A Doughmesstic job perk?
Getting asked to do fun things. Fun things that most people don’t have the luxury to do. For example – getting asked to take the 2015 Mazda 3 for a spin.
In Las Vegas.
After a brief introduction to each other on Twitter (seriously kids, get yourself on Twitter, it’s where connections are made every single day), my friends at DriveSTI hooked me up with this snazzy machine to tool around Las Vegas for several days while I was in town visiting a friend.
Upon my arrival at the Las Vegas sir port, I was greeted with a sexy grayish/brownish Mazda3. The brand calls this color Titanium Flash, though I’d say it leans just a tad to the brown side – which in my opinion, sets it apart from other grey tones. Makes it a little different, and I appreciate that. Finding your car in a parking lot full of other grey cars can be overwhelming!
I’ll be honest, I was a tad nervous. Here I was, fresh off the plane, it’s midnight, and I have no idea where The Strip is in relation to the airport. My Mazda3 was geared up with a Navigation System, but, the airport is guarded by flashlight wielding Nazis, and said Nazis spotlighted me repeatedly (and yelled, and knocked, and gave ugly faces) until I moved from the pick-up area without ever getting the address to the MGM Grand located in the system.
So I slipped out from that hostile environment and just drove towards the lights of town.
Believe it or not, I didn’t even get turned around. Not once. I drove straight to the hotel without a single problem, even without the Nav.
The next day, I really got to test her out, and see her for what she really was.
The Mazda 3 is a sexy little beast.
I am in no way a car enthusiast. I don’t know how many horsepower is a good amount of horsepower. I don’t know a drivetrain from powertrain. I don’t know about the things men discuss when they talk automobiles.
What I do know?
I know when a car LOOKS good. Feels good. If it’s roomy. If I can get a car seat in it. If it has features I appreciate. If it gets good gas mileage, and if it makes me feel safe. If it’s a good investment.
The Mazda 3 is all of that.
I personally drive a sports car in my day to day existence. A hotrod, I am often told it is. The Mazda 3 isn’t a sports car, but it certainly feels like one. It has plenty of get up and go, and it FEELS like it’s natural. Getting up to speed was never an issue, as she accelerated smoothly and quickly, and before I knew it, I was well above the speed limit, zipping out of the city towards Red Rock Canyon. The car had an accurate Cruise Control system, making the trip more enjoyable, and the gas mileage?
This car averaged over 40 miles per gallon on the highway. I loved watching it keep track of how many miles per gallon I was averaging, because at times, and honestly, MOST times, it was closer to 60 MPG. Even though gas prices are currently at a low for most parts of the country, having a great gas mileage is a wonderful thing.
As for handling, this sporty little sedan hugged the road, even on the twists and turns of the canyon highway. The open moon roof and large surrounding windows made the drive seem airy – less of a drive than a getaway. After a brief stop at an overlook, I was able to program the center console to sync via Bluetooth with my iPhone. I was planning to just listen to the songs in my own playlist, but the Mazda had much more to offer – including Pandora! It only took a moment for the car’s system to sync with my own Pandora stations, and soon I was off and running, tuned in to 80’s Ballads and Mumford & Sons Radio.
It was a good afternoon.
The car is loaded with ergonomically friendly controls…in fact, controls are just about everywhere. The steering wheel, on the screen, below the screen, and at hand level on the driver’s right hand side. Convenient USB and charging ports were located in the center console, making this techie loving blogger a happy camper.
After a jaunt through the canyon, I found my way back to Retro Bakery, where I met up with my sweet friend Kari, and loaded myself down with Retro Cupcakes and Lemon Cookies. Good thing I had a huge trunk! I jest, folks. Yes, the trunk is VERY large, but I didn’t need all that space for cupcakes!
Not only is the trunk large though (I’d venture to guess 4 large suitcases and a bevy of smaller bags would fit fine), but the interior is also very roomy. The back seat had plenty of leg room, and would fit two large carseats if need be, plus a small butt in between if you found yourself toting an extra minion around on occasion. The upholstery was sharp as well – a two tone creamy white and gray kept it sporty and smart.
There were lots of safety features – some you hope you’ll never need, in fact. But aren’t you glad you have them? Airbags, antilocking brakes, side impact safety features. Child locks and moving locks and the like…all great features.
I was a little sad to have to leave the Mazda3 behind when I jetted off to Houston a few days later, but I am so thrilled I had the opportunity to try it out. It is a great car, and a great value, in my opinion. The starting price on this ride is just under $17k, though the model I tested was loaded with luxury options, bringing it to a still modest $29k.
For more information on the new 2015 Mazda3, click here, or check out some of the info below.
The Mazda 3
Engine and Drivetrain Choices
- – 155-hp SKYACTIV-G 2.0L 4-cylinder engine with a choice of SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual or SKYACTIV-Drive 6-speed automatic transmission (i models)
- – 184-hp SKYACTIV-G 2.5L 4-cylinder engine with SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual or SKYACTIV-Drive 6-speed automatic transmission with sport mode (s models)
EPA-Estimated Fuel Efficiency
- – 29/41 mpg (SKYACTIV-G 2.0L MT)†
- – 30/41 mpg (SKYACTIV-G 2.0L AT)†
- – 25/37 mpg (SKYACTIV-G 2.5L MT)
- – 28/39 mpg (SKYACTIV-G 2.5L AT)†
- – 29/40 mpg (SKYACTIV-G 2.5L AT with i-ELOOP)†
Moonroof with one-touch open, 6-way power driver’s seat with manual lumbar adjustment, Variable heated front seats, Bluetooth® hands-free phone and audio capability, Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry & Start System, Rearview camera†††, Mazda navigation system, Bose® 9 speaker surround sound system with Centerpoint® 2 and AudioPilot®, SiriusXM satellite radio w/ 4 month subscription, Dual-zone automatic climate control system, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED Daytime Running Lights, LED combination taillights, Active Driving Display for driving information, Paddle shifters, Bi-xenon headlights with auto leveling, Auto On/Off headlights, Auto-dimming interior mirror with Homelink, Perforated leather-trimmed seats, Adaptive Front-lighting System, Rain sensing windshield wipers, MAZDA CONNECT™ Infotainment system with: 7″ full-color touchscreen display, multi-function Commander control, Infotainment system voice command,HD radio, Aha™ internet radio integration, Pandora® internet radio integration, Stitcher™ internet radio integration, SMS text message audio delivery and reply
Standard safety features include advanced front air bags, front side-impact air bags, side-impact air curtains‡, Dynamic Stability Control** with Traction Control System. 4-wheel ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Brake Assist. Available Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert††, E911 automatic emergency notification, Adaptive Front-lighting System, Smart City Brake Support‡‡, Lane Departure Warning System***, High Beam Control, Forward Obstruction Warning‡‡‡, Mazda Radar Cruise Control‡‡‡
Disclaimer: I was given the Mazda3 to test drive, but was not paid for my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.