Mazda6 Tourer a really cool estate

Mazda6 Tourer
Mazda6 Tourer

JAPANESE car maker Mazda has provided further proof that estate cars can now be more stylish than saloons and hatchbacks with their handsome new Mazda6 Tourer which is arguably the best looking load carrier in this market sector writes Bryan Longworth.

JAPANESE car maker Mazda has provided further proof that estate cars can now be more stylish than saloons and hatchbacks with their handsome new Mazda6 Tourer which is arguably the best looking load carrier in this market sector writes Bryan Longworth.

For after estate cars or shooting brakes as they were then called first appeared many years ago they were the ugly ducklings of manufacturers model ranges comprising a square boxy rear that was an obvious add-on to the car and was most un-cool.

They were practical but lacked style until automobile stylists eventually realised that the humble estate car could also be made as attractive if not more so as saloons and hatchbacks and the latest Mazda6 Tourer is a perfect example of just how sleek and shapely a load lugger can be.

In fact they have done such a good job that one admirer mistook it from the rear for the premium class Jaguar Sportbrake I had tested the week previously and that cost twice as much as the Mazda which was extremely flattering.

On test was one of the top estates the Mazda6 2.2D Tourer Sport Nav costing £27,095 with six speed manual transmission which was powered by a smooth 2.2-litre 175bhp diesel engine that produced a top speed of 137mph, a zero to 62mph time of eight seconds and a combined fuel consumption of 61.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 121g/km.

The new Tourer which competes against rivals such as the Ford Mondeo estate and VW Passat estate incorporates Mazda’s SkyActiv technology and high tech safety kit including the extremely impressive Smart City Brake Support (SCSB).

SCSB is a radar controlled safety system that helps prevent the estate running into vehicles in front at low speeds and is so effective that the Association of British Insurers have reduced insurance ratings for the estate because it helps to reduce such accidents which are quite prevalent and costly.

I drove the saloon version in very wintry conditions in Scotland earlier in the year where its steering and road holding were extremely impressive and the Tourer was just as enjoyable to drive especially the steering system which had just the right balance and feel about it.

The leather clad and roomy interior had a luxurious ambience with user friendly controls easy to see instruments plus satellite navigation and the bi-xenon adaptive front lighting system was perfect for fast night driving especially on the winding country roads in the Peak District where they easily illuminated unexpected hazards such as sheep wandering on the road.

The load space while not the best in class is still very good and this can be considerably increased by folding the rear seats and there is also space for hiding smaller more expensive articles under the floor of the load area where a puncture repair kit replaced the spare wheel.

As mentioned earlier the controls and instruments are very good but I found the trip computer which I always consider to be a very useful piece of kit was not as easy to use as on some other cars I have tested.

Mazda has alway been one of my favourite manufacturers since driving my first test car many moons ago which was a rotary engined Mazda and the Mazda6 Tourer is a perfect example of the new breed of estate cars with top styling and matching performance making it ideal for business users or private owners.

My Verdict: A really cool estate.

Factfile

Model: Mazda6 2.2D Tourer Sport Nav.

Engine: 2.2-litre four cylinder diesel.

Output: 175bhp @ 4500rpm.

Transmission: Six speed manual.

Top speed: 137mph.

Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 8.0 seconds.

Fuel consumption: 61.4mpg combined.

CO2 emissions: 121g/km.

Price: £27,095.