When my mini partner in crime and I touched down in San Antonio, I was excited about the adventures we would have but I was equally as excited about how we would get there. Waiting for us was the shiny new 2013 Mazda3 to zoom zoom around town in. It was quickly evident the Mazda3 had received a small facelift from it’s 2012 predecessor. I’m glad they kept the sporty, compact design and happy that Mazda upgraded their idea of “standard”.
The inside kept in tune with the sporty exterior. The dashboard features simple yet sporty black guages with white lettering and blue accents. It also includes the a much appreciated multi-info display (MID) which features: driver info system with outside temp display, maintenance reminder, audio info, a trip computer, current fuel economy, average fuel economy, approximate distance-to-empty, and average vehicle speed.
Speaking of fuel economy. The 4 Door, 5 Passenger 2013 Mazda3 reportedly gets 28mpg city and 40mpg highway. As you can see below, the estimates are pretty spot on. We had the car for a week and drove mostly in the city (hence the paltry 21 mph average).
Even though it has a 4 cylinder engine, it performed nicely when I needed the extra pep to get around the slow pokes in Texas. (It might be just me, but does everyone drive slower over there or what?) This is in large part thanks to Mazda’s SkyActiv technology. The SkyActiv technology looks complicated at a glance, but really the concept is brilliant. SkyActiv features an improved transmission and the engine is designed to harness more energy from the fuel. According to Mazda “A bigger power stroke captures more of the expansion that happens when fuel is burned, meaning you harness a greater amount of energy from the fuel.” To break if down even further, basically it means I feel like I’m driving a 6 cylinder with all the gas mileage benefits of a 4 cylinder. Yee haw.
While it definitely failed my standard (can my toddler kick the back of my seat while I’m driving?) test,
it did accommodate all of our luggage and accessories with ease.
(If you’re wondering why the large suitcase needed to be up front it’s because I brought our large BOB Revolution Stoller and it took up the majority of the trunk space. But I would like to note that this stroller is a beast and would take up a good amount of ANY sedan’s trunk space so don’t hold it against this car :)
While Whistler and I were cruising around I realized one of my favorite features what that I was in complete control. The 3 spoke, leather wrapped steering wheel was really handy because it controls audio, cruise and bluetooth. So whether I was replaying his favorite song for the hundredth time or calling daddy to gush about our latest adventure for the day (and we had MANY), I never had to take my eyes of the road. Meanwhile, from Whistlers view (nearly 360 degrees thanks to the power moon roof) kept him occupied – perfect for looking at never ending Texas skies while we drove up and down the freeway from adventure to adventure.
I also LOVED that when I arrived and typed in our hotel to the nav system, not only did I get directions, but it also told me about the nearest places to park! I totally fist pumped because I was so busy before the trip that I neglected to look up parking alternatives to the $30/day option at The Westin.
Whistler and I used and abused the vehicle every day from sun up to sun down. From multiple up close and personal animal encounters during our wildlife safari (a zebra actually thought he could fit in the passenger seat) to the leisurely drive to the San Antonio Zoo, Sea World (can you tell we love animals?!) and Six Flags Fiesta – the Mazda3 didn’t let us down. There were even enough cup holders (4) for Whistler’s two sippy cups and mommy’s never ending supply of caffeinated beverages. (Speaking of energy, with two 12 volt outlets I was able to keep my electronic devices juiced up for plenty of picture taking and tweeting.) Even though the Mazda3 is smaller than I would prefer, I can’t say that it wasn’t family friendly. All our needs were met and I actually think it’s a great option for a single mom!
Disclaimer: A huge thank you to Mazda for loaning me this vehicle for a week. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.