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Driven: Mazda6 Tourer 2.5 194hp. Image by Mazda UK.

Driven: Mazda6 Tourer 2.5 194hp
We still love the ageing Mazda6 Tourer but, good as it is, the new 2.5-litre petrol is not the best motor for it.

   



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Mazda6 Tourer 2.5 194 GT Sport Nav+

4 4 4 4 4

Good points: smooth new petrol engine delivers ample power

Not so good: but smooth new petrol engine is not as nice to drive as a Mazda6 2.2d

Key Facts

Model tested: Mazda6 Tourer 2.5 194hp GT Sport Nav+ Automatic
Price: 6 Tourer range from 24,595; 2.5 194hp GT Sport Nav+ from 31,695, car as tested 32,695
Engine: 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol
Transmission: six-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Body style: five-door estate
CO2 emissions: 156g/km (VED Band 151-170: 530 in year one, then 145 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 41.5mpg
Top speed: 139mph
0-62mph: 8.1 seconds
Power: 194hp at 6,000rpm
Torque: 258Nm at 4,000rpm
Boot space: 522-1,664 litres

Our view:

Another of our quick reviews here, because we've driven this excellent generation of Mazda6 many, many times over its often-tweaked lifespan (it's had more updates than Windows 10, we reckon - or, at least, it feels as if it has) and it has always put in a sterling showing. Last time we drove it was in 2018 and it was a 184hp 2.2-litre diesel in exactly the same GT Sport Nav+ spec. Pretty much the same glorious colour combo, too, of 800 Soul Red Crystal metallic paint on the outside and Light Stone Nappa leather (200) within. There's no doubting this remains one of the best-looking estate cars at any price range in such warpaint, while the interior still feels classy, just about up-to-date, hugely spacious and accommodating, and blessed with a big boot behind the passenger compartment.

But you shouldn't be buying this 2.5-litre petrol model. Why? Is it a bad engine? Well, no; of course it's not, it's a Mazda engine and so it is beautifully engineered, really smooth around the rev counter and it is as decently quick as 194hp in a D-segment car ought to be. It even features cylinder deactivation to save a bit of fuel by running on just two pots from time to time, a process that is (as it should be) utterly imperceptible as it segues on- and off-stream during driving.

But the 2.2-litre diesel is better. Allow us to demonstrate with some facts and figures: Mazda flat refuses to turbocharge its petrols but has no such qualms with its diesels, so while the 2.5 is 10hp up on the ultimate 2.2d, it is a quite colossal 187Nm down on torque, with a reedy 258Nm coming on tap at a slightly peaky 4,000rpm here when the diesel's thumping 445Nm hits at just 2,000rpm; this massive torque disadvantage is exacerbated by the fact the 194hp petrol only comes with the six-speed automatic gearbox, while the diesel is paired to a superior six-speed manual - this Mazda self-shifter ain't bad, all told, but it's not quite at the bleeding edge of today's transmission tech, having too few ratios for the four-cylinder engine's 'spread' of torque.

This results in some quantifiable benefits to owning the diesel. Its 126g/km of CO2 places it two VED bands lower than the petrol engine, which means 170 of road tax in year one, instead of a beefy 530 notes; yes, non-mathematicians, that's a difference of 360 - not to be sniffed at. The quoted economy is also better by 17.4mpg on the 2.2d and that translates into the real world, where 180 miles of mixed-roads driving in the 2.5 petrol over the course of a week yielded a modest 33.6mpg with a best of 41.7mpg only coerced during a very, very, very steady cruise up the A616 and A60. And there's not even a huge difference on price: both GT Sport Nav+ models (which are, by the way, absolutely laden with toys; there is precious little equipment you'll want for on these top-spec Mazda6s) came in at about 33,000. In fact, the diesel was just 90 more than this petrol. And we'd happily pay an additional 90 for the 2.2's far superior road manners.

One week with the Mazda6 Tourer 2.5 was undoubtedly lovely, then. But it would have been a little bit lovelier still, had this been the 2.2-litre petrol. Or (whisper it) if Mazda had deigned to fit a light-pressure turbo to this 2.5 mill...

Alternatives:

Peugeot 508 SW: striking looks, high-quality interior and largely pleasant driving manners, but the ride is suspect on bigger alloys while the chassis isn't as sharp as the Mazda's.

Skoda Superb Estate: has exactly what the Mazda6 needs: access to some smooth, torquey, turbocharged petrol motors. Is also cavernous as a wagon, although it can get very pricey with some 'tick-box indiscretion' on the part of the buyer.

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer: corking great thing and vastly underrated, we feel. A new 1.6-litre 200hp petrol engine has landed for the Griffin product, although - like the 6 - we think the turbodiesel models are the way to go.


Matt Robinson - 30 Apr 2019



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2019 Mazda6 Tourer 2.5 194hp UK test. Image by Mazda UK.2019 Mazda6 Tourer 2.5 194hp UK test. Image by Mazda UK.2019 Mazda6 Tourer 2.5 194hp UK test. Image by Mazda UK.2019 Mazda6 Tourer 2.5 194hp UK test. Image by Mazda UK.2019 Mazda6 Tourer 2.5 194hp UK test. Image by Mazda UK.

2019 Mazda6 Tourer 2.5 194hp UK test. Image by Mazda UK.2019 Mazda6 Tourer 2.5 194hp UK test. Image by Mazda UK.2019 Mazda6 Tourer 2.5 194hp UK test. Image by Mazda UK.2019 Mazda6 Tourer 2.5 194hp UK test. Image by Mazda UK.2019 Mazda6 Tourer 2.5 194hp UK test. Image by Mazda UK.








 

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