The Mazda 6 Tourer is classy, practical and unusually good to drive for an estate car. It’s very well equipped too, but running costs are higher than average and it’s starting to show its age in some key areas.
The Mazda 6 Tourer will cost you much the same to buy and run as other family estate cars, with list prices a fairly close match for the Volkswagen Passat Estate. Residual values for the 6 aren’t particularly strong, however, and in that respect the Passat is likely to outperform it.
Fuel consumption and CO2 emissons are competitive for diesel models but slightly above average for petrol versions. The 6’s petrol engines don’t benefit from the advanced technology that Mazda’s newer models do, so there’s no mild hybrid technology to boost efficiency. And, unlike rivals such as the Ford Mondeo Estate and Volkswagen Passat Estate, there’s no full hybrid version in the range.
Expert rating: 3/5
Reliability of a Mazda Mazda6
Mazda has a respectable reliability record, and is rated fifth out of 40 manufacturers in the Warranty Direct Reliability Index. It sits in a mid-table position in the latest JD Power UK Vehicle Dependability Study, although its overall score was below the industry average.
Like every Mazda, the 6 Tourer has a three-year/60,000 mile warranty. That’s the same cover you get with most of its rivals, although the Kia Optima Sportswagon benefits from the brand’s seven-year warranty.
Expert rating: 3/5
Safety for a Mazda Mazda6
Like most Mazdas, the 6 Tourer is packed with the latest safety features. All versions come with a blind spot monitoring system, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control and low-speed automatic emergency braking. A head-up display that shows driving information on the windscreen reduces the need to glance away from the road.
A safety pack that includes that includes adaptive LED headlights and a rear city braking system is standard on top-spec cars and optional for the trim level below it. When tested by Euro NCAP in 2018, the 6 scored a maximum five-star rating.
Expert rating: 4/5
How comfortable is the Mazda Mazda6
The Mazda 6 is a big, comfortable car and its cabin is a fine place to while away a long journey.
Load space – an all-important consideration for an estate car – is good, with a 522-litre capacity (1664 litres with the rear seats folded). No-one’s likely to feel short-changed, but it’s a lot less than you get with the VW Passat Estate (650/1780 litres) and the cavernous Skoda Superb Estate (660/1950 litres). Still, the space itself if usefully flat and access is easy. Elsewhere, there’s plenty of space for people in the cabin, with lots of headroom front and rear and plenty of cubbies for their clutter.
The interior is very classy, and it's hard to fault the quality of the materials and finish. That said, the 6 isn’t as glitzy inside as some of Mazda’s newer models and doesn't use the brand's latest tech. The infotainment system in the 6 Tourer, for example, works as a touch-screen up to 5mph and is then controlled using a rotary dial on the centre console. It’s refreshingly easy to use, but the graphics feels a little dated.
The 6 Tourer provides the kind of effortless long-distance comfort that a big estate car should. Ride comfort is generally excellent, and there’s little noise in the cabin at speed. It’s more fun to drive to drive than most rivals, too, with much of the same lively, responsive feel that makes Mazda’s smaller, sportier products so enjoyable to drive.
Expert rating: 4/5
Features of the Mazda Mazda6
Like most of Mazda’s cars the 6 Tourer is pricier than some rivals but better equipped than most of them. Even the cheapest version gets equipment that you might normally expect higher up the range, with standard features including satellite navigation, front and rear parking sensors, automatic headlights and wipers, rear privacy glass, keyless entry, a head-up display, dual-zone climate control and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
Move up a trim level and you gain extras such as electric front seat adjustment, leather upholstery, a reversing camera and even a heated steering wheel. One trim level up gets you additional features such as LED headlights and a Bose audio system while top-spec cars get the full ‘kitchen sink’ treatment, with ventilated front seats, an upgraded driver display, adaptive headlights and additional safety kit.
Expert rating: 5/5
Power for a Mazda Mazda6
Mazda offers the 6 Tourer with a choice of three petrol and two diesel engines, all with sufficient power to give it decent – if not especially lively – pace. The petrol engines are quite rare in that that they’re not turbocharged, so you have to rev them pretty hard to get the best from them. There’s not a lot to separate the 2.0 models for outright pace, but it goes without saying that the 165-horsepower model feels a bit stronger than the 145-horsepower version, if not by as much as you’d expect. Likewise, the 194-horsepower 2.5 doesn’t feel like a big step up in pace, but that’s partly because it comes with an automatic gearbox as standard.
In truth either of the 2.2 diesels are a better bet, especially since they have the extra low-revs responsiveness and superior fuel economy that many estate car drivers are after. Go for either the 150- or 184-horsepower version and you’ll enjoy flexible performance and impressively smooth, quiet progress. A sweet-shifting six-speed manual gearbox is standard for all but the 2.5 petrol, while an automatic gearbox is an option for both diesel engines.