Subtlety is the name of the game with the new Mazda 6 and will suit those seeking something more exclusive from the BMWs or Mercedes in this bracket.  I don’t see how anyone could be disappointed with the looks of the saloon with its hi tech contoured lines and ample proportions.  Indeed, the interior is spacious, and unlike other contenders with sporty ideals, has enough legroom to make it practical and appealing to a wide market.

Despite its space-age philosophy, environmental considerations, and comprehensive arsenal of features, I love the simplicity of the dashboard and the use of tactile controls to avoid taking your eye of the road. A good example is the ‘Multi Commander’ situated in the central console for stereo, hands free, and car settings. And thank goodness for the standard handbrake, Mazda not electing for daft automatic handbrake switches or other dangerous gizmos.

Moving on to look at the Mazda 6’s exterior, what a fine job the designers have made of it - a real stunner with classy lines and a dominant, sporty air. The headlights are sleek and cat-like, and the wings and grill give the beast a sense of menace and a hint perhaps at its performance. Maybe that’s just me getting carried away, but the body styling from all angles seems to work. Walk around with a camera and see if you can take a bad shot - I couldn’t. All this from a 4-door saloon with stacks of boot space. The performance doesn’t let the Mazda 6 down either. Do I need to do 0-62 mph in around 9 seconds? Do I need to travel at £130 mph on British Roads? Probably not, but best to have the option there just in case, eh?

Downsides? Well, the price is going to eat up £20K easily and up to £25K with extras, but we’re not in the budget market here. The ride’s a little bumpy, and there is fierce competition in this D-sector, but for me the Mazda 6 stands out with its understated presence and feature-rich design.

Review by @jsmithwriter