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Ringing in Holiday Cheer with the Mazda6

With both our families in Colorado, the holiday season means spending a lot of time traveling in the car from one gathering to another. Both Drew and I are really close with our families so we are lucky that most of the Denver metro area is close enough that we can celebrate the holidays with all of our family without needing to book plane tickets!  

When Mazda invited me to try out the new Mazda6 I was excited to give it a go during the holiday season when we’d be spending a lot of time in the car and on the highway. When Drew and I first started dating he drove a Mazda Speed 6 and while the new 2017 model is a bit of a different car it felt very similar in both body style and ride.

Mazda6 is the perfect car for family holiday time

I’m a sucker for metallic paint jobs and I love love love this red. The color is just a snippet of how fun the Mazda6 is to drive. 

The Nappa leather trimmed sport seats have in-seat heating, perfect for chilly winter weather around the holidays and comfortable enough for a long car ride. 

The feature I love the most and wish was in my current car is the amazing heads up navigation display. Once the location is programmed into the center console navigation, directions appear directly in the drivers line of vision, meaning you don’t need to look away to find the next turn in your route. 

Beyond not needing to be distracted trying to navigate through town, the full panel of safety features was perfect for driving on the highway. The auto monitoring cruise control helps provide a safe distance between cars and the blind spot notifier lets you know if a care is hiding out of sight in the lane next to you. 

With tight door seals and thick front and rear class, there’s little to no road noise to disturb the Bose sound system as your travel throughout town. Having XM radio for a few days spoiled me with hours of new Broadway musicals in fully immersive sound. 

The sporty Mazda6 was a lot more fun to drive than my typical daily driver SUV and I could definitely tell that Mazda has made a commitment to creating a vehicle with improved power and control. With a starting MSRP of $30,695 the grand touring trim of the Mazda6 is a great car at an amazing price point. I’m really impressed that a car with this many features and a great style is available at a mid range price point. 

Getting to drive the Mazda6 over the holidays was the perfect car for making our in-state road trip more special! How do you celebrate the holidays with your family? 

Disclosure: I received the opportunity to borrow the Mazda6 as a complimentary experience. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review. 


Road Tripping with the Mazda CX-9

Prior to last month, the only time I’ve been in Los Angeles was for a quick conference, just one hotel shuttle away from John Wayne airport. When we started planning our California vacation, I knew I wanted to check out more than just the airport so flying into LAX and heading out for a mini-road trip was the perfect way to really experience the state (and the traffic it’s so well known for).  

My husband is a huge Mazda fan so when we were given the opportunity to try out the Mazda CX-9 for our road trip we were excited to see what features Mazda would be loading into their top sized SUV. We planned to arrive in LA with a couple of friends and head out on highway towards Palm Springs with a truck full of luggage and two sets of golf clubs. 

In most cars, this much luggage would be a problem, but thanks to the ability to fold the 3rd row down we had no issues loading up all the gear and getting on the road to beat rush hour traffic out of town. 

As we took to the road, the Active Driving Display projected the navigation in a non-obtrusive location onto the windshield. The heads-up display is only visible to the driver and allows you to focus on the road by putting speed and navigation just below your line of sight. I’ve never seen a heads up display before and I was amazed by what a difference it made in my driving experience. There was no need to wonder what the next direction would be, because it was already there right where I could see it. 

Once we arrived in Palm Springs and unloaded the car, I met up with a few more friends who would be joining us for the trip. With the ability to fold the third row seats back up, we could fit all 7 of us in the car, making it perfect for getting out into town for dinner. Even with a full car and tall men, no one was uncomfortable. With Drew over six feet tall, usually leg room is a huge issue, but the spacing between the seats meant that he and the other tall riders were all comfortable no matter who was sitting in front of them.  

Spending a week driving all around town, I fully expected to need to fill up more than once. I was amazed to learn that the all wheel drive model has an averages 23 MPG, making it a very fuel efficient car for it’s size.  

I’m used to driving a mid-sized SUV, so I was afraid that I might feel a bit overwhelmed by the size of the CX-9. Usually big cars are heavy and have large blind spots that make me uncomfortable. The back-up camera made maneuvering in and out of parking spots easy, and the weight of the car was not noticeable at all. 

We even drove up the Palm Springs Tramway canyon and the get up and go on the steep roads was a nice surprise. Heading into the canyon, the road warns drivers that they may need to turn of their AC to get enough power to get up the road – completely a non-issue in CX-9.  The turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine had no issue carving up the canyon road at all – which would be a must-have if I was to drive this car in Colorado. 

Overall, I am very impressed with the performance of the Mazda CX-9 and feel it’s perfect for big groups or large families. With all the bells and whistles, the CX-9 price is way less than I expected, with an MSRP of $45,655 and the entry level version of this vehicle is priced at $31,520. For how luxurious the interior was, I expected the price to be substantially higher and feel that the bang for the buck is unrivaled in this class. 

What type of features do you look for in a good road trip car? Leave a note in the comments!

Disclosure: I received the opportunity to borrow the Mazda CX-9 as a complimentary experience. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.