Elevate your road trip with the Mazda CX-5

Mazda in MansonThis last week we escaped all of our day-to-day obligations and headed east into the mountains for some much needed family time. It’s been a hard few weeks for my family as we said goodbye to my family matriarch. We have been dealing with the pain of losing a beloved grandma {and great-grandma}, and I think we all needed a little togetherness with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents to grieve. Mazda 2So, we hopped in the Mazda CX-5 compact SUV that Drive Shop so kindly loaned to us and we hit the road, taking the scenic road just like she would want us to do and then ending with a visit to a place that’s always been near and dear to all of us. This was our first time on the Cascade Loop Highway in over a decade, which is obviously long overdue. Even with all the smoke from the BC fires, it was gorgeous.  Download (1)I obviously had lots on my mind during our scenic drive, but I still very much appreciated the luxury and the small details that make me such a huge Mazda fan. Overall I’ve been impressed with how quiet yet powerful all the Mazdas we’ve driven have been, and the CX-5 only reinforced that for me. Mazda CX5 from back

Here’s what we enjoyed from our week of zoom zooming in luxury:

Daddy-O Likes

Space for everything – The CX-5 may look super compact and low on cargo space, but looks can definitely be deceiving. We managed to fit a whole week’s worth of gear for our whole family, a stroller, swim stuff galore, and numerous bags of food to contribute to the food supply. Mazda CX5 rear cargoHeads Up Display – If you’ve never experienced a Heads Up Display, you don’t understand what you’re missing. Instead of having to glance down to see your speed, or glance around to see speed limits and more, you can see it right through the windshield without taking your eyes off the road, which is awesome, especially when driving backroads we were unfamiliar with. We love that you can customize what you see, where it is placed, and how bright and noticeable it is so your ride is as awesome as possible.

Rocking stereo – With AM/FM radio, Satellite channels and iPod and Bluetooth integration, plus streaming apps, there are tons of ways to enjoy the clear sound of the CX-5’s bumping optional Bose 10-speaker stereo system, and you can fine tune just about everything – including which seat gets to rock out the most. Download (2)Back up camera – Safety is paramount, so anything that helps keep us and our kiddos safe is a huge plus. Also, it makes parallel parking a breeze in the city, which is also great since parking in Seattle isn’t always plentiful or large.

Aggressive styling – The husband really likes cars that look like they are ready to go without being overstyled. The CX-5 looks super sporty and tough with a menacing grill, which he loved. Mazda front endManual shifting – Since we’re used to a manual transmission, automatic transmissions can seem like they lag a bit, so having the option of shifting is really nice. With the traditional gear selector you can shift with, it’s much closer to having the same feel as a manual but with the ease of an automatic. And the automatic in the CX-5 did such a great job anyway, we ended up driving for a few days before we remembered to even try manually shifting.

Driving experience – We are now Mazda believers since the CX-5 was so incredibly fun to drive. Everything was well tuned and balanced between the suspension, transmission and engine and it cornered like a dream, all of which really made it feel like we were in a smaller sporty car.   Mazda road trip

Mama Likes

Keyless entry and ignition – Keyless is less of an option for me these days than an absolute must-have. I simply keep the car keys zipped in a pocket and never take them out, which is especially awesome when traveling with 3 kids and all our gear alone.

Large, built-in screen – I really love the new in-dash navigation, back up camera monitors, and entertainment modules that are in most newer vehicles, but I especially loved the CX-5. I would absolutely love to see Apple Play added for even more usability, which rumor has it will be added soon. Mazda screenKnob selector – I like buttons as much as the next person, but there is something really nice about using the knob selector to navigate menus, make selections, and customize your drive without having to move your hands to press buttons. Once you get familiar with the selections, it becomes super easy to navigate the menus and screens to find what you need so much quicker than buttons. For those that prefer, you can also use the touch screen to navigate, or a combination of both.

Heated seats – I love heated seats, even in summer. My husband thinks I’m crazy with how hot it’s been, but I love the heat on my back pretty much year round. My only real gripe is that the passenger seat wasn’t very adjustable and I felt like I was constantly trying to find the perfect position unlike in the driver seat that is far more adjustable and has great lumbar support.

Download (3)

Retractable cargo cover – It may seem like a small thing, but one of my absolute favorite features of the Mazda CX-5 was the cargo cover that attaches to the rear hatch. This means that it goes up when the door goes up, and that means you never have to mess with it or forget to close it. We basically never had to mess with it the entire time we borrowed the car and instead just got to enjoy the extra coverage it provided in the back to keep our gear stowed and hidden away. Mazda CX5 rear coverBig, but not too big – I like sitting up higher when driving, but I really don’t want to drive a huge truck or SUV. The CX-5 is big without being unmanageable in a parking lot or on narrow roads, and it has ample room for our gear.

Interior trim details – Honestly, there is nothing that turns me off faster than “premium” trim all over a nice and classic dash. While my husband usually can find beauty in higher end trim, I run the other way because I feel like it dates the car much earlier. This wasn’t the case with the loaded CX-5, which was beautiful and sleek without taking away from the classic appeal. Mazda dashDriver assistance – All the new tech gadgets give a really awesome automated driving experience. With blind spot monitoring, lane departure warnings, auto high beam control, and the active cruise control that automatically applies the brakes if the system senses an imminent collision, the Mazda CX-5 felt safe and I felt comfortable driving it in town and on back roads for long stretches. Mazda tire

Kiddos Like

Good visibility – All the kiddos loved being up higher so they could see out the windows on our journeys. Of course, they also loved opening and closing those windows whenever we weren’t on the freeway. Thank goodness there’s a parent lock for that. Mazda before tripAll the bells and whistles – The kiddos were so excited that there was a flip down middle seat where they could plug in their potential electronics and hold their drinks. It really is the small things for them. If they actually *had* their own electronics and if their younger sibling’s car seat wasn’t blocking all access, I’m sure this would have been even more exciting.

Heated rear seats – While this was also lost on the kids since they are all still in car seats, we can all agree this is a really cool option that they will love… in 5 years or so.

Wide opening rear doors – Somehow Mazda managed to make door openings for the rear passengers that feel huge without pairing that with huge doors that could potentially swing out and hit parked cars, poles, trees and other close objects. My husband especially appreciated this when it came time to load and unload car seats, and I especially loved that it was easy to reach in to buckle the little one in the middle, even while reaching past car seats and kiddos. Mazda CX5

Overall impressions

We loved the CX-5, and it was the perfect way to zoom zoom out of town for the week. It held all of our gear and luggage without making us feel cramped and crowded for long drives. Creature comforts, versatility, and beautiful design throughout makes this a luxurious ride for adventurers like us. It’s always a sad day when Drive Shop comes back to collect our borrowed car, but this goodbye especially was difficult for the family.

Want to know more about the Mazda CX-5? You can find everything you need on the Mazda site as well as options available.Mazda front
Have you checked out the Mazda CX-5? What did you like most about it?

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