Fleet News

Mazda 2.0d TS2 estate - 1,476 miles



AFTER eight months of high-octane excitement in our Mazda6 2.3 Sport, we have decided to go a bit sensible and swap it for diesel estate.

It's all very well swanning around in a racy high-performance version, but many company car drivers will be put in diesels to reduce running costs and will need the extra versatility of the estate.

We have recently taken delivery of a TS2 specification car, with optional leather and satellite navigation fitted. It's just about all you can get on the Mazda6, pushing the on-the-road price up to £21,100, but it is fully loaded with most things you could reasonably expect for the price.

The Mazda is a few hundred pounds cheaper than a Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi Ghia X, but when you add the navigation system and the electronic stability programme from the Ford options list, the price soars to £23,865.

Spec-up a Volkswagen Passat 1.9 TDI Sport to the same level of luxury and you get a similar figure. So even in top-of-the-range diesel trim the Mazda6 looks good value for money.

There is still some debate about the appeal of satellite navigation systems for the used car buyer.

The Mazda6 comes with a swish colour-screen version that appears from the top of the centre console.

It is one of the latest DVD systems and covers most of Europe in excellent detail and when you choose sat-nav, it comes as part of a package that adds leather seats with an electrically adjustable one for the driver.

However, market analysts like CAP claim that the used car buyer will not be prepared to pay more for a car with sat-nav if a similar car without it is available. We have two schools of thought in our office on the matter.

Our technophobe production editor Trevor Gelken despises such systems and never uses them, even when driving a car fitted with them.

However, reporter Adele Burton is a fan and if spending her own money on a car she says she would pay extra for the security of sat-nav. Only time will tell as they become more widely available whether the used car buyer will grow to accept them.

On a more positive note, CAP Monitor says leather in a Mazda6 is not a bad investment and on current estimates, a Mazda6 with leather at auction could fetch £150 more than one without.

This still might be a fraction of the £1,000 it costs to have leather seats in the Mazda6, but if the car is well looked after the results could be even better.

In the early running the Mazda has impressed with its interior room, practicality (the rear seats fold flat in the blink of an eye) and it offers the same poise and driving pleasure of the rest of the range.

Company car tax bill 2003/04 (40% tax-payer): £135 per month

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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