The Northern Star - - MOTORING - Dom Tripolone

Kyal and Kara Demm­rich need a car that can be ver­sa­tile, much like the houses they ren­o­vate.

The duo, who have been ren­o­vat­ing houses for more than eight years, first shot to fame on the 2013 sea­son of The Block: Sky High.

As Mazda Aus­tralia am­bas­sadors, they are driv­ing the new CX-8 seven-seat SUV which they reckon comes in handy with their grow­ing fam­ily. Adding roof racks has al­lowed Kyal to lug his surf­board around, too.

The big SUV is a far cry from the pair’s pre­vi­ous car, a Mazda BT-50 that han­dled the work­site du­ties. Those tasks now fall to Kyal’s Hyundai iLoad, which he de­scribes as “a tool­box on wheels”.

Their first cars were even fur­ther re­moved from the comfy sur­rounds of the CX-8.

“(The Mini Moke) was the best lit­tle car, it got me to and from school when I was in year 12. It was awe­some, I could even throw my surf­boards in the back of it,” says Kyal.

Kara’s first car, on the other hand, was ac­tu­ally Kyal’s sec­ond car.

“My first car was a hand-me down from Kyal,” says Kara. “It was a lit­tle Toy­ota Corona, rear-wheel drive, so you could have a lot of fun with it.” added Kyal.

The two con­cede what they look for in a car has changed dra­mat­i­cally in the past few years.

“When we were younger and didn’t have much money, it was just about get­ting from A to B,” says Kara.

“But now we have a fam­ily we are look­ing for all those ex­tra things. Safety would ob­vi­ously be the No.1 con­sid­er­a­tion but all those ex­tras, we would never have thought about.”

On the top of that list for Kara is leather seats while Kyal is sold on heated seats.

“We never re­ally thought about the lux­ury of the car but since we’ve had leather seats it has been awe­some with the kids be­cause you can spill any­thing and you can just wipe it off,” says Kara.

And when the pair aren’t ren­o­vat­ing the lat­est project prop­er­ties, they travel up and down the coast from Syd­ney to Queens­land, stop­ping off at all the good surf breaks along the way.

Kyal’s favourite drive is one he hasn’t taken the fam­ily on yet.

“We trav­elled from Ade­laide to the Eyre Penin­sula,” he says. “It is pretty amaz­ing coast­line with the rugged coast and dirt roads, re­ally beau­ti­ful waves and was a re­ally good spot to put the BT-50 to the test.

“I haven’t taken Kara and the kids yet but we’ll do that when they are a bit older. It is def­i­nitely a good place for a boys’ trip away.”

And with all that travel up the east coast, they have a mes­sage for those driv­ing on the M1: “Stay left un­less over­tak­ing.”

The com­mon driv­ing faux pas gets the Demm­rich fam­ily’s blood boil­ing, es­pe­cially Kara — she wants ev­ery­one not over­tak­ing in the left lane, leav­ing the mid­dle and right lanes for those want­ing to pass.

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