This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Mazda 6 review.

Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

What’s immediately apparent from the driver’s seat is just how clear the layout of the 6’s instruments and controls are. The dial are big, bright and easy to read, while the simple buttons and dials controlling the stereo and heating system, are easy to use on the move. Then there’s the driving position. The seat is supportive and multi-adjustable (electrically on top models), which – in conjunction with the height and reach adjustable steering wheel – makes for a comfortable driving position.

Unfortunately some of the materials used on the dashboard don't feel quite as upmarket as on mid to high-spec Ford Mondeos, for example and certain controls such as the air conditioning dials, lack that solid feel of quality. Mazda has done some interesting things with LEDs though - blue and orange lights greet passengers on entry and the stereo is backlit – the light changes as you change station or the volume.

The most amazing aspect of the 6 is how quiet it is. The engine is nearly silent when it idles and it’s not until it’s at motorway speeds or under hard acceleration that it really becomes noticeable. At all other times the engines are all hushed. That means aside from slight wind noise from around the windscreen pillars on the motorway, the cabin is refined and exceptionally quiet.

Inside, there’s plenty of room up front for the passenger and lots of legroom in the back – allowing people in the back to really stretch out. Headroom is good too, in spite of the tapered roof shape.