there's a confident note to the horn.
Behind the rear passengers is a cavernous, well thought-out boot. On lifting
the tailgate (it opens high and is definitely of the head-friendly variety),
the first handy feature you'll find is a really useful and easy to use luggage
blind: attached to the tailgate, it opens as the tailgate rises so you can load
the boot with no extra fiddling. And should you need to remove it for tall loads
there's none of the usual head-scratching as to where to put it
in the Mazda6 estate it stows sensibly away beneath the floor.
For the record, the maximised load capacity is bigger than that of most of its
rivals: with the back seats in use, Mazda's load-lugger has 519 litres of space
for luggage; down, there's 1,751 litres of load space and room enough for items
as long as 1,926mm.
Another neat touch is that the rear seats can be folded down by pulling on a
lever in the boot. As they spring forwards, the seat bases automatically lower
to create a completely level loadbay floor. You'll also find a good-sized, multi-section
storage compartment beneath the boot floor for any overspill. A low loading
lip adds to its fitness of purpose.
For £22K (£22,480 to be precise), Mazda's '6' is a lot of smart-looking estate.
It's practical, you can pack in a lot and it comes well-packed with kit, particularly
safety items such as stability and traction control and airbags. It's also pleasant
to drive and provides stylish and practical family transport. That's a whole
load of 'plusses' and in all they add up to more than six. MotorBar
Mazda Mazda6 2.2D Estate TS2 | £22,480
Maximum speed: 131mph | 0-62mph: 9.2 seconds | Overall Test MPG:
Power: 160bhp | Torque: 266lb ft | CO2 143g/km