Our long-term 6 is metallic grey in colour, which is a little dull, but choose silver and that will certainly complement its sporty image. It's also one of the few cars I have seen that carries off such a bright colour as brilliant yellow.
But it's the design of the car that lends itself to such sporty colours and not the colours that make the car sporty.
Step inside the cabin and the theme is continued with the titanium-look finished instrument panel, which looks great. You could be forgiven for thinking this car commands much more than its £14,495 price tag.
And this is only the 1.8TS model we're testing here – I'd love to try the 2.3 Sport. But even our long-term vehicle comes packed with a raft of features as standard. Cruise control, electric windows and electric heated mirrors, climate control air-conditioning, 16-inch alloy wheels and more are all included for your driving pleasure.
So, although worthy of such praise, what are the car's downsides? Well, despite liking it from the start I soon got very bored with it – it just didn't feel very exciting any more.
I'm sure it's a completely different situation with the bigger-engined models that pack more 'oomph' but I'm afraid the 1.8 TS soon lost its edge.
That's not to say it is not a great car as it drives well and is spacious and comfortable. The 1.8-litre petrol engine is far more responsive than I had imagined it would be. And, let's face it, the car is much more appealing than the 626 it replaces. Also, this week at the Paris Motor Show Mazda will unveil a high-performance concept car based on the Mazda6 which, in drawing form, looks absolutely stunning.
Company car tax bill 2002 (22% taxpayer): £55.80 per month