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*SPONSORED POST*, Reviews, Test Drive

2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}

2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}

What’s in a name? The 2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring is in a class called compact crossover or compact SUV. I know, Wait a minute! SUV by definition is a big, gas guzzler, right?! Compact SUV is a bit of an oxymoron, wouldn’t you say? SUV stands for Sports Utility Vehicle. I have to attest – This is a sporty little compact vehicle, for sure! ‘Utility Vehicle’ – Now that’s where I get a bit hung up on terminology. I immediately think Compact means tiny, no room, can’t do much but get from point A to point B. I am not a fan of a small car unless it’s a sexy two-seater roadster car that I just want to put the top down and take on long drives up the coast. But that sexy fantasy is not a day to day commuter vehicle. Why? That’s easy: no backseat for my buddy’s car seat, not cost efficient to require higher octane fuel, I wouldn’t want my buddy to make the sexy, expensive car dirty or for me to waste my energy worrying about dings on the door, etc. Kids can be messy. (Though another of our moms has taught her kids to remove their shoes before getting in there vehicle!). How about a compromise: a smaller vehicle with a cool, sporty style 4-door that is easy to maneuver, is fuel efficient, can parallel park just about anywhere, has plenty trunk space, room in the back seat for a car seat (or 2!) and saves me money with great gas mileage – Enter the Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring

I reviewed the Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD and remarked that it was the coolest thing to have a third row of seating. Well, as awesome as that is, I really didn’t use the 3rd row! It was just nice to have additional seating without being a full on minivan. Although considerably smaller, the Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring is actually a really great ride. It is just the right size for me and my copilot, JJ. (But maybe I need to compare them to the CX-5!)

The first thing I did was sync up my phone using Bluetooth which is so simple: I maybe pressed 5 buttons between the dash tablet & my phone. I love satellite radio and GPS navigation. The mounted dash display is gorgeous, simple to operate and easily accessible. I love that there so many memory spots for the radio too so I can easily switch between stand up comics, Coffee House acoustic guitar and 80s/90s music. I didn’t look into it, but I hear updating navigation for some vehicles can be pricey. In that case, I’d rather use my phone app. It is an awesome app if it is updated and having the navigation projected above the dash means I am not taking my eyes off the road. Safety first! 
                  

I was secured my son’s car seat into the center of the back seat since there are anchors for a car seat to go on either seat. From the driver’s seat, I can easily hand him his water bottle or snacks once he is safely buckled into the harness or to threaten him with discipline since he is in arm’s reach. One caveat if you have a passenger in the back seat: There really isn’t enough room for a medium sized human to sit comfortably on either side. You would need to choose a side for the car seat and a side for the other passenger. The car seat would need to also be on one side rather than in the middle if you plan on folding either seat down. The front seat provides plenty of room and would likely be the best place to put a taller passenger. Upon delivery, I had to adjust my seat a considerable amount because I felt super short in the car, despite how compact it is! The driver who dropped it off must have been a lot taller than me (which isn’t saying much because I’m 5’2″!), but Wow – that’s a wide range of adjustment available! 
As a mom, one of the biggest concerns for most families is safety. Since it’s a smaller vehicle, of course, it makes us big, tall SUV drivers feel a bit vulnerable. Well, Mazda hit it out of the park with 5 star crash ratings for both front and side impacts for the 2017 Mazda CX-3. The rating for a rollover crash was four stars: https://www.edmunds.com/car-news/2017-mazda-cx-3-earns-five-star-safety-rating-from-federal-government.html With all the safety features like sensors to notify you of cross traffic, rear cameras as well as (a safety package that includes) Smart City Brakes and lane change clearance, a lot of collisions can be avoided. Everyone can also exercise more caution when driving (this town can be very dangerous).
Aside from the many features of the Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring, what makes you decide to actually purchase a vehicle?! Are their deal breakers or must-haves that you have in mind to limit your search? I never realized how many options are out there… One friend who is also a part of the DriveShop program has her basic features that she appreciates: seat adjustment memory so she and her husband can switch drivers at the push of a button. Since I’m the only driver right now, this isn’t a necessity for our family. I honestly don’t even think about it! Although, when I valet or get the car washed, it’s nice to go back to my exact seat adjustments! What scores big points for me is the safety ratings/features, the fuel efficiency, its resale value or the longevity of a car. I do care about curb appeal, having a the sun roof/moon roof, and what colors it comes in, but those are secondary thoughts. Having volume controls and tuning right at your finger tips is also very helpful. There are multiple cup holders which is nice, but 2 tall to go cups with straws in them do not sit well under the armrest in the front. There is no vents in the center like other test drives we have had, but the center air vent is strong enough to cool or warm my son in his car seat. I can just angle the vent on the left side of the steering wheel if I need more air flow. There is so much bang for your buck when it comes to the Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring. The fact that they are also priced at almost half of the price of the CX-9 is a bonus too (depending on the options selected, of course). Happy car shopping! Let me know what your must-have features are when you are deciding which vehicle to buy. Are their any deal breakers for you?!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Big Thanks to Mazda for the opportunity to test drive their beautiful vehicles and massive gratitude to DriveShop for the opportunity to be a part of the program! I am really opening my eyes to many brands and so many different models that I did not expect to enjoy driving. I appreciate the subtle differences and yet it makes me realize what is most important! I hope you enjoy what I have presented and I am eager to hear your feedback! 
 
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MAZDA DEALERSHIPS IN THE LAS VEGAS VALLEY
 
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6525 Centennial Center Blvd , Las Vegas 89149
702-784-1100
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*SPONSORED POST*, Body Image, Reviews, Test Drive

2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}

2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Vehicle Review :: DriveShop}

***Big Thanks to DriveShop for providing this test drive vehicle in exchange for an honest review.***

First of all, I am a sucker for leather. Red leather in particular. I have no idea what this means about me, but I do know, when it comes to vehicles, it is a major plus in my book! The 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD is absolutely stunning – The curb appeal is really outstanding! Honestly, I haven’t thought of Mazdas since the RX7 of the 80s. (So now you know how old I really am! And I apologize Mazda – I’ve missed a ton…sad face emoji) The CX-9 is sporty and classy looking all at once. LED taillights, headlights and signature grille, twenty inch alloy wheels, all-season tires, rear roof spoiler, power lift gate and privacy glass. It has the coveted Angel Eyes LED headlights also found on BMWs. My luxury vehicle aficionado friend was really impressed with this vehicle since he can appreciate the luxury selling points even more when they come without the luxury price point. The suggested price for this specific test drive is above $45K. Granted, this is probably more than what I would like to invest in a vehicle right now, but it only motivates me to research how well it ages. I’m not afraid of purchasing a used car and I’m also not above leasing a car either! 

I think the crossover class of vehicles is really best suited for my family. After driving the Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD for one week, I now find myself wanting to test drive every crossover vehicle available in the Valley just to convince myself that I don’t want to buy a CX-9 for our family! It really blew my mind – Super impressed, Super surprising. Maybe it’s the third row seating, maybe it’s the heated seats, maybe it’s the leather. If you’ve read any of my reviews, I’m all about the leather: the smell, the look, the ease of cleaning (Yes, I find it easier than cloth! Way easier…) 

I was really surprised to see third row seating because in my mind, only a large minivan or a Suburban could seat seven. Two in the first row, three in the second and two in the way, way back. There is, however, a caveat: I installed my son’s car seat in the second row. The CX-9 is a four door vehicle despite having the additional row of seating so getting passengers out of the third row requires the center row to be moved forward and the seat back to be bent forward. This is virtually impossible when a car seat is installed in the center. Since the seat back is split, I can see how entering and exiting would be easier with the car seat installed in one or the other side as opposed to the center. The back row seats would not be comfortable for passengers taller than maybe 5’4″ since leg room is limited. basically the second and third row seats split leg room. The kids will love it though: My sweet friend and CX-9 owner has a 7 year old and 10 year old twins who fight to sit in the way, way back! You can fold the third row of seats down and just increase the ‘trunk’ space. I do like that you cannot see into the back where groceries and other items would be packed away. The button to automatically shut the lift gate lights up so at night, there’s no fumbling around for your keys or feeling around for the button. If you do use the third row for passengers, there are aluminum roof rails available.

Active Driving Display

I love the moon roof especially because my son has limited views being in a car seat so opening up the roof gives him more to look at too! The interior has Nappa-trimmed leather, both front seats are heated and adjustable with driver seat memory and lumbar adjustment. During the winter, heated seats are so necessary! aluminum and rosewood trim makes for such a luxury experience. There is an eight inch display for the rear camera and navigation system. It looks like a space ship cockpit in here! I love the Active Driving Display that projects my speed onto the interior of the windshield = genius! When I set the navigation, it also shows me the next turn of my directions – right there on the windshield = GENIUS!

My mom friend, Janel and I took our sons (ages 4, 5 = 1 car seat, 1 booster in second row plus snow paraphernalia in the trunk) in the Mazda CX-9 for a road trip up to Mt. Charleston to make snowmen and drink hot chocolate. Usually, I sweat the trip as my truck is not AWD and I have to pack as lightly as possible just so I don’t have to be super embarrassed watching cars go around us as we climb slowly up the mountain. This time, we got to take scenic pictures, hear great music on SiriusXM over the crystal clear BOSE speakers and we even felt badly for a number of drivers we saw getting stuck in the snow (Janel even got out to help push one woman’s car out of an embankment with another passerby!) I am not adventurous enough to have tried this loan vehicle in the snow as I am a firm believer there is a reason why snow tires are a thing! 

More than any other vehicle I’ve test driven thus far, this is the one I can see myself owning and driving every day.

Overall, this has been my favorite test drive so far. It has all the wonderful features you would want in a new car with all the bells and whistles: including third row curtain airbags, rear door window shades, key-less entry, push button start, back up sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, smart brake system, lane assist, hands-free Bluetooth pairing, etc. There is a lot of competition since most vehicles will come equipped this way, but for me, this was the vehicle that most fit for my family. More than any other vehicle I’ve test driven thus far, this is the vehicle I can see myself owning and driving every day. I am a strange one since I have been wanting a minivan since I had my son. Yes, I’m a single mom. Yes, I only have one child. I do have 2 dogs though?! I’m also the type of person to basically packs like I’m leaving town when in reality, I’ll be gone for the day. This could mean: a change of clothes for the gym, play clothes for my son after school, a file box of my son’s latest drawings and school correspondence, after gym clothes, hot tub or pool clothes for the gym, random extra change of clothes for emergencies for my son or me because of something my son gets into. Depending on the season you may see: camping chairs, pool noodles, picnic blankets, a collection of recyclables from take out orders or reusable shopping totes. You could say I like my vehicles spacious! I love it! I want it! Someone gift it to me, please! Happy Driving, everyone!

 

      

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