Mazda6 Tourer road test by Steve Rogers
This is a rare event, a car with a big petrol engine and not a hybrid motor or electric cable to recharge the battery pack in sight, and it's an estate.
Remember those, the cars we turned to for carrying the big loads before becoming obsessed with SUVs.
Volvo built some belters, renowned as load luggers, and as styling got sharper they got trendy names like sportwagon or sport tourer.
And you need look no further than this beauty for top notch styling. Mazda is going through a purple patch with the pen, or more likely a computer, and its 6 Tourer is the perfect example of how to fashion an estate car that turns heads.
The current model has been around for a few years yet still looks fresh, but the estate, sorry Tourer, is not all about looks.
Okay, it is not top of the league when it comes to litres of space but will suit most families carrying needs. If space is that important buy a Skoda Superb estate.
With the seat backs dropped I managed to stow two adult bikes without removing the front wheels so that should give a good indication of the length of the boot floor.
Inside is a bit like stepping back in time.... the good times.
You know where you are as soon as you take charge of the wheel. Comfortable. Confident. The dashboard is a traditional layout with a modern take, three large clear dials ahead of the driver for speedo, rev counter and fuel and temperature gauges with a neat info display in the middle.
There is no faffing around trying to master the touchscreen just to get the heating working, physical switches are clearly laid out across the centre console. Daft as it sounds this is just a friendly easy going car.
There is a 7 inch screen atop the dashboard (small by today's standards where 10in is the norm) for navigation, radio selections and Bluetooth etc, but that is controlled from a rotary switch between the seats. Mazda has used this same system for donkeys years and is still the easiest I have come across.
My car was the flagship with the 2.5 litre four cylinder petrol so it was a flyer, diesel has been dropped from this model, and I suppose this is where things are not so friendly. In an age where economy and low emissions are the buzz words this car would probably get an ASBO.
The delivery driver got 39mpg which is good going, my best was 37mpg, and over 450 or so miles the average was 35 which isn't great compared to the 58mpg from the hybrid BMW 3 Series featured a few weeks ago.
Emissions are erm... 172g/km, probably best not to dwell on that.
The get out of jail card is a brace of 2-litre petrols, not quite as fast but cleaner and easier on the pocket at the fuel station. But if you want plenty of grunt from the fast pedal then it is here in spades and there is the benefit of Mazda's fine chassis for sharp handling.
With a £33k price tag the GT Sport comes packed with kit packaged in a plush cabin. Front seats are powered, heated and ventilated, outer back seats heated, auto dipping adaptive headlights and a camera with a 360 degree view are the highlights on a long spec sheet. All that is missing is a powered tailgate.
If the Touring proves anything it is that there is still life in the good old estate car.
GT Sport Nav+ 6sp auto
2.5 litre petrol; 190bhp
0-62mph 8.1secs; 139mph
172g/km. First VED £870
Insurance group 29
Boot 522-1664 litres
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