This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Mazda 6 Estate review.

Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The engine range in the estate range isn't as wide as that in the hatchback. There's no 1.8-litre petrol, instead the entry-level engine is the 2.0-litre petrol with 147bhp (available in TS or TS2 trims). It's nippy and sporty at low speeds, but doesn't feel especially quick despite a 0-62mph time of 10.3 seconds. The other petrol is a 2.5-litre with 170bhp, but while it's smooth and sounds good, it lacks low down grunt and isn't economical either, averaging 34mpg.

The original diesel was a 2.0-litre unit with 138bhp but this was short-lived in the 6 and in January 2009 was replaced by a superior and quieter 2.2-litre diesel. It's available in two power outputs of either 163bhp or 185bhp and both are strong performers, yet return 50mpg. The more powerful engine is a real gem and a genuine performance diesel with a 0-62mph time 8.5 seconds and huge reserves of pulling power for nippy overtaking.

The Mazda6 has always been one of the most engaging cars in its class to drive, and the second-generation model offers a similar level of driving pleasure with the steering borrowed from the sporty RX-8 coupe. Composed on twisty roads, the Mazda has impressive levels of grip, and resists leaning from side to side when cornering. The car has a firmer than average ride, although it still makes a good job of long-haul driving, and the brakes are smooth and effective.

Stability control is standard across the range.