Me and My Car: Marvellous Mazda hits right spot
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Cecilia Robinson is co-founder of My Food Bag, 2013 EY Entrepreneur of the Year, and 2014 Next Businesswoman of the Year.
You have a red 2014 Mazda CX5?
I admit to being a little obsessed with Mazda’s CX5. We got our first CX5 just before our son Tom was born in 2012 and it was love at first sight. When we moved to Australia in 2013 we gave our first CX5 to our Au Pair Link general manager in New Zealand and bought four CX5s for the Australian My Food Bag business (ear-marking two for ourselves).
Before leaving Australia we made sure to order our next CX5 so it was waiting for us the day we arrived back in New Zealand. In the past two-and-a-half years we’ve had four CX5s!
I love how modern the CX5 is as well as advanced in terms of features (blind spot monitoring etcetera). It’s an SUV but handles like a much smaller car, it’s zippy and easy for me to drive around the city and I always feel safe inside it. My husband James and I also have a 2014 Audi Q7.
A red beat-up (by me) 1993 Nissan Pulsar that I adored. Few things compare to that first time you buy your own car and you put those keys in the ignition. It’s the thrill of freedom.
I love the cars we have.
Who taught you to drive?
In Sweden you can start at age 16 to practise driving and you are allowed to apply for your licence from your 18th birthday. My dad was a really good teacher, patient, diligent and empathetic. It is different taking your driver’s licence in Sweden, having two years of practice and not being allowed to drive independently until you have a full licence sets a different expectation with young drivers.
In Sweden it’s also compulsory to have defensive driving training which I think is such a critical part of good road care and I am surprised that New Zealand doesn’t have similar legislation.
Most memorable road trip?
I went on a road trip in the US — we drove from Connecticut to Canada. Four Swedish girls in a rented car was a lot of fun, we ended up singing a lot of Abba and had some amazing stereotypical American encounters.
How do you keep Tom happy on road trips?
Tom is 2. We’ve done two big road trips recently and we ended up buying an iPad holder for the car. It made me feel like an awful mum, initially, but for long trips I think they are the best.
What do you always have in the car?
Water and wipes. Before having Tom it used to be chocolate.
Driver or passenger?
I enjoy both.
Great day trip out of Auckland?
We love driving to Matakana and having lunch at the Sawmill Cafe. I love the northern beaches of Auckland.
Would you rather drive in Auckland or take public transport?
Going on the subway, tram, buses is ubiquitous with daily life in Sweden. I think Auckland public transport has improved since I’ve been here (almost 10 years) but it has a long way to go before being world-class.
How does Auckland’s traffic rate?
I don’t think Auckland’s traffic is that bad, in particular having lived in Sydney, one of the world’s top 10 worst cities for traffic. I’d say the best way of solving Auckland’s traffic issues long-term is improving our public transport.