Well-made, user-friendly and smartly styled…

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They say the secret to entertainment is to always leave them wanting more.

If this is true, then Mazda has seriously hit the nail on the head with the new generation Mazda6, and the version that tickles my fancy in particular is the Sport Tourer.

Most of the time those lucky enough to write about cars as part of their working life, get to try out the models they drive for a week at a time – unfortunately, I was left short when it came to the Mazda6 Sport Tourer.

Just before the weekend – which is when I usually get to give the cars a proper going over – I had to hand the keys of the Mazda6 back without properly putting it through its paces.

Having enjoyed the Tourer for about five days, all I can say is that it is arguably the most perfect car in terms of performance, looks, practicality and value for money in this country.

What are my reasons for such an accolade?

Well, for starters, Mazda’s looks have reached an all-time high.

They call their latest approach KODO – Soul of Motion, a design theme inspired by the movements of animals in the wild – and the look for all new generation Mazdas.

Mazda believes it has captured KODO’s purest essence in the all-new Mazda6, the production model born of the Mazda Takeri concept first showcased at the Tokyo Motor Show in late 2011. It combines a muscular anatomy and vitality with a functional allure that is certain to gain broad market appreciation – and a level of quality that sets it apart.

And the quality feel of this car is yet another pinnacle for Mazda. Materials, design, feel, all simply hit the mark.

Switches and controls are positioned for optimum usability, and the symmetrical gauges (with clean white lighting replacing the current model’s red and the addition of LED backlighting) inspire enthusiasm as soon as you get behind the wheel. But despite its proximity to the cockpit, the front passenger environment engenders peace of mind.

The seats, especially at the front, have a simple, contoured shape with a wraparound sports car feel providing vertical, longitudinal or lateral support when it’s needed.

Leather upholstery (perforated in the middle for better sound absorption and breathability as well as texture) comes in sporty yet warm off-white with matching stitching, or black with red stitching, which subtly shows off the rich textures and details.

Tastefully coordinated and expertly crafted, Mazda’s interior designers achieved an instantly recognisable level of high quality and elegance that truly match the sporty yet distinguished exterior.

Just look at the pictures of this car to appreciate how much individual character and beautiful design are at play. In a word, gorgeous.

This is a car with everything in terms of looks, but it also drives like a dream.

With less weight, a lower centre of gravity and low rolling resistance tyres, the Mazda6 gets even more from its SKYACTIV engines and transmissions. For exceptional linearity and responsiveness, and an unforgettable driving experience, exceptional fuel efficiency included. Sporty yet civilised is what you get with the new Tourer.

The Mazda6 starts at a very competitive €28,745 for the Executive Spec saloon, with the Sport Tourer kicking off at €30,095. Engines range from a 2.0-litre petrol to a 2.2-litre diesel.

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