What is it?
Load-lugging version of Mazda's impressive new Mondeo-challenger. The estate is 30mm longer in the rear overhang than the saloon and hatch, giving the load bay more generous carrying capacity than the outgoing Mazda 6 estate.
With the seats-up it boasts 519 litres of luggage volume, an increase of 14 litres and with the seats down 1751 litres, an increase of 39 litres. All that extra carrying capacity comes from the longer loading bay, which can swallow objects 1926mm long, with the seats folded down.
These numbers put the Mazda near the top of the class. Outright carrying capacity is bigger than the commodious Mondeo and VW Passat, although both these competitors have more space when all five chairs are in use.
Also revised is Mazda's all-important 2.0-litre diesel. New are a remapped ECU, sequential valve-timing and redesigned intake and exhaust manifolds. Fuel economy is up seven per cent and CO2 emissions down 11 per cent.
What's it like?
A satisfying blend of driving fun and everyday practicality. Compared to the old 6, the new one feels much more grown-up. And just like the hatchback Mazda 6, which Autocar has already rated highly, the estate steers sharply and rides well with the new diesel engine delivering the expected waft of torque to make progress smooth and effortless.