The suspension is a bit on the firm side, though. On smooth roads, you won’t notice it. Take the Mazda 6 onto broken surfaces, however, and you’ll experience a bumpy ride.
In terms of the diesel engines, power is in good supply. There is only one available – 2.2-litre diesel – but it comes in two power guises. The smallest is a 148bhp variant that can do 0-62 in almost 9.0 seconds. The bigger of the two has 173bhp, and does the same sprint in 7.9 seconds.
Mazda has introduced an intelligent balancing system to the engine, which helps to suppress mechanical sound. It’s much more refined than last time, and suits the car’s character better.
Running costs are good for such a hefty car. i-Stop Tech has been fitted to save fuel whenever you’re in traffic, while the top of the range models get i-ELOOP. This improves economy even more by recovering kinetic energy and using it as electricity.
The car is also relatively lightweight, and the smaller diesel can return around 65mpg. Even the more powerful of the two is good for the 62.8mpg economy and emits just 119g/km of CO2.
Inside, you’re greeted by a smart cabin that’s come a long way in recent years. Mazda’s design team have managed to execute an interior that’s modern, spacious and able to cope with family life. The steering wheel is distinctively designed, and there are lashings of chrome here and there.
The dashboard feels strong enough to last, while leather trim enlivens what is otherwise a rather neutral trim. 7” colour screens are standard in all models.
The cabin is certainly stylish, but it’s not as practical as rivals. There isn’t as much overall room as there is in the Kia, with Mazda clearly putting style first. That said, there are lots of useful storage bins here and there, including well-shaped door pockets. Visibility is also decent.
Parking will be tricky, though. After all, this is a very large car. The boot, meanwhile, measures 483-litres, making it smaller than last time. The floor is totally flat, though, and you can extend the space to 1,632-litres by folding the rear seats.
Kia – £22,240 – £27,940
Mazda – £20,000 – £28,400