Mazda’s fun wagon
When Mazda cut its ties with Ford in 2010, it took quite a while for most of us to recognize the potential of the brand as a manufacturer of affordable, light and fun to drive vehicles. When the CX-5 and the Mazda 6 was introduced to the global market in 2012, the latest “Skyactiv” engine technology was promising and the design philosophy of the brand was aggressive to a point that its competitors had to stop at their tracks and give Mazda a second look. Finally, the once boring brand woke up from its slumber and began to fold it sleeves to buckle down and work.
Middle of last year, Mazda created quite a stir in the domestic market when it launched the wagon type version of the Mazda 6. Design wise, it blew everybody off the water. The car being gorgeous was an understatement. It was a Kodo design that was polished even further.
Honestly, it took the Gods of Berjaya Philippines, distributors of the Mazda brand in the country some time to lend me a test unit. The first thing that strikes you is the car’s heft and width and that bolder grille design and the standard LED lights. This wagon is smooth, from its front wheel arches, down to the bulbous rear end with a massive boot lid. The 17-inch alloy wheels finishes off the wagon’s exterior. Step inside and you’ll notice the tall roofline and swatches of leather contrasted by bits of aluminum. The cockpit has a sporty feel to it, with the meaty steering wheel, high transmission tunnel and the deep cowl gauge clusters. It also has a seven inch screen on top of the center console which acts as the car’s command center. You can control the audio and get other data about the wagon’s vitals by way of a circular knob located near the transmission. Mazda has replaced the old model’s shiny black plastics, which were susceptible to finger marks, with leather inserts that avoid this problem and it looks and feels nice to the touch.
With the car’s height adjustable steering and driver’s seat, driving this big sedan is a cinch even for vertically challenged blokes like this writer. Both the front and rear passengers have lots of space to stretch their legs. Due to the tall roofline, your six-foot child has no problems with leg and headroom space. The back seat is wide enough to accommodate three full size adults or four average sized kids. Being a wagon, expect tons of space at the back as it is big enough to carry a golf bag plus room for a small luggage.
Despite its size, this Sports wagon is equipped with the sedan’s same 2.5 liter Skyactiv-G mill pumping out 188bhp and an estimated 250 nm of torque. With its weight not being an issue, the car is fun to drive and gives you the power when you need it. It is no white elephant especially when you put it in Sport mode and use the paddle shifters. This wagon transforms into a different animal. Although there is a slight noise emanating from the tires, yet this wagon can respectfully manage a conservative 10kms per liter during urban duties and 15 km/l on a highway sprint. Overall, I love this car. I just hope that I win the lottery before the proposed excise tax becomes a law.