Test Drive: Mazda 6 Tourer
Ian Lamming is impressed with the quality of the latest Mazda6 Tourer
BELIEVE it or not, cars assail the senses.
They stimulate the eye with their shapely form, they tingle the cochlear with sounds and vibrations, they are tactile and even smell a certain way. I guess, if you were so inclined, they would taste different too, but I’ll leave that one if you don’t mind.
Each of these senses varies depending on which category of car you are driving. For simplicity’s sake I will describe these various classes as cheap and cheerful, mainstream, posh and uber-posh.
For example, cheap would be a Dacia or an MG, mainstream a Kia or Ford, posh would be Mercedes or Jaguar/Land Rover and uber-posh would be Ferrari, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Porsche or McLaren.
I only mention this because Mazda should fit in the mainstream along with the likes of Toyota, Hyundai, Peugeot and Honda. But while the price reflects this niche the senses tell you something different.
The look, feel and smell of the latest Mazda6 actually boots it upstairs to the ‘posh’. The stitching in the leather, the specification, the technology, all conspire to make you think you are in something much more expensive.
In fact, I would take this even further. I was recently behind the wheel of a German sports car and, by comparison, it felt cheap and not a patch on the fit and finish of the Mazda, which is just plain lovely.
This air of quality is a feature of the range, from the CX-5 SUV to the Mazda2 hatchback. The Mazda6 in Tourer, or estate, form is equally impressive and such an easy car to live with, especially if you are in the market for a true workhorse with knobs on.
Mazda like to do things differently so the 6 is powered by an ultra-efficient 2.5 litre four cylinder petrol that churns out a healthy 194PS but will also average close to 40mpg. Couple that with a slick six-speed automatic box and you have a very comfortable cruiser which simply eats up the miles.
This particular Mazda6 also carries a GT moniker which points to sportiness and while the Mazda is excellent on the motorways it is a car that also loves to be driven down a twisty country lane thanks to a peerless chassis, sharp steering, willing motor, responsive gearbox and great ergonomics.
Being an estate the Tourer is also blessed with commodious proportions so driver and passengers get room aplenty and the load bay is nice and large.
The Mazda6 comes equipped with the state-of-the-art i-Activsense safety technologies to keep everyone safe from harm and easy to use smartphone connectivity to apps, music and other tech goodies making it the complete package.
Mazda engineers are obsessed with quality and that shines through with Tourer in every aspect, from the curvaceous lines and the lustrous paint to every stitch in the leather and definition of the dash. It’s definitely a car to stimulate the senses.
Mazda6 Tourer GT Sport Auto
Engine: 2.5 litre
0-62mph: 8.1 secs
Top speed: 139mph
Combined MPG: 40
Transmission: Six-speed auto