What Car? Car of the Year awards 2010 - Family car winner

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  • 16 categories of awards
  • All the winning models featured here
  • What Car? Car of the Year 2010 revealed
The winner
Mazda 6 2.2D 161 TS 5dr
List price £18,708
Target price £17,024

Mazda has had a major image overhaul in recent years, and the Mazda 6 has been an important part of that success. Mazdas have always been seen as solid and dependable, but now the firm has added fun, style and desirability to the mix.

Just look at it. Most family cars’ design puts functionality ahead of funkiness, but with sleek lines and bold features, the 6 looks like George Clooney in a room full of George Formbys.The quirky dashboard design means that the interior also has its fair share of style, although the controls are so well laid out that you’ll never have problems finding your way around. Space isn’t in short supply, either – there’s almost enough to rival even the Ford Mondeo.

There’s another plus point to the 6’s good looks – they make the car desirable, which helps keep resale values among the best in the class. CO2 emissions and fuel consumption are also impressively low, as are the list prices. All this means that whether you’re a private buyer or a company car driver, the 6 will protect your pennies better than most other family cars.

All this would be of little consequence if the 6 drove like a shed on wheels, but it doesn’t.
It’s amazingly nimble in corners for a big car – the strong grip and sharp steering mean you can have lots of fun. On a less entertaining road, such as a motorway or battered urban street, it stays comfortable and quiet. The punchy 2.2-litre diesel engine is a cracker, too, giving you effortless pace and flexibility.

One question remains – why does the 6 beat the Mondeo this year when it didn’t last year? Well, while Ford’s ever-increasing prices have spiralled out of control, Mazda’s have stayed sensible. All this talent, as well as loads of kit and impeccable reliability, for a little over £18,708? Sounds like a winner to us.

What Car? Car of the Year awards 2010 - Estate car contenders


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