If you're given a choice between a sedan and a wagon, which would you choose? Most bachelors (and bachelorettes) would probably answer the former, as over the years, wagons have become one of the popular choices for families looking for a suitable car. We can't blame them; its size and design is more fitting for people who have the need for space, comfort, and flexibility.
Mazda aims to break that stereotype with the Mazda6 Sports Wagon. Good thing Mazda Philippines lent us the keys to its sole 2.5L SkyActiv-G variant so we could find out if they did it right.
Blessed to be married with children, I, myself, am infatuated with the Mazda6 Sports Wagon. Not only because it provides loads of comfort and space for my family, but it is clearly a good looking estate car, inside and out.
Whether it’s coming at you, or passing you by, it is difficult to find fault on its angles. The front clip looks like it wants to leap into action, the curves on it’s side flow gently, and it sits low and wide on 19-inch rims. Most importantly, baby got back.
Inside the cabin, the Mazda 6 Sports Wagon has an elegant and premium feel. It has a posh touch and the quality of the plastics on the dashboard is good, while the dark brown leather accents on an all black interior gives the vehicle a classy look. In addition, the center console, climate controls, commander knob, and neighboring buttons have an upmarket appeal and notch feedback. The heads up speed display and instrument cluster are well thought, and visible even through direct afternoon sun.
The information and entertainment in-dash display is accompanied by a great sounding 6-speaker Bose system, which is easy enough to navigate on the touch screen pad, save the Sat-Nav. It bogs down to an almost halt, and can get frustrating. However, we’re pretty sure that the MZD Connect upgrade should have this sorted out, along with even better interaction with your mobile phones.
The trunk space alone is over 500 liters. The flat and no lip rear bed makes loading and sliding heavier items a breeze. With the 60/40 rear seats down, you’ve got over 1,600 liters of space. You could probably fit the entire cast of Cirque du Soleil back there.
Under the hood, the 2017 Mazda 6 Sports Wagon is powered by a 2.5L SkyActiv gasoline engine that delivers 185 hp and 250 Nm of torque. Shifting is via a 6-speed automatic transmission and power is transferred on the front wheels.
In terms of driving feel, you do receive a slight harshness on the steering response. Running over rumble strips, for example, or similar sized road hazards, you don’t get what you immediately expect from 19-inch rims and low profile tires. The noise, vibration, and harshness levels will surprise you; the cabin is quiet and quite comfortable for all passengers.
While Mazda’s SkyActiv technology is a blessing on it’s own, others might still feel the need for a bit more “umph” with perhaps the SkyActiv Diesel found on the Philippine-spec CX-5 and Mazda6 sedan. Fuel economy-wise, the Mazda6 Sports Wagon registered 8 km/l in the city (average speed 18 km/h) and 15 km/l on the highway. This may be nitpicking, but also, a power tailgate. I just think it would fit well with the whole package, like a nice Cabernet Sauvignon and a beautiful steak.
Though you do have to pay a bit more (P16,800) for the Soul Red and Machine Gray colors, the P1,845,000 price tag of the Mazda6 Sports Wagon 2.5 SkyActiv-G AT gives european state cars a very real run for their money.
This was some time ago, but I remember movies that portrayed the family station wagon as an embarrassing mode of transport. It was “Mom’s car,” no one wanted any part of it, like it was a hearse or something. Teenagers didn’t want to be seen in it; getting dropped of at school, or worse, the prom, would have cemented your “uncool” status. If this were the family wagon back then, I think even dad would have been jostling with the kids for the keys.