Mazda6: Five-star journeys with all the trimmings

Before we start, I must tell you that I am not a car person. I have had one car forever, which became mine mostly because of its terribly good looks. I know nothing about engines, gearboxes or horsepower; but I do know what I like. I might describe cars by their colour, but I can also tell you exactly how well a sat nav should function and whether a car seat is actually comfortable.

When I was approached by Mazda to test drive their Mazda6 (the 2.2 litre Diesel Platinum model), I was not going to turn down the opportunity. Just looking at the images of the shiny and new saloon got me excited for a long drive.

I met my new car in Dun Laoghaire. I was shown some of the clever little buttons before promptly being handed the keys and left to my own devices. I was giddy with excitement and if I am honest, couldn’t quite believe I was being trusted with such an impressive machine.

The simple truth? On first impressions this car is big. It’s a car for grown-ups. It feels safe and spaceshipesque. My initial giddiness peaked when I discovered the heated steering wheel. Notions? Well, let me tell you it's not difficult to become attached to toasty 7am fingers on your drive into work.

I felt very safe driving the car to and from IMAGE HQ in Dun Laoghaire but it was when I took it for a spin out to the west coast of Ireland that I really came to appreciate its finer details. The large dash screen featured a brilliant sat nav that directed me all the way from coast to coast without a hitch. I could also easily link up my phone’s Bluetooth and spent much of the journey listening to podcasts and calling friends. On the motorways, I was able to cruise along at a comfortable pace, but could overtake if needed to be thanks to the little pep in the accelerator (I'm sure that is the technical term) that I enjoyed from time to time.

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The heat seater plus personalized air-blowing system meant my passenger and I were at the perfect temperature all the way down. This is no mean feat considering he likes to be just below freezing and I, at a slow roast. I adjusted my seat to be just right for driving and he leaned right back and enjoyed a snooze. The peace was divine.

Most cars that are this comfortable leave a little to be desired in terms of optics from the outside, but the Mazda6 looks sporty and sleek. I felt pretty proud when pulling up at the hotel for the night (and the parking was easy too thanks to the rear assist camera).

I won’t lie, handing back the Mazda6 after a week was not easy. I had grown far too accustomed to my five-star journeys. One thing is for sure, my 7am fingers will not be happy until they meet another heated steering wheel.

Mazda6 prices start from €31,945

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