Bit of a forgotten hero the Mazda6. It’s always been one of our favourite cars in the Schlepping Up The M1 Every Waking Hour With Suit Jacket Hung In The Rear Window And Many Boxes In The Boot Repmobile class, along with the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia, because it combines sharp looks with sporty handling.
Now it’s even better thanks to this worthwhile upgrade. New headlights and tail-lights brighten up the looks a smidge, and inside, the dials have silver rings and the centre console layout is less cluttered. A new finish on the dash and piano-black trim feel more ‘premium’, too. It’s not exactly Audi in here, but it’s beautifully made and is a comfortable place to be.
The engines - three petrol and three diesel - have been tweaked to emit less gas and drink less as well. Emissions and economy are improved by 4.8 and 4.1 per cent respectively across the diesel range. The pick of the engines is the 163bhp 2.2 turbo-diesel: not quite as punchy as the 180bhp version, but not as expensive either. It’s torquey, smooth and refined. Attack a series of corners and the Mazda6 is properly entertaining.
It was good before, and now it’s better, with uprated dampers and re-tuned steering. Ultimately it wouldn’t go down a road any quicker than a Mondeo, but you’d have more fun doing it. Hop off the M1 and head for Derbyshire. This ‘repmobile’ is happiest on B-roads.