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

Editor, Autocar
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

  • Ford Mondeo
    Ford's new Mondeo is offered in hatchback and estate body styles

    Ford Mondeo

  • The new Volkswagen Passat is now in its eighth generation

    Volkswagen Passat

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

    Mazda 6

  • Skoda Octavia
    The Octavia name dates back to 1959

    Skoda Octavia

  • Vauxhall Insignia
    Vauxhall's traditional family saloon is regular UK class sales champion

    Vauxhall Insignia


Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    27 November 2015
    We try the turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol version of the Golf Bluemotion. If you're not doing mega miles, it's a better bet than the diesel
  • 2015 Mercedes-AMG A45
    First Drive
    27 November 2015
    Mercedes couldn't let the Audi RS3 get away with having more power than its AMG A45. As part of a wholesale A-Class facelift, it now has 376bhp and a host of other revisions
  • First Drive
    25 November 2015
    More powerful Clubsport version of Volkswagen's iconic hot hatch proves thoroughly entertaining on our track-only first drive in Portugal
  • First Drive
    25 November 2015
    Suzuki has added an automatic diesel powertrain to its S-Cross crossover line-up. Does it offer a compelling choice over the manual versions?
  • First Drive
    24 November 2015
    Alpina’s D3 saloon and estate benefit from the latest BMW 3 Series updates. We've always loved it, but is it still as beguiling as ever in this latest form?