Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The Mazda6 is a nice place in which to sit. All models include steering wheel-mounted controls, which are all sensibly placed and logical. The sat nav can be controlled via a rotating knob in the central console and, thankfully, the sat nav has full postcode recognition. It’s all very functional and there’s a pleasant form to all that function.

If you opt for the off-white/black leather upholstery combination you will get that premium feel that one might enjoy in more expensive models with prestige badges. The handbrake will be on the left-hand side of the central tunnel but that’s not particularly taxing.

The pedals are well placed for the driver and although Mazda was at pains to point out that its engineers had moved the front pillar further back to increase forward visibility that does mean that there’s less visibility at a wider angle. The rear window is a little shallow so rear visibility isn’t particularly great when compared with other estates in this class.

Most impressive is the way Mazda has managed to contain wind, road and engine noise. At motorway speeds Mazda6 Estate comfort levels are extremely good. Having a conversation with your rear-seat passengers doesn’t require you to raise your voice at all.

The seats are comfortable with plenty of lateral support but we did need to adjust the driver’s seat a few times to get really comfy. It needs a little bit of patience and trial and error to get exactly the right driving position

We tested the car on very smooth European roads and as far as we could tell ride quality is also excellent, particularly on the 17-inch wheels.

We do reserve judgement on the 19-inchers though. The car felt a little on the firm side on the bigger wheels which, on UK roads, might present some problems for those who like a softer, more wallowy driving experience that you get on say, a Peugeot 508 SW. Still, it’s not a deal breaker particularly for those who prefer firmer handling on the corners.

Rear legroom and headroom is more than ample and you can carry five adults in comfort for journeys under an hour. Any longer though, and the middle-seat passenger might start to feel a little hemmed in.