The Mazda6 stands out. I mean really stands out.
Its rakish nose peeps out from a crowd of cars, revealing the sharp lines adorning its stylish body.
Without doubt it’s the best-looking car in its sector and it has a feel-good factor every time I return to the car park – this one’s mine.
Well, it's Mazda’s really, of course, but we’ve assumed ownership for 12 months. And that means taking care of it.
Following a recent visit to Mazda dealership Donalds of Peterborough to sort a problem with the smart city braking system, the 6 made a return trip for its first service, at 12,500 miles.
It was another pain-free visit: the car was back serviced and fully valeted after two hours.
A big thumbs-up to Donalds for excellent customer service – not least the efficiency with which it directly invoices the company.
What’s less impressive is the Mazda’s fuel consumption.
Regardless of my driving style, it struggles to hit the low 50mpgs; its natural level seems to be 47-48mpg, substantially below the official figure of 67.3mpg.
Compared with the Volkswagen Passat on the Fleet News long-term fleet, which is happy to achieve its claimed 61.4mpg on longer journeys and more generally hovers around 54-55mpg, this is disappointing.
For me at least, it calls into question the real-world savings achievable by Mazda’s much-vaunted SkyActiv technology.
However, this still translates into a reasonable fuel cost of about 13ppm (as opposed to the 9.47ppm figure on the Fleet News running costs calculator), favourable to the generous Advisory Fuel Rate of 18ppm for a 2.2-litre diesel. Company car drivers will still be satisfied with that return.