Competitive wholelife costs - including strong residual values - and the vehicle being fit-for-purpose were among the key criteria that led to the Mazda6 being selected. The company said that a five-door model is a "must have" due to load-carrying capability alongside the typical family requirements for the CDL engineers and relationship managers who will drive the vehicles.

In addition, with CO2 emissions of 138g/km the diesel delivers low Benefit-in-Kind tax bills for drivers and meets Stockport-based CDL's environmental policy.

CDL head of customer services Gary Johnson said: 'The Mazda6 met all of our company car requirements, which in addition to being a five-door and offering strong wholelife costs is a stylish vehicle that our employees said delivered an exhilarating drive.

'Coupled with offering emissions below 140g/km and boasting a solid reputation for safety, due to its five-star European New Car Assessment Programme crash test rating, meant the Mazda6 fitted our vehicle selection criteria.'

The model also received plaudits from the company's Vehicle Information Services team. Last year CDL acquired Vehicle Information Publishing (VIPData) - a leading provider of vehicle valuation data from co-founders Martin Keighley and Alan Senior, who between them, spent more than 35 years working for rival vehicle information provider CAP Motor Research.

Mazda fleet and remarketing director Peter Allibon said: 'CDL established some very tough requirements for their company car selection but we are delighted that the Mazda6 delivered on all fronts.

'The Mazda6 has been a fantastic success for the brand in the UK corporate market. The latest upgraded model, which went on sale in the spring, is larger, has more specification as standard, is more refined and more stylish, and promises to further boost our market share.

'As CDL discovered when analysing the marketplace, the Mazda6 is a hugely appealing car and we expect further conquest business in the coming months as a result of an increasing number of fleets experiencing the attributes of the model.'

The fleet of metallic Clearwater Blue company cars are being delivered to CDL this month, which is buying the cars through its local Mazda franchise RRG Group.