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Mazda6 Tourer review

Chris Finnamore
11 Jun 2013

A huge and well-equipped family car with a dash of style

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The latest Mazda6 is new from the ground up, and has already won several car industry awards. It's a family car with some innovative technology to help with fuel consumption, while still maintaining "exciting driving dynamics".

A badge on the back proudly proclaims the Mazda6's "Skyactiv" technology. Skyactiv is Mazda's umbrella term for a number of technologies that help with performance and economy. One of the most interesting is the i-ELOOP system.

Mazda6 Tourer

It's not perfect, but the Mazda6 is better-looking than the competition

This is a regenerative braking system such as you’d see on a hybrid, with the difference that the energy captured when you decelerate or brake isn’t used to drive electric motors in the wheels. Instead, it goes into a capacitor, which is then used to power the car's various electrical systems; from headlights to heated seats to in-car entertainment.

Mazda claims this can help to improve fuel economy by up to 10 per cent, as the engine doesn’t have to work so hard to drive the alternator. Mazda's figures show the 6 has impressive fuel economy, beating both the equivalent models of VW Passat and Ford Mondeo. For example, the 165ps 2.0 petrol Mazda has a combined MPG figure of 47.9, compared to 45.6 for the 160ps 1.4TSI Passat and 41.5 for the 160ps 1.4TSI Mondeo.

TRIM LEVELS

The Mazda6 comes in three trim levels: SE, SE-L and Sport. Even the base SE model has a generous level of standard equipment, with 17in alloys, an integrated touchscreen multimedia system, USB and Bluetooth connectivity for music and phone calls and airbags everywhere. The SE-L adds extras such as dual-zone climate control, a six- rather than four-speaker stereo, tinted glass, front and rear parking sensors, heated mirrors and rain-sensing wipers.

If you go for the Sport model, which is also the only way to get the most powerful petrol and diesel engines, you get some smart 19in 10-spoke alloys, an 11-speaker Bose sound system, powered electric seats and keyless entry. The models available in each trim level are in the table below - the specifications refer to the Tourer estate, which was the model we tested.

Mazda6 Tourer specs table

Our Tourer was the Sport model with the 2.0 165ps petrol engine. It also had the optional built-in TomTom satnav, which is a £600 option whichever trim level you choose.

DESIGN AND COMFORT

The Mazda6 Tourer is a large and imposing car. It's almost handsome, thanks to its bold grill, raked roof and sharp headlights, but we found some details such as the curved swish down the side of the car rather fussy.

The size means that there's a massive amount of room inside. Even with a 6' 3" driver, there was enough room for a six-footer in the rear with several inches of spare legroom. The boot managed to swallow a couple of suitcases, a selection of boxed glassware and a crate of wine, and that was before we even put the seats down. We particularly liked the way you lower the rear seats by simply pulling a handle on the inside of the boot; the rear seats are spring-loaded, and fold forward automatically.

Mazda6 Tourer

We have no complaints about the well laid-out and comfortable interior

From the driver's point of view, everything is where it should be, with clearly laid-out controls for the air-conditioning and plenty of buttons on the steering wheel to help you control the stereo and your phone via Bluetooth.

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