Mazda


Mazda’s CX-9: Seating for Seven
by The Car Family
for more reviews go to https://www.motorists.org/tag/the-car-family/

Mazda, perhaps most renowned for building smaller, agile vehicles, is starting to expand its appeal by offering a new flagship, the seven passenger CX-9. The result is encouraging for SUV buyers as it combines a refined interior, good fuel mileage, and an abundance of safety features. Perhaps the most notable feature is that this well loaded, family oriented vehicle places the emphasis on utility and enhances it with the interior of a luxury vehicle. In fact, if you opt for the Signature edition no one is ever going to know you are not driving around in an upscale European model.

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Adding to the uniqueness of the CX-9 is the fact it has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine while most competitors offer a six cylinder alternative. Don’t fret, the Mazda is plenty potent for two lane road passing or freeway merging thanks to its SkyActiv technology and smooth six-speed automatic transmission that keeps everything at peak efficiency. Even better our mpg average was 24 in mixed driving with 27 mpg on a quick trip to San Diego. As an aside, four cylinder engines are becoming the engine of choice as manufactures work to meet ever increasing environmental standards as such lxuru brands as Audi, Lexus, and Cadillac now offer these hard working units to consumers.

Mom’s view: If looks matter, Mazda is going to sell a lot of Mazda CX-9s and the good news is that the beauty of this SUV goes beyond appearances. You can get it with a full range of safety options including blind-spot monitoring, radar-based cruise control, and lane-departure warning that activate the adjustable collision-warning system and uses the automatic emergency braking system to avoid problems. The interior is splendid and feels scrumptious using real rose wood and aluminum accents as well as leather seats, and the exterior is snappy looking as well. This is not your typical SUV appliance. The ergonomics are easy to master and visibility is good, the automatic rear hatch gentle to use, and interior lighting is excellent. Even with the base Sport model you get three zone climate control, rear view camera, and seven-inch monitor with Mazda Connect, Bluetooth, and inputs. The CX-9 height helps eliminate worry when entering or leaving the vehicle and the ancillary controls on the steering wheel can be used easily even with long nails. It took me a while to get used to the accelerator’s need for a gentle touch as I am a bit of a lead foot, but once mastered it was pleasant to drive at any speed.

Dad’s view: The big news is how responsive the new 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder is thanks to some creative engineering to combat turbo lag. Mazda uses three values in the intake manifold that can close to force more pressure into the system creating more power at low rpms. The engineers have also devised a better way to harvest gases from the exhaust to keep the turbo on task consistently. The result is an engine that thrives while producing 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft. of torque. The result is plenty of pep, even for mountain driving. You can order an optional all wheel drive, but it was standard on our Signature model. The ride was similar to a much more expensive luxury vehicle and acceleration to 60 mph took around eight second seconds. Touch the accelerator and the CX-9 is ready to play right now with no noticeable turbo lag to hamper its class leading mpg rating. Steering is a bit light, but perfect for tight parking spots, and the overall feel is of a much smaller, lighter on its feet, SUV especially when in sport mode. The CX-9 is impressive, especially when given its pricing and features.

Young working male’s view: There is plenty of standard equipment, but Mazda does offer some interesting options. My suggestion is to go for the loaded versions such as the Signature or Grand Touring models, which feature a power front seat, power liftgate, eight inch monitor, navigation, 12 speaker Bose system, heated front seats and all types of safety equipment. The dash has a variety of analog dials that work well, but when is the most startling is that one of them carries a color LCD screen that can display trip-computer information and a compass. The eight-inch touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard was a long reach, but what I liked was the fact you didn’t have to use it to control functions as there was a large knob located near the console mounted gear shift that helped with imputing data. Mazda isn’t at the cutting edge of electronics, but its meat and potatoes approach should appease all but the most dedicated gadget break.

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Young working woman’s view: There are several models of the CX-9 to choice from, but the Grand Touring and Signature are worth the extra cost because of the added features. Mazda’s price range is from just over $32,000 to around $45,000 so do your homework. Inside, the second row has ample room and the seats slide and are foldable so there is easy access to the third row of seats, which are best used for children. Cargo space varies from 14 cubic feet of space to 38 to 71 depending on which seats are folded down. I greatly love the Mazda 6 and find it better looking, better handling then the competition. The same goes for this Mazda.

Family conference: The Mazda CX-9 is enjoyable, useful, and well priced being a significant value over the more expensive seven seat models from Honda and Ford, among others. Just a fun family vehicle with a heaping helping of value over a topping of exceptional styling. It may not go Zoom Zoom so Mazda might change its theme to Room Room.

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Mazda 6 : Not Just Another Pretty Face

by The Car Family
for more car reviews go to https://www.motorists.org/tag/the-car-family/

Overlooked, underestimated, and undervalued, the Mazda 6 is not only a bargain, but an exceptional family fun sedan with a frisky disposition, above average fuel economy, and a responsive engine. If you enjoy driving and still have frugal family obligations the Mazda is a must drive. For example, if you opt for its i-Eloop system you can get over 30 miles per gallon, and this isn’t a hybrid. And you don’t sacrifice quickness either as the 6 is energetic, maneuverable, and nimble. The steering is excellent as are the brakes. The downside of the Mazda 6 is two-fold. First, the ride can be a bit rough for roads that have been deprived of taxpayer funding. Secondly, the competition is staggering. There are the Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy, Kia Optima, and Toyota Camry tugging at the buyer’s dollars. However, none of them are as fun to drive as the Mazda, although each has its own attributes that make this segment of the market a treasure trove of choices for buyers.

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Mom’s view: Finally, a sporty looking family car. The Mazda 6 comes in three flavors, Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. We tested the premium packed Grand Touring. Standard safety features included anti lock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front seat and side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. Our test car also came with a rearview camera, parking sensors and blind spot and rear cross-traffic monitoring.

The 6 also had Mazda’s frontal collision mitigation system with forward collision warning system. Crash test scores were good as well. I feel saddened that this Mazda is overlooked by so many. It does everything well and yet feel people even know what a “6” is. Perhaps Mazda should consider going back to naming their vehicles instead of giving them numbers to help people identify. Everyone knows what a Miata is, but a MX-5 even though it is the same car? Different vibe. The interior is functional, but not without much charm. The aluminum trim pieces are well placed and the 7-inch screen on our test car was easy to read and use. The touchscreen has a knob controlled on the center console that helps with interactions, but it takes time to master. The trunk is ample with a fairly low lift-over and the doors open wide enough to make entry wearing a dress worry free. Plenty of storage areas and comfortable seats. Overall, the Mazda 6 is your morning cup of coffee that keeps you going.

Dad’s view: Peppy and personable, the 6 is a front wheel drive sedan powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 184 horsepower and can even be ordered with a manual transmission if the six-speed automatic transmission isn’t to your liking. It isn’t blistering fast, but it will keep up with most anything in daily driving and still provide 30 mpg in mixed driving. The Mazda 6 feels light on its feet with a sporty feel that can be stiff at times. The engine is very responsive and eager to please. Quiet, efficient, and easy to love, the Mazda 6 is athletic and appareling to those stuck in daily grind who enjoy driving home in something that isn’t an appliance. This is one of the few family sedans you can order with a standard transmission. Basically, this is a five passenger Miata. I liked everything about it except for the GPS interface. I found it better to utilize Waze. The fact that it is available with a stick shift is noteworthy and tends to deliver on the Mazda zoom message. Fun and practical.

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Young working woman’s view: There is an abundance of standard features such as air-conditioning, cruise control, 60/40-split rear seat, mufti-information display, Bluetooth phone, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, an iPod /USB interface with axillary audio jack. I would recommend the Grand Touring with keyless ignition and entry, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, dual-zone automatic climate control, a sliding console armrest and a six-way power driver seat. For the 6 Touring there’s an option package that adds a sunroof, an upgraded 11-speaker Bose audio system and satellite radio. The Technology package that features LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, heated side mirrors, heated front seats and a collision mitigation system with automatic braking. I would also opt for the rear parking sensors. The Mazda 6 would probably be on my short list of family sedans.

Young sort of working male’s view: Back to school and working part-time makes one appreciate the advantages of being rich. Until that day arrives I must scuttle my dreams of a new Lexus and remind myself of the benefits cars such as the Mazda 6 offer the non-lottery winners such as being affordable, dependable and not a total bore to drive. The rear seat is actually usable and the trunk can hold nearly 15 cubic feet of Amazon Prime bargains. The base version starts in the low$20,000 range , but options can push the price over $30,000. My sage advise, look for deals with the loaded Grand Touring model. The added safety options are worth it.

Family conference: Mazda has a hidden gem in the 6 and that is too bad because this family sedan appeals to those who love to drive, but need the practicality of a four-door. The technology is current, the option package attractive and the pricing competitive. Besides, the sharp looks makes it easier to spot in a parking lot.

Mazda 3 Hatchback: A Fountain of Youth
by The Car Family

Highly rated, eager to please, and with an abundance of perkiness, the Mazda 3 hatchback is a hoot to drive. In other words, this Mazda is a mobile fountain of youth where even a short journey can be entertaining. What this funmobile offers is a chance to relive your youth when money was tight and a good bike could get you most anywhere. And, just as your first bicycle, it handles well, is great for short trips or longer adventures, and is easy to maneuver. In other words, Mazda has another hit on its hands using the basic principle of providing enjoyable transportation at an attractive price point. As for the Mazda 3 hatchback, you get all of that plus versatility and there is even room for your bike in the cargo bay.

The Mazda has a starting price well under $20,000, but you can expect a loaded version to push close to $30,000. For that price you get an 184-hp 2.5-liter engine with a standard six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic, the Mazda Connect infotainment system with a touchscreen 7-inch monitor, a technology package and more. Just as importantly, owners are going to be able to enjoy a vehicle that is nimble with excellent driving dynamics, and an engaging character. The hatchback also gives exceptional fuel mileage that can reach nearly 40 mpg on the highway, and good resale value.
Mazda 3 Touring Hatchback

Mom’s view: Youthful, you bet, but the Mazda also comes with a reminder of the costs of exuberance with a bit of torque steer, a ride that can be noisy over unkempt roads, and some instrumentation that takes a while to master starting with the start/stop button hidden beneath the wiper stalk. Regardless, get the Skyactiv engine and chassis. They are well worth the additional cost with superior performance that brings the Mazda 3 alive. The interior is fairly luxurious, subdued and roomy with comfortable seats in front and 60/40-split folding rear seats. Safetywise our test vehicle had anti-lock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front side and curtain airbags as well as a rearview camera and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts. Crash test scores were excellent, a rarity in the compact segment. Mazda has made finding the fountain of youth as close as your Apple wallet.

Dad’s view: The 6-speed manual in our test car was among the best of shifting of any vehicle The clutch was forgiving, and the extra 29 more horsepower of the Skyactiva over the standard 2.0 was well worth the two miles per gallon penalty at the pump. Visibility is excellent, but the available blind-spot monitoring is a must. Mazda also offers an option that stops the vehicle to prevent low speed frontal crashes. Our loaded test vehicle was totally enjoyable with gas mileage hovering around 30 mpg in largely urban driving. Although the 3 is more engaging with a standard transmission, I would recommend the automatic transmission with its Sport” mode if you face a daily commute and the heads-up speedometer display was a blessing keeping as the gauges are a bit small.

Young working man’s view: Don’t leave the dealership without a thorough understanding of how the rotary selection knob between the front seats works. It isn’t complicated, but it takes practice. The standard four speaker stereo is acceptable, but not exceptional. Mazda also has USB and auxiliary inputs. Carefully consider the many optional features such as Bluetooth, cruise control, navigation, dual-zone automatic climate control, a sweet nine-speaker Bose sound upgrade, a moonroof, and a rearview camera to individualize your Mazda. I quite liked the idea of the hatchback and with interest rates so low it is possible to possess one for under ten bucks a day. That is my price point.
Young working woman’s view: There are six models, but my recommendation is to go with the Touring models. If you can afford it, the premium Grand Touring models have Mazda’s regenerative-braking system to improve fuel mileage, the Smart City Brake Support, a radar-based cruise control, and lane-departure warning. There was even active grill shutters. Regardless, this Mazda is always entertaining and ready for whatever challenge comes your way, whether it is a canyon run, daily commute, or vacation trip.. I liked the little, but the low height made it a bit difficult to enter and exit while wearing a dress. The 3 hatchback has a clean, uncluttered look with the variety of options and forms making it easy to individualize to your taste. I can see why it is top choice in the compact category.

Family conference: Recapturing your youth or just in the market for a well rounded, comfortable family vehicle, the Mazda four door hatchback delivers. Mazda offers less expensive versions of the 3 that might make a better choice if you don’t need the extra room of the hatchback. Our recommendations is that if you love to drive and still need room for the dog the 3 is for you. An amusing vehicle that brings out the youth in its owners. Add high resale, good gas mileage, and you have a practical time machine.

Mazda’s 5 and CX-5: A Family 10

 

by The Car Family

 

For more reviews go to http://www.motorists.org/carfamily/

 

Mazda should win the best underdog car award for its remarkable creation of economical, fun to drive, and utilitarian vehicles. Typical of these are its updated CX 5 CUV and the its minivan, named the 5. If you love to drive the 5 and the tossable CX-5 are a must to test.

 

Mazda CX-5

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The 2014 CX-5 is a compact CUV that is the most entertaining to drive of any of its competitors. The trade-off is that you don’t get as much interior cargo space, but 65 plus cubic feet is not only ample, but only a few feet under that of the much larger Honda CR-V, and the Mazda gets better fuel mileage and maneuverability is in the CX-5’s favor.

 

 

Make sure you or driving the one with the Skyactiv technologies that sharpens the Mazda’s performance and provides increased mileage. We got over 30 mpg in mixed driving with the all wheel drive version, 2.5 version. That makes it superior to the Subaru, the previous best gas mileage champion in the all wheel drive segment. The government has rated the model at 35 mpg on the highway for the base model’s 2.0 engine.

 

 

The 2.5-liter Skyactiv 4-cylinder engine standard in Touring and Grand Touring models and is a combination of improvements from weight reduction to better aerodynamic bodies to make this Mazda a heady performer considering its size.

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The five-passenger CX-5 are two rows of seats which can be upgraded from cloth to leather. There is good leg room in the second row and the cargo hold is generous with over 34 cubic feet of space. The ergonomics are straight forward, but the GPS is slow to respond and the audio outputs are limited.

 

Sport, Touring and, and Grand Touring are the models, but we recommend you go for the high end models as they have so many features including the larger engine, blind-spot monitoring, Bluetooth with upgraded stereo, a rearview camera, and a larger monitor. The Grand model offers standard safety equipment such as stability/traction control, antilock brakes, and front, side and side-curtain airbags. Worth every penny. As for the all wheel drive option, that would depend on your weather conditions. Safety wise you can also get the Smart City Brake Support, which can automatically stop the car at speeds under 20 mph situations to help avoid a collision. There are many other options, too, but we found the front and rear parking sensors must haves.

 

The bottom line is that this is a terrific driving machine that look good, drive well, and even run on regular fuel. A bargain, they start just over $20,000 but the Grand Touring models can breach the $30,000. Be prepared as to what you want in terms of options and models and note the dealers are offering some excellent prices.

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Family conference: Cute, comfortable, and affordable, the CX-5 comes with a plethora of features that make is a compelling choice for those who march to that different drummer. The bottom line is that Mazda makes the best handling, affordable, vehicles in the nation and the CX-5 continues that tradition.

 

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Nimble, great visibility, and enough power to make it fun to drive, the 5 is the utility vehicle of the future that caries a price tag from the past with a starting price just over $20,000 and we went 25 mpg in mixed driving. Despite its exterior size the interior is spacious. With the rear seating folded down you have over 44 cubic feet of cargo space and Mazda has incorporated a number of small spaces to provide storage for cell phones, drinks, and much more. The seating is comfortable and the ergonomics are well done. There is room for six by using the third row of seats, but the last row is small as opposed to the more generous front seats. The second row in our test vehicle had captain’s chairs which provided ample leg and head room and slide and recline. There is an abundance of features on the more upscale models, but even the base version has cruise control, automatic climate control, remote key less entry,and a six-speaker AM/FM/CD system with USB and auxiliary inputs and six airbags, traction control and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist.

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The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine offers 157 horsepower and 163 lb-ft of torque running through a five-speed automatic transmission. For a family of our this Mazda makes sense. If you opt for the much more expensive Honda, Nissan and Toyota models you are going to be carrying around a lot of unneeded and expensive to fix equipment so think carefully if you are looking for minivan at what you are really going to use it for.

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Family conference: This Mazda 5 is fun to drive. Really drive. It is easy to park and easy on the environment. Of the three versions, the Sport, Touring and Grand Touring, we advocate you take a look at the best price the dealer is offering of each model as we have found for only a few dollars a month more you can get a lot of extra features. Regardless, you get a handy vehicle that has wide opening side doors and a tight turning radius. Taking with the Mazda CX-5 this pair makes for a commonsense consideration for those who enjoy driving and saving money and aren’t afraid of not having the biggest gas guzzler on the block. Mazda’s Family 10.

 

 

Listen to Your Dog: Safety and Travel Ideas

by The Car Family

For more reviews go to

http://www.motorists.org/carfamily

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Diary Entry 21000.7

I have asked my care giver for a walk or ride every day this week without luck. I have tried to remind him that the new Persian carpet is tempting, but he has ignored my threats. I have developed new plan: guilt.

Dairy Entry 210001.8

After reading about the Jewish Guilt Syndrome I have decided to give it a try. I think it has a good chance since Hanukkah and Thanksgiving coincide this year, probably for the last time in a million dog years. I have practiced my beaten dog look in front of the floor length mirror. I just have to remember not to be saucy.

Diary Entry 21000.9

It almost worked. He fetched my leash, checked two websites for good places to walk when suddenly the plan fell apart. Apparently, the Center for Pet Safety researched dog restraints and only one model they tested passed and I didn’t have it. On the other hand, the big guy did promise he would buy one. In the meantime, he grabbed a handful of his fast depleting cache of plastic grocery bags and took me for a walk around the neighborhood.  It felt good to make my marks in and proud to be a quadruped.

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Diary Entry 21001.0

Life is good. I saw the big guy looking for ideas where to take me. I decided to help out and suggested he use the Yelp website. I love that name. He typed in the name of our city and asked for dog walks and out came the results with reviews and even photos.

I was pushing for the Cold Creek Trail and he caught my drift and agreed. Better yet, he ordered me the highly rated harness that The Center for Pet Safety mentioned. All I can say is that after looking at the restraint he bought me I was glad to be color blind. Oh, he did mention that since I was pushing a (muscular) 60 pounds that if I was not correctly fastened I could become a 2700 pound projectile if the car was in a crash doing 35 mph. I could have lived without that image. No wonder a thrash my legs when I nap.

Best Dog Friendly Cars

Diary Entry 21011.2

A new scent in the garage. I had noticed that the recycle bin had been especially full of colorful brochures of late and I can recognize images of cars. Good grief, I chased my share of them before I was picked-up by animal control and neutralized. Luckily, my new caretakers rescued me before long and here I am writing this post, which in my case, is a very clever title from a dog’s standpoint. Anyway, he narrowed the decision to three. The Mazda 5 is fairly inexpensive with easy to open slider doors and a low hop over entry height. I also liked the air outlets for the second row and the gas mileage was exceptional. The Mitsubishi Outlander has a third row of seats that can be folded down to provide ample storage space for a dog crate. This bargain priced SUV was another finalist until I advised the big guy that being in a crate wasn’t such a good idea as I could still be tossed around during an accident despite the 30 plus miles per gallon rating and noteworthy pricing. The same could be seen for the underrated Dodge Journey. Great value, plenty of features and room, and surprisingly easy to buckle-up in.  The finalist, much to my delight, was a Subaru Forester. Coincidentally, Subaru has several dog friendly options and sponsors The Center for Pet Safety. The Forester was fun to ride in and the all wheel drive opened up the possibility of reaching more adventurous trails. It also carried a 22/29 mpg rating. The elevated seating made it easier for me to check on what other dogs were cruising. And trust me, there were a lot of dogs, if you get my scent. My keeper loved the hill holder feature that held the car motionless on grades even with a stick shift, enabling the Subaru to start jerk free. And being jerk free is always a good thing. By the way, the local Ontario Subaru dealer refused to let me have my picture taken in at the dealership. We walked around the block and the Mazda dealership was happy to let us there. Thank you Romero Mazda and move Mazda into the top spot for dealer friendliness.

Best People Gift

Diary : Today

I decided to splurge on a gift for my keepers and pointed out the MapMyDogWalk free app to them. It tracks the distance I drag them, locates dog parks and they can even share my deeds with others. In the meantime, I think I’ll go outside and sniff around for Tribbles.

For free teaching materials go to http://www.reacheverychild.com/

outlanderside                                             2013 Mazda5

Mitsubishi Outlander                                                         Mazda 5

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2013 Dodge Journey

Subaru Forester                                                    Dodge Journey