Sitting in the Mazda 6, it seems a shame that little of the imaginative but unseen engineering work is reflected in the cabin.
The interior architecture is carried over almost wholesale from the Mazda CX-5, and squashing it into a slimmer saloon interior has not helped lift its rather dingy appearance. If anything, the dashboard’s lumpy discord and undistinguished fascia materials are even more conspicuous in a segment moving steadily upmarket.
We have few issues with its functionality, though. From easily legible dials to the chunky click of the heater controls, the Mazda 6 feels like a car built to resist uncaring high-mile punishment.
The only exception is the multimedia system, which, thanks to a dull screen and clunky menus, is tiresome to interact with and persists with needlessly replicated touchscreen options.
The substantial wheelbase means there’s an abundance of rear legroom. It’s not class-leading (the Skoda Superb sees to that), but it’s within touching distance.
In the saloon there’s a similarly impressive 483-litre boot, which can be extended by dropping the rear seats. That rises to 506 litres in the Tourer model, or a substantial 1632 litres with the rear seats folded down.