On the family first wagon
The Daily Telegraph’s family reporter singles out her COTY star
SUVs have been the chariot of choice for busy mums for the past few years but a new challenger has reared its super comfortable head — the Mazda6 diesel Touring Wagon.
Admittedly the “wagon’’ category once conjured up images of daggy ’70s boxes on wheels but the Mazda6 is proof that this old-fashioned staple has morphed into a seriously desirable family workhorse.
Sinking into the luxury power seats, which are complemented by a leatherwrapped steering wheel and padded arm rests, will keep even the most frazzled parent calm while the generous rear seat has plenty of space for kids.
The dashboard is restrained, its displays are easy-to-read and it’s tricked out with whizzbang safety features such as a reversing camera, emergency brake assist plus handy front and rear parking sensors.
Whipping into parking spaces is a dream and I feel confident and safe behind the wheel, both at speed and while taking tight and twisty bends.
The 2.2-litre turbo diesel surges powerfully up hills and the cabin is beautifully quiet and smooth, even on bumpier stretches of country roads. This car had me at hello. It is classy, comfortable, safe and polished.
An SUV served me well with baby seats and prams and a compact hatchback was terrific with preschoolers. But for parents ready to branch out into something more luxurious with bigger school-aged kids, this Carsguide Car of the Year finalist is a serious contender.
The all-important rear seat setup will impress any parent: rear airconditioning vents, cup and bottle holders, side storage and seats that are comfy enough to pacify even the most fractious young passengers.
Interior finishings look lowmaintenance and easily cleaned but sadly my road test didn’t extend to examining how well the upholstery scrubbed up after a spot of youthful in-car dining. Boot space is adequate for a serious grocery shop and the super-simple rear-seat collapse lever for slotting in a pram or scooter ticks the box too.
Drivers who keep a keen eye on bowser prices will be happy with the 5.4L/100km fuel economy but may be disgruntled by the lack of capped price servicing.
Unexpected hits on the wallet are definitely not welcome after forking out over $40K. But if long-distance driving holidays are your thing, the 6 will get you there in style and comfort.
Now if Mazda would just invent a “cone of silence” screen to block out the racket of rear seat fighting or complaints, this would be the perfect family car.