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Stylish Mazda6 Tourer is ideal load-lugger 

YOU can’t always have a test car to suit the occasion or indeed the weather. Sometimes cabriolets will come your way in the depths of winter and you don’t get to discover what the car is like with the top down.

Or that 4×4 which would have been ideal on icy roads is the one you’re scheduled for in the summer months and you don’t have the opportunity to go off-roading either.

But there are times when you get a model that is timed to perfection.

That happened last month when I took delivery of a gleaming Mazda6 Tourer.

This is one of those estate cars that challenges its saloon sibling for style – none of the sleek lines have been lost in the creation of this Tourer.

And the benefits of buying such a model are pretty obvious – you can load lots and lots into the luggage area as I discovered.

That was the reason for saying this car came at the ideal time.

My garage was absolutely stacked with all sorts of odds and ends that had been stored there during the summer months and there was only one home for it all – the local recycling depot.

There’s a generous 522 litres boot area and this expanded to a much welcome 1,644 litres when the rear seats were folded down.

A never-to-be-used-again barbecue that had served its purpose well in previous years was thrown in along with old lamps and the like.

Three redecorated rooms meant there were three old carpets to be hauled away as well.

But the task of packing and unpacking the Tourer was made that much easier by the low and wide tailgate.

Job done, a quick hover and wipe down, rear seats back up and time to enjoy a drive in a car that had already proven its workhorse capabilities.

The test model was a 2.2D 150ps Tourer SE-L Nav, priced at £24,795.

The Mazda6 comes with a choice of highly-efficient petrol and diesel engines and I thought the diesel unit with the least power, 148bhp compared to the other 2.2litre’s 173bhp, was well up to the task in this model.

The power came through a six-speed automatic gearbox which reacted smoothly yet quickly when required.

Comfort is excellent in the roomy Mazda 6 Tourer with lots of leg, elbow and headroom for driver and passengers with the rear seats capable of seating three adults.

The driving position is good with fine all-round vision and I also liked the left-foot rest.

You don’t get much wind or engine noise coming through while cruising on the motorway and the ride was good, if perhaps a little bit bumpy on some uneven country roads.

Handling though could not be faulted as this Tourer kept its line well when taking bends at speed.

Fuel consumption figures are impressive although you lose out a little with the auto box which can achieve 58mpg combined (64.2mpg manual), 46mpg urban and 67mpg extra urban.

The interior is smart and all versions come with a high spec which on entry-level models includes engine start/stop button, CD/radio with four speakers, USB iPod and aux connectivity, hill hold assist, tyre pressure monitoring, 5.8-inch colour touchscreen, cruise control and 17-inch alloy wheels.

SE Nav adds TomTom navigation system while SE-L additions include dual-zone climate control air-conditio-ning, privacy glass, power-folding door mirrors, front and rear sensors, dusk sensing lights, six speakers, smart city brake support, cargo net and roof rails.

Stepping up to top-of-the-range Sport models brings items such as full leather trim, heated and power adjustable driver and front passenger seats, Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daylight running lights, reversing camera, Premium Bose surround sound system with 11 speakers and 19-inch alloys.

The Mazda6 Tourer is quite a package with its stylish looks, performance and loading capabilities all adding to its appeal.