Saturday, 27 February 2021

Great value tourer sets standard

Great value tourer sets standard

Trending in new car sales, as they might say on social media, for some time now has been the perceived desire to buy a sport utility vehicle (SUV).

The reason for this has been that carmakers decided a while back that an SUV had to be the new body style of choice. Yet there is one type of car that remains a firm favourite with buyers, despite fashions and fads that come and go.

The estate car, or tourer as it is more fancifully known, has been around practically since cars were invented.

Indeed, the station wagon — another name for the tourer/estate car — first emerged in America where because of their exposed wooden bodies they were known as “woodies”.

A sleek 2021 model year estate/tourer is still a favourite type of car of mine: and this week’s drive, the Mazda6 comes high on that list.

When I first drove the upgraded Mazda6 Tourer at a launch back in 2018, I was immediately more impressed with it than the saloon version.

At that time, I was lucky enough to take the Mazda6 Tourer on a lovely drive along the A466 from just below Monmouth south to the first Severn Bridge taking in Tintern Abbey.

This week, with restrictions on travel, I have not been able to enjoy the freedom that comes with such a carefree drive. But locally, around my home in the Cotswolds, for food and medical trips the Mazda6 Tourer proved its worth.

Driving it this time confirmed my original preference of tourer rather than saloon, although I do recall that the saloon was a tad more manoeuvrable.

Simply put the Mazda6 Tourer seems to me such a complete family car — with some attitude on top — that it could easily eclipse any desire to buy an SUV instead.

The load space is simply huge. The load bay expands from 522-litres with the rear seats in place to 1,664-litres with the split rear seats folded flat.

The Tourer’s Karakuri 60:40 split rear seats fold into a flexible flat cargo area, a procedure that simply involves using either the levers located on each side of the boot or the standard release buttons on the seatbacks themselves.

Comfort in the model I was driving was excellent. This was the 194ps Auto GT Sport Nav Tourer.

Exclusive to the flagship GT Sport, the Mazda6 features an interior package, which includes Nappa leather, front seat ventilation, rear heated seats and real Japanese Sen Wood trim.

It also benefits from seat heating for the outer seats in the back, while a frameless auto-dimming rear view mirror is another example of the premium cabin features in this model.

For driving in cold weather, the heated steering wheel and heated seats become an essential ingredient to ensure comfort. You really felt at the wheel of the Mazda6 Tourer that you could tackle any journey anywhere in comfort and safety.

The Mazda6 features a range advanced i-Activsense technology including Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist and Advanced Smart City Break Support.

All Mazda6 models from Sport trim onwards feature leather seats, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, plus front seat power adjustment, while the driver’s seat has a memory function, which includes a link to the windscreen projected Active Driving Display.

Exclusively powered by petrol engines, the 2021 Mazda6 range features seven premium models.

Mazda’s 2.5-litre Skyactiv-G petrol engine made its UK debut in the Mazda6. With a cylinder deactivation system, this 194ps direct-injection four-cylinder engine switches between four- and two-cylinder operation to improve real-world fuel economy at no cost to performance.

It’s matched exclusively to the Skyactiv-Drive six-speed automatic gearbox in both saloon and tourer models.

Now exclusively petrol, the 2021 Mazda6 range features seven models, plus the soon to be announced Kuro Edition limited special edition model, which arrives in March. Matched exclusively to the 145ps Skyactiv-G petrol engine, both the Saloon and Tourer ranges start with the SE-L grade, while Sport models feature the 165ps version of the same engine.

Step up to the GT Sport and you get Mazda’s flagship 194ps 2.5-litre Skyactiv-G engine, which is matched exclusively to an automatic gearbox.

Across all models, the 2021 Mazda6 now features wireless Apple CarPlay, while the option of Polymetal Grey paint has been introduced to the Mazda6 for the first time.

Whatever your preference in body style, don’t forget when considering buying a new car the tried and tested estate/tourer.

I have always found the estate car a winner. The Mazda6 Tourer is an excellent standard bearer for this type of vehicle as well as being great value for money.


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