The new Mazda6 Diesel Tourer is a handsome Estate car that’s lots of fun to drive. Ideal for families who want to be entertained as they go about their business, it’s also super stylish.
Highly rated by motorists and journalists alike, it impresses on many fronts. However, because the competition is so high in this class, the Mazda is still a rarity on our roads. A choice, but is it also an excellent choice?
Interested in finding out more about this Japanese automotive company who released their first car in 1931? Read more in our history of Mazda.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2018 Mazda6 Diesel Tourer review.
Overview of the Mazda6 Diesel Tourer
On the Road
The car certainly looks rather sporty, but how many times have we come across sporty-looking cars that are drab to drive? That’s not the case here, and the Mazda’s driving experience backs up the promise shown by its looks.
It’s got plenty of driver appeal, thanks to positive steering and a firm suspension setup that keeps body lean in check.
Passenger comfort is a plus too, with Mazda adding a system called G-Vectoring Control to shore things up. It stabilises the car, although you shouldn’t see it as a driving aid that improves performance.
Overall, the car is fun to drive but it can also be soothing and relaxing when you want it to be.
In terms of its engines, there’s just the one diesel available but it’s offered in two separate power guises. The smaller of the two develops 148bhp and covers the 0-62 dash in 9.1 seconds. It’s got plenty of mid-range shove and makes for a perfectly good motorway cruiser. It’s also less harsh than it was last time.
The bigger diesel is our top pick. It’s got plenty of punch, can complete the 0-63 sprint in 8.0 seconds flat and overtakes with ease. Its transmission is tight and accurate, and this allows you to unleash the engines full potential. Performance is actually on par with a rival BMW 3 Series.
Mazda6 Diesel Tourer Interior, Design and Build
There are things we like about the Mazda’s interior, as well as one or two things that are a bit more questionable.
In terms of how comfortable the car is, there are no complaints. Even if you opt for the larger 19″ alloys, ride quality is good.
The seats, moreover, are nice and supportive.
Insulation is better than last time, with Mazda adding laminated side glass, better door seals and more sound deadening materials.
The dashboard comes with the kind of sporty design we half expected, while a few chrome highlights and a brand new steering wheel are evidence of Mazda ringing the changes in a bid to elevate the car’s appeal.
Ultimately though, it’s a general lack of plastic quality that lets the cabin down. There are certainly more upmarket, plusher rivals that hardly cost more to buy (and some cost less), while the fact that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility isn’t included is another bugbear.
Is the Mazda6 Diesel Tourer practical? It’s bigger than the Saloon and this means it can offer more interior space. However, its stylish shape also means that it isn’t quite as usable as some rivals.
Headroom is better here than it is in the Saloon, while three adults should be comfortable enough in the rear where even knee room is adequate. Over long distances, there should be few complaints. That said, a tunnel will make life a bit awkward for anyone sat in the middle.
Cubbyholes are here, there and everywhere while the boot measures 506-litres. That’s not too bad for a car in this sector, and the boot comes with a handy load bay cover. Fold the rear seats and you can extend the boot to 1,648-litres.
How reliable are Mazda vehicles? In our honest and unbiased assessment, we look at the statistics so you don’t have to.
Equipment and Safety of the Mazda6 Diesel Tourer
Standard kit is good across the range, with entry-level models getting a 7″ touchscreen, Bluetooth, all-round electric windows, air conditioning, cruise control and alloys.
The SE-L trim nets you twin zone climate control, roof bars, tom-tom, power folding mirrors, automatic headlights and parking sensors.
The Sport model rounds things off with heated and power adjustable front seats, leather interior, a heated steering wheel, a Bose stereo, LED headlights and 19″ alloys.
Costs of the Mazda6 Diesel Tourer
Prices for the new car start out from £24,095 and rise to £33,585. For more information on our leasing deals, you can check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, the 148bhp diesel is the most frugal engine in the range, returning as much as 67.3mpg on a good day. That’s an impressive figure, but perhaps even more impressive is the fact that it emits just 110g/km of CO2.
If you opt for the bigger 173bhp diesel engine, economy dips to around 61.4mpg, which still isn’t too bad at all.
Insurance-wise, the car occupies groups 16 to 23 out of 50.
Pros and Cons of the Mazda6 Diesel Tourer
Running costs are good, and you should be able to average over 60mpg economy whichever engine you choose.
It’s yet another stylish large car from Mazda, who prove that big family cars don’t have to be awkward to look at.
Fun to drive
As well as long, the car is also great to drive. The days when estates were clunky and cumbersome are well and truly over.
It seems strange that Mazda followed a slick exterior with a bland interior.
Rivals are cheaper, with the entry-level Mazda6 costing £24,000.
Mazda6 Diesel Tourer vs Skoda Superb vs Vauxhall Insignia
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2018 Mazda3 Diesel Tourer review.
Mazda6 Diesel Tourer vs Skoda Superb
The new Skoda Superb is a striking car to look at that offers more interior space than any of its rivals.
On the road, it isn’t as sharp or as engaging as the Mazda, with Skoda very much putting the focus on comfort here. It’s smooth and super quiet on the move, while four-wheel drive is offered with some versions.
Optional adaptive dampers cost £800 and they do improve the driving experience somewhat, allowing you to tweak the suspension setup so that it’s a bit sportier. In Sport mode, the Superb handles tidily, but the compromise is a firmer ride.
In terms of its engines, the 118bhp GreenLine is the most frugal diesel but it’s not quite got the power that this car needs. On the other hand, it’s far quieter than it used to be.
Topping the range is a strong 2.0-litre Diesel that develops 148bhp. It’s performative, economical and easy to live with. Like the GreenLine engine, it’s also much quieter than it used to be.
Running costs? The aforementioned 1.6-litre GreenLine engine is by far the most frugal and can return a very impressive 76.4mpg economy on a good day. Emissions are pegged at just 94g/km of CO2, which qualifies it for a BiK rating of 19%.
The 2.0-litre 148bhp diesel meanwhile, is good for returns of 68.9mpg and has a BiK rating of 21%, which is equally impressive.
Inside, the Superb’s cabin is tasteful, simple and very well built. It’s not radical or imaginative, but it’s so comfortable and easy to use that you’ll soon grow to appreciate it. It’s also modern and arguably Skoda’s best interior yet.
The quality of the materials used is high, and you’ll find that most of the switchgear here is also used in various other VW Group products.
All models come with a touchscreen infotainment system, but Skoda have saved the best for the range-topping model, which gets an excellent 9.2″ touchscreen. Unlike the Mazda, both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard.
Is the Skoda Superb practical? It’s certainly not short of space. Everyone is treated brilliantly, there are cubbies everywhere and access is easy thanks to large doors that open wide.
Clever features abound, including a light in the boot, while the boot itself measures 625-litres.
Mazda – £24,095 – £33,585
Skoda – £22,590 – £36,390
Mazda6 Diesel Tourer vs Vauxhall Insignia
The new Vauxhall Insignia is a popular family car that’s comfortable and easy to get along with.
It suffers from a bit of a low key image, and while it can’t match the Mazda for excitement or driver appeal, it works well as a motorway cruiser. Long distances aren’t a problem, while a tweaked suspension setup ensures that it’s able to smooth out most road surfaces.
There’s lots of grip on offer but the Insignia offers scant feedback so that you’ll have to totally rule out having any kind of fun.
In terms of its engines, the enduring 2.0-litre CDTi diesel has proven to be the most popular over the years. It has a 0-62 time of 9.4 seconds and offers a satisfactory blend of performance and economy.
A smaller 1.6-litre whisper diesel is also available. It can get you from a standstill to 62mph in a rather sedate 10.9 seconds and makes a bit too much noise for a so-called whisper engine.
Running costs? The 1.6-litre diesel can return 68.9mpg at best and emits 109g/km of CO2. It’s an ecoFLEX engine that comes with stop/start tech to keep costs down.
Insurance-wise, the Insignia is affordable, with the entry-level model sitting in group 7. However, the most expensive model sits in group 23, while a SuperSport model occupies group 36 out of 50.
Inside, the Insignia has a surprisingly classy feel despite its dull image. A big touchscreen helps on this front, while the fact that there are now fewer buttons also helps. The digital displays are really easy to use.
On the whole, the cabin is well built, there are soft-touch plastics here and there, and standard on all models is a leather-trimmed steering wheel.
Is the Vauxhall Insignia practical? It’s a big for a car of this type but rear headroom is a bit restricted. People might complain if you make them sit there for too long, especially taller adults.
There are lots of storage solutions dotted around the place and the car is reasonably roomy, comfortable and usable.
The boot meanwhile, measures 530-litres. Fold the rear seats and you can extend it to 1,470.
Vauxhall – £19,135 – £34,880
Verdict of our 2018 Mazda6 Diesel Tourer Review
Spacious, efficient and well-made are all traits we look for in estate cars like this, and the Mazda has them all. Now one of the standout cars in this sector, it also has a few bonus traits that make life on the road that bit better, such as stylish good looks and drivability. All in all, the new Mazda6 Diesel Tourer is head and shoulders above some rivals and well and truly on par with the biggest names in this sector.