We took the Mazda6 to the Sculpture Trail in the Forest of Dean today – a sort of outdoor collection of random objects made out of wood and stone. Twenty years after I first walked the route, it was something of a disappointment.
A grey, miserable Gloucestershire day was brightened only by the journey in our inconspicuous Japanese saloon. The 6 may lack a killer punch in terms of styling or gizmos but it does everything expected of it.
If it was a vacuum cleaner it would definitely be a Henry. Nothing flashy but guaranteed to get the job done with the minimum of fuss. BMW would be Dyson, of course.
We still have a full half tank of fuel left after some 375 miles, which considering the way I have been driving the Mazda, is pretty remarkable.
Jeremy I’ve always towed boats but this is the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire and that means horseboxes. The ‘Glossy Possy’ who live here aren’t short of a bob or two and you are judged by the size of your horsebox – just like actors always want the biggest Winnebago mobile home on location.
There are no ponies grazing on our lawn but Jessica has owned a few in her time. Her grandfather, Jack, was the youngest member of the British equestrian team at the Berlin Olympics in 1936!
Mitsubishi UK are based just up the road in Cirencester, so hard-working Shoguns and L200’s are as common as muck with the equine set. But they shouldn’t rule out the Outlander, mainly because it has an impressive tow weight of two tons – more than many key rivals.
And with just the front two rows of seats in place, the boot space is massive. Plenty big enough for two or three large dogs, although if you pull out the two third row seats at the rear, luggage capacity is severely limited.
Jeremy Don’t try this at home readers but there must have been at least one moment in your driving career when you have set off from a standstill with a door open?
Today I was in a mad rush to post some letters in the quietest village lane in Gloucestershire when a horse lorry appeared from nowhere behind me. I slammed the items in the postbox and, in a bid to prevent a delay, attempted to drive off in the Peugeot with the door still open.
Now, cars have warning noises for perfectly good reasons – think safety belt, boot open and parking sensors. However, the RXH has more driver alert sounds than a wayward space shuttle.
The safety belt warning is quite calm but insistent, the parking sensor chime nothing too offensive. Then you hear the ‘door left open’ blast and it makes you skip a heart beat. It’s the sort of wailing noise you imagine they sound when a nuclear reactor has gone in to meltdown…
It actually scared the hell out of me and I won’t make a habit of it. Of course, the solution is not to try and drive with you car door open – except the sound is so terrifying I almost fell out and under the horse lorry instead. I’m not sure which is worse…
Jeremy – Gone are the days of annoying rattles from the dashboard and squeaks that drive you mad on even the shortest of journeys. My father seemed to suffer more than most – every car he owned had a habit of developing a rattle from somewhere deep in the heart of the trim.
Thankfully, that’s one trait I haven’t inherited but there is something quirky about the Mazda2 that I have never experienced in any car before.
It started today when I was driving up a long, steep hill towards Painswick, in Gloucestershire. With temperatures touching 30 degrees all week, the air conditioning has been on for every journey.
So, as I wound my way up and into the Cotswolds, I noticed the air con only kicked in for short bursts, which is perfectly adequate to keep the cockpit cool. However, every time it did come on, there was a noticeable drop in power from the engine.
I know air conditioning can increase fuel consumption because it draws so heavily on the engine but I had no idea it would also have such an impact.
And now that I have noticed it is happening, I can’t seem to ignore the power loss! Just like one of the annoying rattles, the 2 has a small Achilles heel that isn’t going away anytime soon. Now, where’s that squeak…