A friend of mine is changing his job soon and is currently deciding which company car to choose.
After seeing our Mazda6 in the pub car park he expressed an interest, having many years ago owned a Mazda 323 (the one with pop-up headlights). Talking to him, it was obvious that it was a car he had fond memories of.
Conversation turned to the manufacturer’s model range past and present. He expressed disappointment at some of the models’ looks which he thought were uninspiring (particularly the 626), but he raved about the 6’s shape, hailing it a ‘return to form’.
He was also impressed by revisions made to the car last summer – new grille, reshaped bumper and a new black interior console, replacing a silver one.
As he’ll be spending a fair amount of time every day behind the wheel, he was keen to hear how the car performs on the road. And the report I gave could only be described as glowing, as its handling and on-road characteristics are terrific. It quickly becomes clear when discussing the 6’s merits just how many positive attributes it has to offer a company car driver. These include high comfort levels, excellent handling, good spec and, in our model, a quiet but powerful engine.
The only minor problem that has arisen since is the lid of a small storage compartment to the right of the steering wheel refusing to remain shut. But it’s a minor blip in a car with otherwise excellent overall build quality.
Our decent test consumption of 41.8mpg is still a little way off Mazda’s claim of 47.1mpg but it’s early days yet so we’ll keep you posted on any improvements over the coming weeks and months.
I’m still mightily impressed with the car’s Karakuri seating system which has proved a boon on several occasions recently when I’ve been required to carry large items.
By pulling a handle in the boot the rear seats effortlessly fold down, providing an instant flat load area.
It’s clever and simple-to-use features like this which add to the Mazda6’s already strong appeal as a decent fleet workhorse and one which transforms into a more than competent large family car at the weekends.
I recently arrived back at Heathrow Airport fairly late one night after a trip away and despite a fairly clogged-up M25 the fact the journey home was not at all arduous was testament to the driving pleasure and comfort offered by the 6.
As for my friend, he’s already got his order in with his fleet manager.
Price: £18,250 (£18,575 as tested)
CO2 emissions (g/km): 165
Company car tax bill (2006) 22% taxpayer: £66 per month
Insurance group: 8
Combined mpg: 47.1
Test mpg: 41.8
CAP Monitor RV: £5,450/30%
Contract hire rate: £378
Expenditure to date: Nil