What is it?

This is the estate version of Mazda's new 6. The outgoing 6 was a favourite among retail buyers, and that’s surely where this petrol-powered version of its elegant new Tourer will find a home.

To these eyes at least, the Tourer is more successful than the saloon at carrying over the ‘Kodo’ design language from concept to production, looking far more like a modish, ‘premium’ shooting brake than utilitarian load-lugger. 

But the rakish design and narrow strip of glasshouse have not been achieved at the expense of load space: with 522-1632 litres (depending on the seat configuration) the new 6 is comfortably in the zone for expected useable space, if slightly short of the cavernous Ford Mondeo's 549/1740 litres.

First drive review: 2013 Mazda 6 saloon

What is it like?

Mazda claims a 10 per cent reduction in weight for its new Skyactiv-G petrol engine family, with a choice of 143bhp and 163bhp variants, the more powerful version being tested here. The key detail is the phenomenally 14:1 high compression ratio that it shares with the 2.2-litre diesel in the range.

The petrol-powered Mazda 6 Tourer enjoys a 100kg weight reduction compared to the 2.2-litre diesel version (an impressive 1395kg overall), but in reality you’d trade every last one of those kilograms for the brawnier and much more refined oil-burning option.

The petrol engine’s hum-drum torque peak of 155lb ft is developed at the same 4000rpm point as its peak power, and as you might expect it lacks the effortless shove of the 2.2-litre diesel. This wouldn’t matter too much if the petrol engine had a smooth delivery, but use plenty of revs and it betrays its presence with a gruff, harsh note that sounds more than a little laboured. 

Neither is it any firebrand in terms of performance, and predictably you have to use plenty of revs to really get it moving. Fine – save the sound effects – but it’s hard to see it being possible to match the superb on-paper combined fuel economy figure of 47.9mpg when driven in such a manner.

If the lighter petrol 6 has the edge in driving manners over the diesel model then it’s not easy to detect based on this brief initial drive. Some of that is due to the disappointing steering on what is billed as a sporty car, which is always light and lacks incisiveness around the straight ahead. The ride is firm, with fairly aggressive rebound damping over larger intrusions, but the gearshift is a real joy, offering a tight, snappy change.

Should I buy one?

The new 6 Tourer is an attractively styled estate car with a practical cabin of decent quality, attractive design in most parts and impressive specification, but it is less rewarding to drive than we hoped. 

And while those who insist on petrol power will naturally gravitate towards this model, it makes far more sense to opt for diesel power.

Adam Towler

Mazda 6 Tourer Skyactiv-G 2.0 Sport Nav

Price £24,865; 0-62mph 9.1sec; Top speed 133mph; Economy 47.9mpg; CO2 136g/km; Kerbweight 1395kg; Engine 4cyl inline, petrol, 1998cc; Power 163bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 155lb ft at 4000rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
6

Not Quite

1 year 47 weeks ago

I really want to like both this estate version and the saloon, having been a previous generation six owner but for me they miss the mark.

Probably the biggest issue (as I haven't driven this model) is the styling, which I can't quite get used to.  It's not that it is particuarly objectionable, it isn't, I just think it already looks dated and that's only going to get worse with familiarity.

Then reading the report about the so so petrol engine and feeling devoid steering, this is a package I don't think I would get on with.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

As a previous 6 owner (of a

1 year 47 weeks ago

As a previous 6 owner (of a petrol 2.5 sport hatchback) Mazda have at a stroke removed the new 6 from my car options. I can now longer have a 2.5 nor a hatchback.

Goodbye Mazda I shall go elseswhere for my next car (and I was looking forward to the new 6).

wrong box

1 year 46 weeks ago

The company fleet used to have half a dozen 6's but only two were automatics with 5 speed against the 6 speed clutch job. What I found with that model is exactly what is reported here , great shift action but something seems to happen between changing and something happening. BUT, go and take the Auto, and despite the 5 speed, it was a joy. Maybe the same applies to this new model/engine range. Would be good if Autocar tested auto against manual for drivability, we know it will in auto be slower, but you should find it more rewarding

what's life without imagination

jer

I like

1 year 46 weeks ago

I think it looks great, overall a good car. Just not enough go for me and the comments about handling are a bit dissapointing.

Mondeo Bonnet panel?

1 year 36 weeks ago

Looking at the picture have Mazda just used the current Mondeo's bonnet panel to save money?

maxecat

Please register or login to post a comment.

Our Verdict

The Mazda 6 is a Ford Mondeo rival with rakish styling and lightweight, low-emissions tech

Driven this week

  • BMW M4 convertible first drive review

    BMW M4 convertible first drive review

    First drive
    30 August 2014

    More visceral than the M4 coupé thanks to its more audible exhaust and the well-controlled swirl of air in the cabin, but its dynamics suffer slightly for the decapitation

  • Radical RXC

    Radical RXC

    Car review
    29 August 2014

    The Radical RXC offers one of the most extreme driving experiences available on public roads

  • Denza EV first drive review

    Denza first drive review

    First drive
    29 August 2014

    Daimler joint venture with BYD yields this four-door notchback for China, but it's not fast or refined enough to compete on European turf

  • Renault Twingo TCe 90 Dynamique first drive review

    Renault Twingo TCe 90 Dynamique first drive review

    First drive
    28 August 2014

    New city car is entertaining to drive and commendably spacious, although it lacks the refinement of the Volkswagen Up

  • Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE first drive review

    Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE first drive review

    First drive
    27 August 2014

    Fast, loud and brash, the race-inspired 1LE option package transforms the standard Chevrolet Camaro into a track-ready pony car