The words ‘fun’ and ‘estate car’ don’t usually go together, and for the pedantically minded among you neither do they for the Mazda6, for it is in fact a Tourer (or a fancy word for estate to you and me). No matter what it’s called, it most certainly is fun.
It’s a beautiful looking car, with sleek lines and dark privacy glass in the rear windows.
Inside, the well appointed cabin is spacious with great legroom both back and front.
With a raised centre console area, the driver is almost cocooned, giving a real cockpit atmosphere, with everything within easy reach.
The Sport trim test car was also well specced, with a touchscreen infotainment unit featuring a TomTom SatNav, radio/CD/USB and Bluetooth. The six-speaker sound system was excellent.
It also had cruise control, which came on automatically when the engine was started, dual control air conditioning, hill start assist, and the fuel efficient i-ELOOP (regenerative braking) and i-Stop (stop/start) systems. The latter, which cuts the engine when idling in traffic, was very handy in the city.
Front and rear parking sensors are standard on the Tourer.
A centre storage area housed the USB port and was well placed, not hindering gear and handbrake access.
Although it’s a five seater, for adult passengers, unless all three are skinnymalinks, you’re really looking at just two in the back for the sake of comfort.
As you’d expect from an estate, the boot in this car is a great size and can be made even bigger by folding the rear seats. This is easily done and the seats lie almost flat.
One gripe I have with estates and SUVs is that they often come with boot covers that you have to fiddle about with when you want to lower the rear seats and then do more fiddling about to store it.
What I really loved about the Mazda6 Tourer is that the cover is actually attached to the rear window, hence no fiddling – genius! It can also be easily removed.
The test car was a button start 2.2-litre 150PS six-speed manual model with manual handbrake and it really lived up to Mazda’s child-inspired zoom zoom ethos.
I really liked this car when I drove it in atrocious conditions at its Irish launch earlier this year and I liked it even more when I put it to the test over a week in almost spring-like weather recently.
It’s a car that leaves you feeling disappointed about coming to the end of your journey.
I found the low-lying, almost sport-like, driving position really comfortable.
The car was very fast at the lights, with great acceleration from 0-120kph on the motorway.
It also had lovely smooth gear changes and it handled confidently on all terrain.
The Mazda6 is also extremely agile for a car of its size and you really only notice how long it is when you go to park it.
Standard front and rear parking sensors, as well as an on screen monitor made this manoeuver, and three-point-turns in tight spaces, much easier.
As well as our regular city and motorway beat, we also took this car up the Wicklow Mountains and it was great fun on the steep and winding roads.
Overall, I think the Mazda6 Tourer is a really well designed, practical, fun family car that I enjoyed driving every single time.
The Mazda6 is available now in both saloon and Tourer body types, with prices for the saloon starting from €28,745 and prices for the Tourer starting from €30,095. The Sport trim Tourer I was driving starts from €33,195.
Engine: 2.2l 150PS (diesel)
Acceleration: 0-100kph in 9.2seconds
Top speed: 210kph
Fuel Economy: 4.4l/100km
CO2 emissions: 116g/km
Annual road tax: €200