Wagons are not everyone's first choice as a family car now that there are so many SUVs to choose from, which is a shame because there are some fantastic wagons that get overlooked and they tend to have great interior and boot space. The Mazda6 sedan proved to be a surprisingly good BabyDrive, so let's see how the wagon version did in our testing…
I can start by telling you the Mazda6 wagon is a fantastic car to drive! It is super smooth and responsive and just very enjoyable and easy. The interior looks great and feels luxurious. The seats are upholstered in brown leather which would be easily wiped clean except for the perforated central seat panels, which I could forgive due to the fact they provide both heated and cooled seats in this high-spec Atenza version! Such a lifesaver in our Australian summer!! I did find the dark leather seats got extremely hot when parked in the sun, so the cooling was essential!
I could fit two child seats in the back of the Mazda6 wagon, which was surprising as I got three in the sedan. In this one, though, there just wasn't room for a third. At least installing them was relatively simple, with ISOFix points in the two outer seats that are within plastic guides and are lovely and easy to connect to. There are top tethers in the back of all three rear seats, which are also easy to access and connect to.
The roofline is low in the Mazda6 wagon, especially if you are used to an SUV, but we didn't encounter any bumped heads during our week with. But did notice my 186cm husband had to lower his man bun when sitting in the front and back!
With a rear-facing child seat installed, the front passenger has 22cm of knee room, which we found was only just enough for a 180cm passenger.
One of my favourite features of the Mazda6 wagon is the retractable roller blind in the boot! It attaches to the boot door so when you open it the retractable roller blind stays up in the air and doesn't hang down into the boot space, making it easier to load and unload the boot.
The boot is a great uniform shape and has good capacity, but not the best among similar-size wagons. From empty it would hold fifteen shopping bags, which is one less than both the Holden Commodore Tourer and VW Passat Alltrack Wagon and three less than the Subaru Outback.
Storage is great in the Mazda6 wagon and everything fits where it needs to! There are good sized cup holders in the front and the door bins hold large refillable water bottles. There is a cordless charging well for your phone and USB, AUX and 12V connectors. The glovebox would just hold my wallet with an iPad and the large Mazda user manual, and there are map pockets in the back of both front seats which would hold but not conceal an iPad.
The storage does fall short in the back where there is a fold-down armrest in the central seat back which has two cup holders in and a lidded compartment with two USB ports for charging phones. However, just behind the cup holders are two seat heating buttons which for me are a real no-no with a toddler in the back. With the armrest down to hold my daughter's water cup, she was fiddling away with those buttons and heating up her seat on every journey!
You use a control knob down in the central console to navigate the media system in the Mazda6 wagon, which I don't find the easiest method. The model I tested did not have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto however if you were to buy one today it would come with both and if you buy a used Mazda6 you can now have the smartphone systems added for around $500.
The reversing camera has a really clear image and the different camera views were really useful, making reverse parking easier as visibility is difficult out of the back with two child seats installed.
I found the Mazda6 wagon a real pleasure to drive. So simple, easy and it felt light and nimble around town and out on the open road. Overall the Mazda6 wagon is a great BabyDrive if you only need two child seats. The headroom is a consideration if you are a tall family but it would be a great car for a family of four.
The Mazda6 was given a five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2018 and has six airbags as standard.