Mazda 6 Tourer, motoring review: 50mpg and cutting-edge technology prove early plaudits well deserved


PRICE from £19,595 to £28,296 OTR (£26,695 as tested)
POWER OUTPUT (BHP @ RPM) 150 @ 4500
TOP SPEED (mph) 130
FUEL ECONOMY (mpg) 64.2
CO2 EMISSIONS (g/km) 116

Having put 65,000 miles into my trusty 2004 Mazda 3 1.6d over the last four years I was rather looking forward to stepping up and into its much bigger brother, the Mazda 6 2.2d Tourer. The most obvious difference was of how much lower down you feel in this new third generation model, first revealed to great acclaim last year.

And then there’s the engine start/stop system - a key component of Mazda’s fuel-saving Skyactive technology for reducing emissions and improving fuel economy along with the regenerative braking technology they call i-ELOOP, or Intelligent Energy Loop to give it its full name. This is a capacitor-based regenerative braking system that converts kinetic energy into electricity as the car slows down, a similar system which is found on hybrids.

Instead of going to a battery pack that drives an electric motor the way a hybrid would, the Mazda’s electricity is stored and then used to power its electrical components, like the headlamps and stereo.

And once I was pulling up at traffic lights and pushing the 6-speed gearbox into neutral, the i-stop kicked in, cutting the engine off. Once I was ready to pull away, the engine effortlessly came back to life as soon as I had pushed into first gear. Cars clearly have come a long way in a decade.

Numerous gadgets were at my disposal: from the Bose surround sound system with 11 speakers to the £700 TomTom navigation on a 5.8 inch touchscreen which is well integrated into the dashboard. Also tucked away are two ups ports and a Bluetooth handsfree phone that can be operated by touchscreen buttons, steering wheel controls or a central wheel/button combo.

Also contained in my Tourer Sport Nav 6 pack was a reversing camera, heated front seats and full leather trim - all adding to the feeling of comfort and control. The extra power from the 2.2l came in very handy when driving along the rollercoaster A456 from Birmingham to Ludlow and back with its 10-14 per cent gradients overcome with ease. The handling felt assured as well with strong grip and little body roll. When I had three passengers there was not a single gripe in the back over legroom either thanks to the longer roofline.

The 6 gobbled up hundreds of miles on the motorway so assuredly quite frankly I wanted to carry on driving for a while by the time I reached my destination. Rarely did I have to drop down a gear for a power boost as the 150ps pulled strongly enough and you can do 0-60 in nine seconds.

Any gripes I had were minor: for example when you’re doing less than 1,500 rpms the car computer for some reason advises you to go up two gears, and it did feel a little unsettled at times as the 19” wheels went over what was not a particularly bumpy stretch of the M6. However, it is surprisingly quiet and with emissions of less than 120g/kg, the 6 drops into road tax Band C at just £30 a year. At the end of my week I’d managed just under 50mpg.

It all adds up to a car that feels it is at the cutting edge of technology and with the Japanese company’s reliability a standard feature for years, there seems little reason for me to look elsewhere to upgrade.

Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridgeface-off in the final
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

    £65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

    Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

    Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

    £50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

    The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

    £27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

    Day In a Page

    Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

    Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

    'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture