The Mazda6 doesn't strike me as an obvious family car, although this is the shape of family cars past! Let's find out how this sedan would stack up as a BabyDrive today!
At first glance, and used to the height of SUVs, I thought this car was tiny and would be no good as a BabyDrive but there are actually some surprisingly family-friendly features to the Mazda6! Like it fitting 12 shopping bags in the empty boot! All three of the Mountain Buggy strollers fitted individually in the boot with fair amounts of shopping bags around them!
Storage inside the cabin was adequate and on the whole, it was very practical. The two cup holders in the central console held a disposable or reusable coffee cup and my large refillable water bottle fitted as well. The door pockets throughout the car were well-sized for large refillable water bottles too. The glove box and central console storage box were both small but adequate. There is also a sunglasses case in the ceiling and an area in front of the gear lever for your phone.
In the back, there are two small map pockets and two cup holders in a fold-down armrest and a phone storage and charging area. There are two USB sockets in the central console box as well as in the back armrest. On the armrest, there are also heated seat controls that are really badly positioned for toddlers to fiddle with!
There are three top tethers across the fixed parcel shelf in the back, which are within plastic guides but because of their position, as well as the ceiling and the back window being so low, they are REALLY tricky to access and connect to. They are even harder to disconnect.
There are ISOFix points in the two outer rear seats, they are within plastic guides and relatively easy to connect to.
Very surprisingly I could fit three child seats in the back of the Mazda6! I wasn't expecting them to fit looking at the space but I got in the rear-facing Britax Graphene, the Maxi-Guard Pro and the Kid Guard Pro too!
With a rear facing child seat I had a good amount of legroom in the front passenger seat.
The Mazda6 is not a particularly noisy car, the front and rear parking sensors could be turned off with a button by the driver's right knee. The media system does not have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto however by the end of 2018 you will be able to get them in all Mazdas!
The media system has a fair size screen, it does seem a little basic and difficult to navigate and the cameras image quality is quite low resolution too.
The Mazda6 has auto engine cut out, that Mazda call i-stop, which you can turn off with a button by the driver's right knee. Which is a fantastic BabyDrive feature because when you come to traffic lights and ‘waaah’ bub's crying because the vibrations of the car have stopped!
The Mazda6 was a really smooth, quiet car to drive, with good acceleration. Parking was good around town and it was fun to drive on the open roads. The difficulty is posting bub into their seats, as the low roofline is just hard work; I hit my head and my daughter's head on it many times!
The seats were perforated leather for the heating systems front and back which is not very practical for cleaning as they will just trap kids' detritus!
The Mazda6 was given a five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2012 and comes with six airbags as standard.