Five years since launch, the 6 still cuts it against the competition, although the next generation Ford Mondeo looks set to leap ahead.
The interior is more functional than inspirational, however. The seats are fine and supportive, but the dashboard is an expanse of grey plastic, livened up marginally by silver edging. For everyday use the in-cabin storage is adequate for front occupants, with two storage boxes and a pair of cup holders in the centre console, plus decent sized door bins.
The glovebox is a good size, too, and copes fine with the many accoutrements necessary for journeys with young kids. And the 501-litre boot manages to swallow luggage while still keeping it within arm’s reach, seemingly a rarity among saloons which almost beg you to clamber into the boot.
Our test car has the 141bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine, which Mazda brought in last year during the car’s mid-cycle revisions. It’s a strong performer, and thanks to the six-speed gearbox it makes light effort of joining fast-moving motorway traffic.
A bit more bite to the brakes would be appreciated, though. They don’t quite feel up to the job in comparison with Mondeo.
Mazda Credit has several retail promotions on Mazda6 at present. Customers choosing hire purchase can get three years 0% finance after a 50% deposit. The Multi-Option Cashplan allows buyers to pay a 55%-75% cash deposit then pay nothing for a year before choosing to keep the car and settle the balance, trade it in or return it.
Engine: 2.0-litre diesel, 141bhp @ 3,500rpm, 265lb ft @ 2,000rpm
Efficiency: 41mpg (actual); 47.1mpg (manufacturer figures)
Start mileage: 40
Current mileage: 5,034
Test period: September 2006-September 2007
CAP RV 3yr/30k: £6,025 (33%)
CAP RV 3yr/60k: £5,200 (29%)
Likes: Power and comfort