Sunday, February 12, 2017

Can You Autocross With a Family Wagon?

Wagons always get an unfair reputation for being the nation's favourite schoolrun-mobile -- images of an '83 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser, driven around by a family with three kids and a St. Bernard in the trunk doesn't exactly help shed that relative uncool-ness. Wagons just aren't sporty, and they sure aren't cool, people say. Over here, we have seen many people ditch the wagons in favor of the taller SUVs and crossovers for their bigger size.

For most of the world however, wagons are great alternatives for those who want to haul more things without needing to get a truck, but still retain the fun driving dynamics and fuel economy of a 4-door sedan. Don't believe me? Take a quick look on Google Streetview for streets of London and it will take you less than a minute to have the first wagon-sighting.

Case in point: in addition to the #SharkNoseDiary 6 series project car that I have, I regularly drive a slightly-scratched up 2007 Mazda 6 wagon as my reliable daily commuter. Fitted with a 3.0 V6 engine that produces 212 horsepower, the car (nicknamed Mazda Miyagi because why not) can propel itself from 0-60 at a respectable (in 2007 standards) 7.1 seconds.

My favorite thing about it though? It's mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Combined with the zoom-zoom Mazda driving dynamics, I can go fast enough to quickly fall in trouble with the law while hauling my apartment in the trunk. You can't really do that with a modern SUV (unless you are willing to spend a lot of money for one of these).

The bottom line is: The car is a lot of fun, and it can do fun while hauling as much stuff as your neighbor's CR-V.

To prove my point, why not enter my car into an Autocross event?