Mazda6 2.2D 150ps Sport Nav Tourer road test report and review: With a mid-life refresh, the Mazda6 looks sharper and plusher inside, but what’s it like to drive? DAVID HOOPER has been finding out.
THE Mazda6 Tourer is one of my favourite estate cars and one that has never had any difficulty in catching the eye, but now, thanks to its midlife refresh for 2015, its styling stands out from the crowd even more than before.
Mazda’s dramatic Kodo design ethos gives this 6 an individual look, and with our test car’s plush Sport Nav specification, large dark smoked 19in alloy wheels and featuring privacy glass in the rear windows, this is one smart looking estate car.
The instrumentation is clear, easy to operate and navigate your way around, while steering wheel has multifunction buttons for the cruise control, radio operation, trip computer and telephone controls.
The centre console is home to the air-conditioning system which sits below the display screen which controls the satellite navigation, Bluetooth telephone system and vehicle settings. A rotary dial now controls most of the main functions from the centre console and is positioned next to the electronic parking brake just in front of the gearlever. With only a few main buttons it is quite intuitive to use and easy to operate.
In addition to two cupholders a further lidded compartment is home to a 3mm jack, two USB sockets and a 12V socket for charging your phone or connecting an MP3 player to the car’s entertainment system.
The Tourer version of the Mazda6 comes with roof rails and a generously proportioned boot, and features the excellent kari-kuri folding seat mechanism which means that just one pull of a lever on the side of the boot will fold the rear seats into the floor to provide a large flat load area without having to wrestle with seat bases – clever and very useful!
On the road the 2.2-litre diesel engine creates 150bhp and is a nice package to drive, with the 0-62mph sprint being despatched in a reasonable 9.2 seconds with a potential top speed of 130mph.
The six-speed gearbox is as precise and smooth as you would expect to find in a Mazda and works with a gear-change indicator set within the rev counter to help maximise fuel economy and perfect your gear changes.
With a new suspension set-up, the Mazda6 now feels slightly softer than before, making for a more compliant and comfortable ride, but the sharp handling of the previous model is now slightly less so, but does strike an agreeable balance that most owners will appreciate, although at times the car does feel as though it lurches a little bit through some corners when carrying a bit of speed, but it isn’t a major issue and the overall package is very competent.
During my test, the car returned an overall average of 47.8 mpg, assisted by Mazda’s i-Stop system which turns the engine off when the car is stationary in traffic and the i-Eloop System which harnesses energy to recharge the battery.
And oh yes, it would be remiss of me not to mention the superb Bose stereo system which sounds brilliant and brings your favourite tunes to life. Its clarity is good you could almost be in the recording studio – I’m sure my hearing will recover in a few weeks!
THE VITAL STATISTICS
MODEL: Mazda6 2.2D 150PS Sport Nav Tourer.
ENGINE: 2191cc, 150PS four-cylinder diesel engine driving front wheels through 6-speed manual gearbox.
PERFORMANCE: Top speed 130mph. 0-62mph in 9.2 secs.
ECONOMY: City: 51.4mpg.
Wheel World test average: 47.8mpg
CO2 EMISSIONS: 116g/km.
FUEL TANK: 62 litres.
INSURANCE: Group 21.
WARRANTY: 3 years/60,000 miles
• All data correct at time of publication.