Us, most of the time
Simple and elegant, it gives the 6 a premium looks that is reinforced by a smart front end and a bum that you don’t need — or want — to hide. It’s the same inside, where the plastics have markedly improved, the feel of the switchgear is better under the fingers and the ambience is more upmarket.
Rear legroom is huge and the car overall has grown by more than 130mm over the old one. But — and it’s a big one — the boot is shallow thanks to the full-size spare. It takes 438 litres and the rear seats can be dropped as the need arises.
The 6 is so new it hasn’t yet hit the safety wall. The previous model was a five-star car, so expect the same. The standard six airbags are housed in a stronger chassis and the latest generation of safety software is linked to the ABS brakes.
Opt for the Atenza model and Mazda has all the toys, from lane departure and blind-spot warning to auto cruise-control and front obstruction alert.
The Mazda6 is a better car for general duties than the previous version — right up to the point where you flog it mercilessly. At the limit it isn’t quite as quick to change direction or compose itself, but it’s a superior package in terms of behaving itself on the road.
The slightly softer suspension is better over bumps and the noise suppression is a huge improvement. Steering is marg- inally more relaxed on centre, meaning there are a few millimetres of play before the front wheels start to turn. The controls are well laid out and easy to learn and extra interior space is appreciated when friends or family are in tow.
Bigger is better when it comes to the Mazda6. Driving enthusiasts are the only ones who won’t appreciate the refinements, given they come at a marginal expense to outright handling. For the 99 per cent of people looking for a mid-sized sedan with plenty of toe, is comfortable and not German-priced, the 6 has the edge over Honda’s Accord Euro.