I’d like to make the case for large estate cars. Unlike trendy, chunky, high-riding crossovers, they tend to look sleek and refined. And the boot level is lower, so it’s easier to get the dogs to jump in the back or to slide in flatpack furniture from a trolley.
Surely they’re more aerodynamic, too? The latest generation Mazda6 has a drag coefficient of 0.26, compared with 0.34 for the latest VW Tiguan, so it cuts through the air more efficiently for less fuel.
Three decades ago, it was stylish, new load-luggers such as the Peugeot 405 Estate and Audi 80 Estate that many families desired on their driveways. Much of the market has moved on since then and, in dealers’ favour, some brands have been able to charge a premium for crossovers and SUVs. But I have begun waving the flag for estate cars again, and have taken delivery of a Mazda6 Tourer to run for six months.
Ours is in the Mazda6’s lower-mid specification, as SE-L Lux Nav+, which gives Mazda dealers a well-loaded car to offer at a list price from £25,995 for petrol models. SMMT data shows the Mazda6 is popular among private buyers, which is understandable given there are finance deposit contributions of £5,250 available from some retailers. This is a superb car now made accessible for the cost of a base-spec Citroën C5 Aircross.
Standard premium-level kit includes a heated steering wheel and seats, reversing camera, front and rear sensors, leather trim and an 8in touchscreen Mazda Connect infotainment system. A head-up display shows vital information such as speed and navigation instructions. Of course it has an MP3 player and Android Auto/Apple Carplay for streaming, but it also sticks with a CD-player, a growing rarity.
Over coming months, I’ll assess how prepared Mazda dealers are to make the most of this cruiser.