A few weeks ago, Ed over at The Car Blog wrote a piece on Why Wagons Rock, detailing why the practicality of wagons has won him over. Well, here in The Garage, we couldn’t agree more. In fact I’m a little surprised that it’s taken so long for so many folks to come to the realization that wagons (or some SUVs by extension) are indeed cool. As one who spent years working for Volvo, with all their boxy, turbo monster wagons I figured this out way back in the early Eighties. There is no reason why a wagon can’t be practical and a blast to drive at the same time.
Enter the Mazda 6 Sport Wagon. Over the past couple of months we’ve racked up about 9,000 km on a pair of these haulers. The first was equipped with the 3.0 l V6 and a 5 speed manual transmission, while the second utilized the same engine coupled to the optional 6 speed automatic. The automatic is tuned for the sporting driver and has a manual shift option. Personally, I’ve never been excited by manumatics so this feature didn’t get much use but it did seem to work smoothly. Just not my thing.
This engine is rated for 212 hp and 197 ft/lb of torque which was more than enough to turn the front tires to smoke off the line when the driver’s inner hooligan is released and sometimes when you’ve got your jacket and tie on too. Everyone who drove the car while in our stable commented that the front tires will squeel when leaving a light, even under moderate throttle. Odd, considering the big sticky boots the Sport Wagon wears.