Coastal Cruising In the 2013 Mazda3

No compensation was received for this post.  The vehicle reviewed was provided on-loan from Mazda.

Pacific Ocean

As close as we live to the beach, people are often surprised at how infrequently we visit, particularly now that I have a school-aged child.  Yet the memories of driving down Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) on a warm summer day are not easily forgotten, and I embrace any opportunity afforded to take a coastal drive.


Recently, I spent one glorious week driving the new 2013 Mazda3.  One of the draws for testing out this particular car was the fact that my father owned a Mazda 323 many years ago. Apart from the fact that the Mazda3 replaced the 323, there aren’t many similarities, since the brand as a whole has made notable forward strides with regards to safety, design, and innovation.


My first impressions of the Mazda3 were positive. The exterior of the car is sleek and sporty and the overall look is something I did not expect from the brand.


Once inside, you’ll find a number of luxury features including an optional keyless entry start system, a welcome lighting system, 5-setting heated front seats, and dual-zone automatic climate control.  Additional features such as leather-trimmed upholstery, Bluetooth hands-free system with voice command, state-of-the art navigation, and a 10-speaker Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound System can be added on.


Since I was sporting a zippy red car, I thought I would take it for a test drive along PCH.  The ride was smooth, comfortable, and surprisingly quiet.  Its compact design makes it easy to maneuver on windy roads or in traffic, yet the interior space is such that 5 adults could fit comfortably.

Because I live in a state where fuel prices are amongst the highest in the nation, efficiency is vital.  The Mazda3 gets an average of 40 miles per gallon as a result of its SKYACTIV technology…impressive.

Kids in Car

While the Mazda3 has great appeal for a single man or woman, particularly with regards to its sporty look and feel, it can also comfortably accommodate a family. During my week-long test drive, I actually installed my childrens’ car seats so I could get an accurate idea of what it would be like to zip around Southern California in this car.  Since my children are both in full-sized car seats, we were not able to accomodate a third person in the rear seat.  While most weeks, this would not be a problem, I forsee that larger families may need a bit more space.


The 2013 Mazda3 begins at $16,700 which is surprising considering all of the features that come standard with the vehicle. To learn more about the brand or its vehicles, visit

 Images: Rockin’ Mama


2 Responses to “Coastal Cruising In the 2013 Mazda3”

  1. Joshua Hicks — June 19, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Great review and photos. Your kids are absolutely adorable!!

    • Caryn Bailey — June 19, 2013 at 11:55 am

      Aw…thanks Joshua!

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