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Alltorque

Magnificent sevens

Whether it’s expressing the soccer team to their Saturday showdown, packing the troupe for a weekend getaway or simply bringing kids home for a ‘playdate’, the modern seven-seater is a triumph in family logistics. WORDS: RODERICK EIME

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re we never satisfied? Folks my age remember packing the family into the vinyl-upholstered station wagon, sliding along the bench seat sometimes four or five skinny kids wide and sweating it out to the beach. No wonder backyard pools were so popular. Today’s checklist for modern people movers include air-conditioning, leather bucket seats with lap/sash belts for all and a barrage of airbags inside a reinforced, galvanised chassis. The boxy minivans of the ‘80s and early ‘90s are passé now that seven adults can travel in luxurious comfort in a vehicle smaller than the old HQ. Don’t even mention fuel economy.

Honda Odyssey Exemplary build quality and safety makes the sleek, multi award-winning Odyssey a perfect tourer for the larger family in the better neighbourhood.

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With 2.4L DOHC i-VTEC engine and five-speed auto, the fourth-generation model begins at $41,990 for standard.

Holden Captiva 7 The Korean-built Captiva SUV is a hit with mums according to AutoChic website. Small families can even downsize to the five-seat version and go 2WD too. With bags of safety features like ABS and electronic stability control (ESP), the Captiva is also available as an economic diesel. Captiva 7 starts at $35,490.

Subaru Tribeca 3.6R Premium A slow starter in the market, the latest Tribeca AWD squarely addresses initial criticisms by smartening the styling and bulking up under the bonnet. Handy as a light off-roader, the Tribeca has all the smart Subaru gear and the new 3.6l engine kicks 190kW. Save up. Starts at $58,990.

Mazda CX-9 Classic First introduced in late ’07, the latest CX-9 is in showrooms now and chockers with all the latest safety kit and driver aids – and $2k cheaper than the model it replaces. Bold new styling and ballsy 3.7l V6 sets CX-9 apart. Classic starts at $49,990.

Toyota Tarago V6 GLi Tarago is almost a euphemism for people mover and a far cry from the minibuslike van introduced 26 years ago. Tarago, which is derived from an Aboriginal word meaning ‘my country’, is only sold in Australia with this badge. Available in lusty 3.5 V6 (starts $54,690) or 2.4 litre 4-cylinder ($49,490).

Ford Territory TS RWD The locally designed Territory has always been a hit with Aussie families. The big 4.0l six- and sure-footed 2- or 4WD options made the burly SUV an instant hit with boat owners, caravanners and sports mums. With a new look for 2009, the extra seats only some with TS RWD ($44,490) ■


OUTthere All Tourque Issue 68