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Driven: 2022 Mazda6 Tourer. Image by Mazda.

Driven: 2022 Mazda6 Tourer
Mid-size estate cars are not that common a sight in the UK, but does the Mazda6 deserve more success than it gets?

   



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2022 Mazda6 Tourer 2.0 Skyactiv-G Sport

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Although mid-size executive saloons and estates tend to do well, more mainstream models are a less common sight on our roads. So much so that the Ford Mondeo is no more, and the Passat is all but gone. So the Mazda6 Tourer's direct rivals are limited, but it's still trying to nab sales from the likes of BMW and Volvo. Is it a worthy alternative, or should it too be put out to grass?

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2022 Mazda6 Tourer 2.0 Skyactiv-G 165 Sport
Price: 30,720 (as tested)
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol
Transmission: six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power: 165hp
Torque: 213Nm
Emissions: 155g/km
Economy/Range: 41.5mpg
0-62mph: 9.4 seconds
Top speed: 133mph
Boot space: 522 - 1,664 litres

Styling

Despite a few facelifts, the Mazda6's styling hasn't changed much since the current generation was introduced in 2013. Yet somehow it still looks every bit as modern as competitor products released in the past few years. The colour palette is undoubtedly helpful, but the Mazda6 has a kind of timeless quality to it, which seems to prevent it ageing too disgracefully. It's still a really good looking car, and it looks particularly stellar in Mazda's now-trademark Soul Red Crystal paint.

Interior

Mazda is one of those brands that quietly builds some very nice interiors, and the Mazda6 is yet more evidence of that. Material quality is better than you'll get in a Volkswagen and on a par with the premium brands, while build quality is approaching luxury brand standards, too. And it isn't just the quality; the style is also upmarket with a clean and smart design that includes a floating touchscreen and easy-to-read white-on-black instruments. It might not be the most modern set-up, but it doesn't feel dated in the slightest. That said, the touchscreen technology is beginning to look a little behind the curve. It works really well, with a rotary controller to reduce distraction when you're driving and a touchscreen for maximum control when you're stopped, but it just looks a bit clunky by modern standards, and particularly by the standards of premium models.

Practicality

When it comes to estate cars, practicality is key. Fortunately, the Mazda6 Tourer comes with plenty of space, including a massive 522-litre boot. That's more than you get in a BMW 3 Series or an Audi A4 Avant, and it's about the same as the Volvo V60. Customers won't want for luggage-carrying capability, then, and there shouldn't be any problems with cabin space either. There's ample space for two adults in the back, while those in the front are also ably catered for.

Performance

The engine fitted to the Mazda6 depends entirely on which trim you choose. Opt for the basic SE-L and you get a 2.0-litre petrol engine with 145hp, but if you go for this mid-range Sport model you get an extra 20hp. Choose the range-topping GT Sport and you get a 2.5-litre petrol with 194hp. If all those engines sound a little weak for their size, it's because Mazda hasn't bothered with turbocharging, and that left the 165hp version we tried feeling a bit gutless. A 0-62mph time of 9.4 seconds is no more than adequate, and 41.5mpg economy is hardly stellar. It's a shame you can't get the old 2.2-litre diesel engine that's used to such good effect in the CX-5 SUV. That said, the six-speed manual gearbox is great, and though you'll need to stir it a little to get any performance from the engine, that's no great hardship.

Ride & Handling

Mazda has long prided itself on making everyday cars that are great to drive, whether that's the Mazda3 family hatch or the CX-5 SUV. And the Mazda6 follows the same formula, with fantastic handling for a front-wheel-drive estate car. The steering is nicely weighted and feelsome, as long as you turn the steering assistance tech off, and the response is immediate. Mazda has made some sacrifices in terms of ride, and other cars in the class are more comfortable, but the 6 is still supple and stable enough on any kind of road and at any speed. It's a great balance between comfort and agility.

Value

Mazda6 Tourer prices start from a very competitive 27,340, which makes it almost 14,000 cheaper than a BMW 3 Series. That's a hefty chunk for a car that's almost as good to drive despite its front-drive layout. Even mid-range cars such as our test vehicle come in at around 30,000, while the 2.5-litre, range-topping GT Sport model is only 35,080.

And equipment levels are solid, with alloy wheels, parking sensors and climate control fitted across the range. A head-up display and an eight-inch touchscreen are also included as standard, but Sport models add a reversing camera, leather seats and a Bose sound system, while GT Sport versions come with wood trim and a 360-degree manoeuvring camera, as well as posher seats.

Verdict

This 2.0-litre petrol version of the Mazda6 does not show the estate in its best light. It feels too weedy to compete with stronger alternatives from premium manufacturers. Nevertheless, there's a talented car in there, with plenty of space, solid quality and great road manners, and with a better engine on board, we'd be singing the Mazda's praises. It's a whisker away from being brilliant.



James Fossdyke - 16 Jan 2023



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2022 Mazda6 Tourer 2.0 Skyactiv-G 165PS Sport. Image by Mazda.2022 Mazda6 Tourer 2.0 Skyactiv-G 165PS Sport. Image by Mazda.2022 Mazda6 Tourer 2.0 Skyactiv-G 165PS Sport. Image by Mazda.2022 Mazda6 Tourer 2.0 Skyactiv-G 165PS Sport. Image by Mazda.2022 Mazda6 Tourer 2.0 Skyactiv-G 165PS Sport. Image by Mazda.

2022 Mazda6 Tourer 2.0 Skyactiv-G 165PS Sport. Image by Mazda.2022 Mazda6 Tourer 2.0 Skyactiv-G 165PS Sport. Image by Mazda.2022 Mazda6 Tourer 2.0 Skyactiv-G 165PS Sport. Image by Mazda.2022 Mazda6 Tourer 2.0 Skyactiv-G 165PS Sport. Image by Mazda.







 

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