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.

2019
Category Winners
2019 Up to 1400kg

Škoda Octavia

Hatch 1.5 TSI 150PS SE L DSG

2019 1400-1549kg

Seat Ateca

2.0 TSI 190PS FR DSG

2019 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2019 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 SDV6 HSE

2019 Best Budget 4x4

Dacia Duster

1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4

2019 Best Plug-In Hybrid

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

P400e HSE Dynamic

2019 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Seat Arona

1.0 TSI 115 FR

2019 Fuel Economy Award

Ford Focus Estate

1.5 EcoBlue 120PS Titanium X

Previous Winners
2018
1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2017
1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*

2016
1400-1549kg

Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business

2015
1400-1549kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG

2014
1400-1549kg

Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

2013
Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance

2012
1725–1899kg

Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury

2011
1425-1574kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport

2010
1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS

2009
1900kg+

Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic

2008
1575-1724kg

Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto

2007
1575-1724kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

ContinueWe use cookies to give you the best browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising.
By continuing to use our website you are accepting our use of cookies as described in our Cookie Policy.