Mazda is realistic, and is more intent on attracting a small but willing crowd of buyers for the 6 than launching itself into a pitched battle for market domination. As such, the 6 is priced to sit between mass-market rivals and more premium brands such as BMW and Audi.

Buyers should take the time to do their homework carefully, because although list prices appear relatively high, there is a large amount of standard kit fitted even to the base models. This has particular appeal for kit-conscious fleet buyers, because the list price can be offset against the 6’s relatively low CO2 emissions.

Matt Burt

Head of Content, Haymarket Automotive
Low CO2 emissions and high residuals make the 6 a shrewd purchase for the financially minded

Equipment levels are split between three core models: SE, SE-L and Sport. Each can be supplemented with sat-nav. Mazda has focused its efforts on ensuring good residual values across the range, although predictions suggest residuals will meet the class norm.

Running costs should be another highlight. Throughout our tests both the petrol and diesel engines returned impressive figures in both the saloon and Tourer variants, aided by the i-Eloop regenerative braking system that helps power auxiliary systems and achieves fuel savings of up to 10 per cent.

In our most extensive tests with the higher-powered diesel saloon we recorded 56.5mpg on our touring route – remarkable for a car this large, with this performance. Our average return of 44.1mpg may sound fairly ordinary, but plenty of rival diesel saloons still struggle to beat 40mpg over the same measure.

Top 5 Family saloons

  • The Ford Mondeo is a well developed all-rounder that shines with its handling and finish

    Ford Mondeo 2007-2014

    1
  • 15 million VW Passats have been sold in 100 countries since its launch in 1973

    Volkswagen Passat

    2
  • New Mazda 6 largely carries over the styling of the striking Takeri concept that previewed it

    Mazda 6

    3
  • Skoda Octavia
    The Octavia name dates back to 1959

    Skoda Octavia

    4
  • Hyundai i40
    Family-size Hyundai takes on the Mondeo, Superb and Insignia

    Hyundai i40

    5

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