Mazda6: Safety First

Clever touch helps prevent accidents

The Mazda6 comes well equipped with safety features. There are plenty of airbags including driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags, plus a handy option to deactivate the front passenger one if you want to fit a baby seat.

The 6 also comes with a plethora of electronic safety systems including anti-lock brakes, as well as traction and stability control designed to prevent the car skidding or the driver losing control.

But the safety feature that impresses the most is the blind spot indicator. Mazda has dubbed this the Rear Vehicle Monitoring system (RVM), though the Japanese company isn't the first to fit its cars with it - Audi and Volvo have versions and others are following, including BMW.

The system uses an orange light on the door mirror to warn you if there's a vehicle in your blind spot. Out on dual carriageways and motorways it is a useful back-up. And what marks out Mazda's is that if you indicate to pull out while there is a car in your blind spot an audible alarm sounds as well as the warning light you.

Sadly it is not a standard feature on the Mazda6 range - only the TS2 models and above come with it. A shame really as it's an effective safety system that is very handy. Not least because I bet I'm not the only driver that has had a momentary lapse by starting to change lane without realising there is a car there. Sorry, Mr Honda Accord driver, but there's little chance of that happening again now I'm in the Mazda.

Current mileage: 8534

Average mpg: 46.0