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First UK Drive: Mazda6 Tourer 2.2d 184 GT Sport Nav+. Image by Mazda.

First UK Drive: Mazda6 Tourer 2.2d 184 GT Sport Nav+
The kind of brilliant, D-segment estate car that makes you wonder why the heck you'd want an SUV.

   



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Mazda6 Tourer 2.2d 184 GT Sport Nav+

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

Another round of revisions for the Mazda6 D-segment challenger and it's hard to come to any other conclusion than the Japanese company is getting close to everyday diesel estate car utopia with this thing.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Mazda6 Tourer 2.2d 184 GT Sport Nav+
Pricing: 6 Tourer from 24,095; 184 GT Sport Nav+ from 31,785; car as tested 32,785
Engine: 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel
Transmission: front-wheel drive, six-speed manual
Body style: five-door estate
CO2 emissions: 126g/km (VED band 111-130: 165 first 12 months, then 140 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 58.9mpg
Top speed: 140mph
0-62mph: 8.6 seconds
Power: 184hp at 4,000rpm
Torque: 445Nm at 2,000rpm
Boot space: 522-1,664 litres

What's this?

Five years ago, Mazda launched this generation of the Mazda6. Then, two years later, the company tweaked it again with a new interior, some slightly different styling on the top models and also the addition of an electronic handbrake. And then, two years later (again...), Mazda got the technical airbrushes out once more and chucked in G-Vectoring Control and a Natural Sound Smoother, among other things.

And still, here we are, looking at yet another iteration of the third-gen Mazda6. If you want to know the full run-down on what's changed and a longer review of the 2019MY example of the Japanese machine, then click on the link in the intro to this piece and read Neil's most eloquent words from the international launch. This is simply our first chance to sample the 6 on our home turf (asphalt?), here in handsome Tourer estate guise with the ever-so-slightly uprated 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine. Previously, the most powerful version of this unit had 175hp and 420Nm, robustly healthy figures for the class, but Mazda has feathered them up to 184hp and 445Nm now. So how does the 2019MY Mazda6 fare on UK tarmac?

How does it drive?

Wonderfully well, and the Mazda6 does the thing that has always marked the Ford Mondeo out as a long-time great - namely, it blends beautifully sorted driving dynamics with exceptional ride and refinement qualities. But before you've even driven it, you'll slide into the Mazda6's cabin and drink in one of the best Japanese car interiors you've ever seen, what with the superb two-tier construct to the dash and the 'proper' head-up display and the tactile materials used in all the major touchpoints, and while the 6's cargo bay might not be the most capacious thing in class, the passenger compartment is faultlessly roomy. Also, the 2019MY Mazda6 Tourer is probably one of the best-looking estate cars that has ever issued forth from the drawing pads of any automotive designers, because in 800 Soul Red Crystal paint and on a set of 19-inch alloys, it's an absolute stunner.

And if the Mazda6 manages to tempt you in with its undoubted showroom appeal, then you simply won't be disappointed with the drive. Everything is does is finished with a high-quality sheen of excellence, from the way it thoroughly suppresses engine noise and vibrations, to the minimal amounts of wind ruffling and tyre roar that it permits to seep their way into the cabin. The steering, GVC-enhanced, is delightfully sharp without being hyperactive, while the mammoth hit of that 445Nm at just 2,000rpm cannot be underestimated; this 6 Tourer feels extremely rapid, it really does. A tight-of-throw manual gearbox and superb damping (the ride quality is firmly-controlled magnificence) complete the set, making the Mazda a pleasure to drive on any roads, in any conditions, with any amount of traffic in the vicinity.

Yup, tweaked and tweaked and tweaked it may have been, but it's clear that Mazda's engineers are not worried that they served up a clunker in dire need of remedial action in the first place - rather, it's that they're in pursuit of family car perfection with the 6 Tourer. On this showing, they're getting mighty close to attaining their hugely ambitious goal.

Verdict

D-segment family cars are taking a sales pounding from mid-sized premium and sub-premium SUVs, but when you drive something as fantastic as this 2019MY Mazda6 2.2d Tourer, you wonder why anyone would bother with a more expensive, dynamically compromised high-riding machine instead. This is a fine family motor and probably the vehicle in this class which is best-equipped to knock the mighty Skoda Superb from its perch. That's how good the Mazda6 is, so overlook it - in favour of a 'funky' crossover - at your peril.

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Exterior Design

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Interior Ambience

5 5 5 5 5 Passenger Space

4 4 4 4 4 Luggage Space

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Safety

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Comfort

4 4 4 4 4 Driving Dynamics

4 4 4 4 4 Powertrain


Matt Robinson - 21 Nov 2018



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2018 Mazda6 Tourer. Image by Mazda.2018 Mazda6 Tourer. Image by Mazda.2018 Mazda6 Tourer. Image by Mazda.2018 Mazda6 Tourer. Image by Mazda.2018 Mazda6 Tourer. Image by Mazda.








 

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