Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
So which engine should you choose for your shiny new 6 Tourer? Easy: the best engine in the range is the 148bhp 2.2-litre diesel. Get it up to around 2000rpm and it pulls strongly, giving you enough oomph in the mid-range to make swift progress without the engine, or you, feeling overwrought. It’s also smooth, without the more noticeable clatter you get in an equivalent Skoda Superb Estate, and it's surprisingly keen to rev for a diesel.
There’s also a 181bhp version of that engine with a bit more poke. However, the difference in performance isn't huge and you can't have this engine in our chosen SE-L Nav+ trim. Higher CO2 emissions also means pricier company car tax bills.
The range-topping 2.5-litre petrol has 191bhp but still doesn’t have the low-down pulling power of the diesels, so it can feel a bit gutless off the mark and gets very boomy when you work it hard. If you want petrol power, we’d stick with one of the two less powerful, and significantly cheaper, 2.0-litre engines.
Every model – except the 2.5 petrol – comes with a slick six-speed manual gearbox as standard that’s great to use, thanks to a nice punchy throw. There’s the option of a six-speed automatic on all but the 163bhp 2.0 petrol (it's standard on the 2.5 petrol), but it isn’t particularly impressive, hanging onto gears for uncomfortably long and dawdling between shifts. It feels a bit old hat compared with rival gearboxes; we’d stick with the manual.
The 6 Tourer comes with something called G-Vectoring Control as standard. It's designed to make the car corner in a more stable manner by easing off the power very slightly when you turn in to a bend. But it doesn’t quite live up to the hype; the 6 Tourer is fine to drive in a relaxed fashion, but if you enjoy something more enthusiastic, a Ford Mondeo Estate is a better choice.
Why’s that? Well, while the 6 Tourer's steering is light and pleasant enough when driving in town, there isn't enough weight build-up on faster roads to give you confidence. The steering wheel also kicks back in your hands as you approach the limits of grip, while the nose runs wide of your chosen line earlier than in many rivals. Still, at least there isn't too much in the way of body lean.
The 6 Tourer isn't particularly comfortable, either. The ride gets particularly lumpy along broken town roads, especially with the larger wheel options, so we’d recommend sticking to 17in alloy wheels if possible. Things settle down somewhat at motorway speeds, but still there is a firmness to the set-up that leads to more fidget over ripples and expansion joints than you’d experience in the more comfortable Superb Estate or Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer. At speed, the intrusive wind noise from the door mirrors relative to the competition is another annoyance, and there's a fair amount of road noise, too.
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