Living with the 6
* Tested for 12 months * Could it cope with family life? * Read our verdict, here...
The Bose stereo is much better than the standard system in lesser models, and there was also an input for my MP3 player. Shame it wasn't a USB interface that would also charge the music player, but it's better than no connection at all.
The controls on the steering wheel were able to do far more than just adjust the volume and change the radio station. I could fiddle about with other features, including the dual-zone climate control temperature, trip computer and cruise control.
The sunroof also gave me the option of cloud gazing and listening to the rustle of leaves as a way to relax in jams, while heated seats kept my bottom toasty on cold days. Leather upholstery is great with kids, so it was easy to wipe down the cabin after the kids had managed to smear mud or jam on the seats.
All this is fitted as standard. The only option I had to go for was the grey metallic paint at 375 that's less than Ford charges for fancy colours on a much smaller Fiesta. It was a bargain, I thought, although the first service cost of 412 did leave me gasping for breath.
Still, the guys at MKG 3000 in Twickenham, where I got the 6 serviced, were good they kept me well informed, got the work done on time and even rang me up a week later to check all was okay.
Is there anything I didn't like about the car? Just two things, and they're both tiny details to do with light bulbs. Mazda bosses in Japan decided that the daytime running lights should be on permanently, even with the stalk in the off and automatic positions, so I either had to accept the odd flash from other cars or turn on the sidelights, but then I'd sometimes forget to switch on the headlights after nightfall.
Thankfully, all Mazda 6s built from October 2008 onwards have headlights you can actually turn off, but daytime running lights will be mandatory on all cars from 2011.
At the car's other end, the location of the boot's light on the tailgate meant the luggage area wasn't always illuminated very well, so sometimes it was a little difficult to find that lawn mower
[Peter Lawton](mailto:Peter.Lawton@whatcar.com?subject=Mazda 6 estate)