So many headline puns. ‘The joy of six’, ‘six appeal’, ‘Six and the City’. Casting aside the clichés, the Mazda 6 Tourer is genuinely appealing. But the big question is, can such an, ahem, sixy-looking machine cut it as a used tow car? We shall see.
What’s a used Mazda 6 Tourer like inside?
Most people buy an estate because they need load space, so it makes sense to start at the back. In the 6 Tourer, you’ll find a boot that’s a good size and shape; it offers 522 litres of space with the rear seats up, and 1664 with them down. In comparison, a VW Passat offers 650 and 1780 litres, but it really is huge. The Mazda will cope with everything you might need.
Room for people is good, with plenty of head-and legroom up front, and lots of space in the rear. The Tourer is better than its four-door sibling in this regard, because it has a higher, flatter roofline.
Even early examples of the Mazda 6 Tourer have an attractive interior, with a sporty three-dial dash and all-enveloping cockpit feel. The plastics are pretty good, although there are some flimsier trims.
Over the course of the car’s life, it has been facelifted a couple of times, both of which brought improved plastics and more technology, including, in 2018, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
All models feature alloys and cruise control. DAB radio was standard from 2015. Moving up the range brings climate control, parking sensors, a self-dipping interior mirror, a Bose audio set-up and heated leather seats. Cars with ‘Nav’ in the name also feature sat nav, although if you’re looking for one, our guide to the best caravan sat-navs is well worth checking out.
How does a used Mazda 6 Tourer drive?
There are a couple of petrol options – a 2.0-litre with 143 or 162bhp, and a 2.5 with 192bhp. Post-2018 petrols also got a slight power increase, but not enough to notice.
Fans of diesel will have to go for a car from 2020 or earlier, because Mazda got rid of its diesel at that point. Still, the 2.2-litre diesel was available with 148bhp or 173bhp, and 280lb ft or 310lb ft of torque, respectively.
If you tow regularly, the extra strength of the diesel will come in handy, but if you tow infrequently, the 162bhp petrol would make a good all-rounder. The petrol will need to be revved harder when towing, but is likely to be easier to live with, given the price of diesel and proliferating ultra-low emission zones. It is economical, too.
However, the 6 Tourer is a stable tow car that remains unfazed by lane-change manoeuvres and crosswinds. The electric handbrake makes hill starts a doddle.
It isn’t the quietest car, and you’ll notice a bit of engine and road noise, but it’s still pretty civilised – there are better options out there, but also many worse ones.
The 6 Tourer is roomy, well made and well equipped, and looks genuinely attractive. Just make sure you analyse your motoring (and towing) carefully, and choose the powertrain that best suits your needs.
- After some more inspiration? Then take a look at our best tow car round-up, where we pick out the standout towing vehicles on the market.
What will it tow?
- Kerbweight: 1470kg
- Towing limit: 1500kg
- Noseweight limit: 75kg
- 85% match: 1250kg
- Figures for 2018: 2.0 SkyActiv-G
- 2.0 SkyActiv-G
- Insurance group: 19
- Annual VED: £155
- Average economy: 50.4mpg
- Interim/full service: £90/£133
- Servicing prices supplied by Servicing Stop, 0844 324 5262
Only one recall specifically concerns the 6 Tourer – water could get into the tailgate struts of 2013 and 2014 cars, causing them to fail, so make sure they’ve been replaced.
The 6 range as a whole has been the subject of a few recalls, though, including soot build-up in the inlet manifold, faulty fuel injector software, and fuel injectors that weren’t done up tightly enough.
A full list of recalls can be found at www.check-vehicle-recalls.service.gov.uk
Or you could try…
The days when this was the go-to value-for-money estate may have passed, but it’s still up there with the better options. For a start, it’s big, so should have no trouble carrying the stuff a caravanner needs. There’s a good range of engines, and the 148bhp diesel is strong.
Ford didn’t skimp on kit, so all models have dual-zone climate control, cruise control and alloys as standard.
If all you need is space, the Superb lives up to its name. It’s large enough to hold a concert in – that’s before you fold the seats. It’s a shame there aren’t so many clever touches, such as load dividers, but you can’t have everything.
There’s a vast range of engines, both petrol and diesel, and cars with the optional twin-clutch DSG gearbox will take the strain out of towing endeavours.
The Volkswagen Passat has been around in various guises for more than 40 years, so VW has no excuses for not getting it right. And with the latest model, it really has. The boot is cavernous, and the seats fold completely flat. The Passat also has a truly sumptuous interior, and lots of standard luxury kit.
Go for a DSG-equipped example with the 2.0-litre diesel and you’ll be able to sit back and just relax.
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