If you need proof that diesel power isn’t a must for a tow car, the Mazda 6 2.0 provides it.
Our favourite petrol tow car in this year’s tests, the 6 saloon takes 15.5 seconds to go from 30-60mph. That’s just two seconds slower than the diesel-powered 6 Tourer.
Official fuel figures promise 47.9mpg on the combined cycle – the kind of figure you’d expect from a diesel not too many years ago. Our own tests using What Car? True MPG emissions analysis show that 22.3mpg is possible when towing.
The two Volkswagens may be a little more stable at speed, but there’s not much in it. In the lane-change test the Mazda 6 felt firmly in charge, even on faster runs. At motorway speeds a few tweaks to the steering wheel were necessary to counteract strong crosswinds, but nothing alarming.
Some of our testers found the Mazda’s ride too hard – an observation What Car?’s road testers would agree with – but the 6 corners well, with or without a caravan.
Inside, there’s plenty of space for those in the front, and lots of legroom in the back. But because of the way the roof curves, those in the rear seats may feel short of headroom.
On paper, the boot isn’t as large as that of many rivals, but our practicality judges found that it swallowed a typical family’s holiday luggage with space to spare.