Mazda 6 Estate review

Our Rating: 
4
4.0/5.0
By Auto Express Test TeamComments

The sporty Mazda 6 Estate has plenty of space, a range of powerful yet economical engines and the ability to entertain in corners

For: 
Vast boot, sharp handling, looks smart
Against: 
Road noise on motorway, some hard interior plastics

The Mazda 6 Estate has the carrying capacity to rival the front-runners in the family estate car class, and it adds an element of driving enjoyment that makes it stand out from its rivals. This sporty nature can be seen in the car’s sharp lines, while the well built interior should stand up to the rigours of family life. Engines are the same as the Mazda 6 hatchback, so we’d recommend one of the powerful and economical diesel engines, especially if you’re going to load up the big boot on a regular basis.

Our choice: Mazda 6 2.2D (163) TS

Styling

3.8

The Mazda 6 Estate takes the sporty styling of the hatchback and extends the roof line and adds a pair of roof rails to boost practicality. If anything, the estate model has a more integrated look than the hatch. Whatever your preference, the 6 Estate has the same v-shaped grille and jewelled lights as the hatchback. Inside, the dashboard is exactly the same, so it has the same array of buttons, but the use of some hard plastics is a disappointment.

Driving

4.2

Mazda has created a reputation for building cars that have sporty dynamics, and the Mazda 6 Estate is no different. It has the same feel of lightness that the hatchback has, and it’s a lot of fun in the bends when it’s just you on board. Load up the boot, and the alertness doesn’t fade, while the powerful 2.2-litre diesel easily copes with the extra weight. The biggest bugbear with the 6 is the amount of road and wind noise created at motorway speeds, especially on top-spec Sport models running 18-inch wheels.

Reliability

4.2

The Mazda 6 scored five stars in its Euro NCAP test. That was for the hatchback, but the Estate will be equally safe. It has six airbags, stability and traction control, and electronic brake force distribution as standard. Top-spec cars get xenon lights with cornering function and rear parking sensors. Owners are satisfied with their cars, as the 6 came 25th in our Driver Power survey, ahead of its main rivals.

Practicality

4.4

The Mazda 6 Estate has a 519-litre boot, which is smaller than its main rivals, the Ford Mondeo Estate (537 litres), Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer (540 litres) and Skoda Superb Estate (633 litres). However, with the seats folded, there’s 1,751 litres on offer, which is more than the Mondeo (1,728 litres) and Insignia (1,530 litres), but still trails the Superb (1,865 litres). There’s a wide tailgate, a flat lip to help loading and the rear seats fold flat. However, self-levelling suspension is not available.

Running Costs

3.8

Unlike its rivals, there’s no eco-friendly Mazda 6 Estate, but the range of diesel engines on offer deliver a good mix of performance and economy. The pick of the range is the 2.2-litre (163) diesel, as it has decent economy of 53.3mpg and emissions of 141g/km. That’s not the cleanest in the class, but it’s competitive with similar engines from rival firms. The Mazda 6 Estate is competitively priced compared to rivals, and you get decent standard kit.

Last updated: 12 Jun, 2012
AEX 1337
For more breaking car news and reviews, subscribe to Auto Express - available as a weekly magazine and on your iPad. We'll give you 6 issues for £1 and a free gift!

Sponsored Links