IT'S always nice to be able to stand out from the crowd with a special edition of any car.
But the newly launched Mazda6 Kuro edition takes that exclusivity to a new level - as just 100 are being offered for sale in the UK.
And as 50 will be saloons and 50 will be tourers or estate cars each one will be even rarer. The saloons are priced at just £29,250 but the tourers carry a £1,000 premium.
So what do you get with the Kuro that you don't get with the standard Mazda6?
Well for starters you get Mazda's striking metallic paint - normally an extra cost feature - and contrasting black alloy wheels and black door mirrors to give it a meaner, sportier look.
And while the Mazda6 is a sleek, curvy car with nice contours in the metal anyway the grey and black combination add that extra impetus.
On the inside the Kuro gets smart business-like burgundy leather seats to ensure it stands out, and as these are electrically adjustable you can achieve your ideal driving position. The seats also come with the bonus of memory settings.
And as the Kuro is based on Sport trim models of the Mazda6 it also has several other nice touches, including an 11-speaker Bose audio system, blind spot indicators, keyless entry and a very sharp reversing camera to work in conjunction with the front and back parking sensors.
And just to add a touch more luxury there are heated seats and a heated steering wheel, not to mention a head-up display.
Power comes from a 2.0-litre, 165 bhp engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. Disappointingly for some there's no automatic option on the Kuro edition.
On the road the saloon version driven here offers a firm but comfortable ride with genuinely nice sporting handling which makes easy work of fast bends and corners.
It's a naturally aspirated engine and while it pulls willingly it's not exceptionally quick off the blocks but it is quiet and smooth. If you want power you have to work the gearbox and wind up the revs, which in many ways is at odds with the overall feel of this large, comfortable saloon.
Like on all Mazda's the gearbox is a delight to use and in case you forget which gear you are in there's an indicator on the dashboard.
The Mazda6 is a large car and that translates into generous space for both passengers and luggage. Rear seat travellers have good leg room while the boot will accommodate some 480 litres of luggage which means there‘s plenty of space for holiday suitcases, even if you‘re taking a cruise.
There's a real quality feel to the Mazda6, from the solidity of the switches and knobs to the ease with which the doors close with the gentlest of pushes.