Our Fleet Test Drive: Mazda 6 - 1st report
04 April 2008
Author: Tony Rock
 There's certainly plenty of space
There's a new arrival turning more heads in the BusinessCar car park than an upper medium hatchback has any right to.
Admittedly, the arrival of our new Mazda 6 2.0-litre diesel, one of the first into the country, coincided with a short-term loan of an a 2.5-litre petrol 6 (pictured), but even without being parked next to an identical twin, the Aurora Blue Mazda was grabbing plenty of attention.
That colour, at £350 the only option on our £20,155 Sport model, looks stunning, especially with the exterior enhancements of that Sport trim level. Standard for the Sport, the bodykit  is joined by 18-inch alloys to complete a look that's half corporate transport, half US-style Nascar racer.
Sport trim also adds part-leather front seats, tyre pressure monitoring and a Bose audio system  to an already impressive spec that includes six-CD changer, Bluetooth, auto lights and wipers, dual-zone climate control and cruise control.
The 6 has joined our fleet to see if Mazda has taken another leap forward, as the car it's just replaced is the one credited with kicking off Mazda's turnaround in product quality and therefore popularity in the UK.
The last 6 was still Mazda's best-selling fleet model last year despite the imminent arrival if its replacement.
The car is also huge. From the driver's seat to opening the boot , there's certainly plenty of space, though that's not necessarily a good thing when it comes to manoeuvring into tight spaces.
The 140PS 2.0-litre diesel engine, predicted to be the most popular of a range also consisting of 1.8, 2.0 and 2.5 petrols, appears good enough, though a more descriptive judgement will have to wait because the car arrived with 312 miles on the clock, so we've been diligently running it in.
First impressions are that it's currently a little noisy and doesn't feel as quick as it should, but we'd expect both of these areas to improve with miles.
The 6 will spend the next 12 months on our fleet, so there will be plenty of time to see what substance lies behind the obvious style.