The Mazda6 Estate has been crowned The Caravan Club Towcar of the Year 2005 in recognition of its practical and affordable towing ability and the award was presented by former land speed record holder, Richard Noble OBE.
The Mazda6 Estate impressed all the judges with its flexibility and the composed way in which it handled a caravan loaded to 85 per cent of its kerb weight. The exact specification that was tested for the 22nd year of this highly regarded competition was the Mazda6 Estate 2.0-litre diesel 136ps TS model.
"It is particularly quiet and refined, fitted with a 16-valve common-rail diesel engine that produces maximum torque at just 2,000rpm," commented one of the judging panel, which included What Car? magazine editor Steve Fowler.
"With up to 134bhp power on tap it’s no slouch, yet all drivers commented on how comfortable the car stayed when pushed hard around the Millbrook test circuit. Equally important, brake performance was good and the handbrake inspired confidence, when needed," the judges explained.
Low operating costs (including Group 9 insurance), a useful body shape and sensible towing limits were other factors that endeared the Mazda6 to the judging panel.
"The Caravan Club Tow Car of the Year 2005 title is a real honour for the Mazda6 Estate, proving its flexibility thanks to a great engine and overall design," commented David McGonigle, Mazda's Fleet and Remarketing Director.
"Perhaps more importantly, due to the changing conditions during the competition the award is confirmation that the Mazda6 is a great towing vehicle whatever the weather and for all lifestyles including towing a horse box, a jet ski trailer or motorboat."
This is one of two recent accolades for the ever-popular Mazda6, which has also won the Warranty Direct award for most reliable car, bringing the total awards list to over 20 for the UK since its launch in summer 2002 and brings its international awards total to an impressive 83.
Mazda6 Estate won the competition over 51 entries from 22 manufacturers, split into 10 categories according to body type.
The Mazda6 Estate and other entrants went through intensive testing over four days of unpredictable August weather with a number of sudden, heavy downpours. Extensive towing tests were undertaken by a panel of experienced caravanning and motoring journalists, together with The Caravan Club’s Events sub-committee.
The judges looked at the Mazda6 Estate for its ability to swallow large, bulky loads such as water carriers and awning bags. They also checked for ease of access to electrics sockets, the vehicle's attitude when hitched and provision to attach a breakaway cable.
Former World Land Speed Record holder, Richard Noble OBE, joined the panel of judges for the final day of testing at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire.
To read our in depth road test of the Mazda3 [ click here ]
To read our in depth road test of the Mazda6 [ click here ]Published 3 October 2004