On the fam­ily first wagon

The Daily Tele­graph’s fam­ily reporter sin­gles out her COTY star

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.