Both had expected the car to carry a price tag in the region of about £22,000 and were staggered when I told them it cost £17,995 on-the-road. I haven't yet met anyone who doesn't like the look of the Mazda6 and its affordable price is a bonus.
Its stylish body sits neatly on 17-inch alloy wheels, while the low profile tyres and spoiler finish it off a treat, without making it look too gaudy.
It may only be a very small straw poll but taking my two friends as examples, one loved the car's interior while the other wasn't so sure. He gave the curvy leather seats the thumbs up but didn't like the silver finish, comparing it – unfairly in my opinion – to a cheap hi-fi system.
I think the colour contrasts well with the rest of the interior, which is black, and gives the Fleet News Award winner a sporty feel.
Our team of testers have all heaped praise on the car for its driving performance, its excellent road-holding ability and sublime steering. The car has now racked up almost 14,000 miles and is still running perfectly. There are no rattles or squeaks to report and the engine still sounds great, producing a lovely roar when you press the accelerator.
The interior has no scratches or blemishes, testament to the quality materials used and, of course, because people want to treat this car with care.
A previous road tester, my colleague Trevor Gelken, told how cranking up the volume of the superb Bose stereo system while playing a Joe Satriani CD meant he was unable to achieve the manufacturer's official combined fuel economy figure of 31 miles per gallon. It is music to drive fast to.
Well, I'm a Beautiful South fan so I had expected their gentle melodies wafting out of the brilliant speakers to ensure I achieved that figure or even bettered it. Well, I did manage to exceed Gelken's figure slightly at 30.1mpg, but it is still a little below the official 31 mpg.
The Mazda6 is a great car and one which drivers can have lots of fun in. Despite its sports tag, it is also sober enough in its appearance to reflect an upmarket company image.