My beautiful journey with the Mazda 3

2015-10-01 06:00
The stunning Mazda 3 in Soul Red.
 Photo: supplied

The stunning Mazda 3 in Soul Red. Photo: supplied

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WHEN it comes to cars and me, looks most definitely matter. When I first gazed upon the stunning beast that is the Mazda 3 in ‘soul red’ I had to do double take.

The new design of the car definitely had heads turning in the parking lot at my place of work.

The designers have paid attention to detail and the range is available in a choice of colours, although the soul red definitely works for me.

The daunting tasks I faced first were the automatic drive and coming to terms with the size of the car. I am a fan of manual and smaller (nippy) cars so I felt that I needed a driving lesson before hand.

But it was all good news because as soon as I sat in driver’s seat of the Mazda 3, I took to it like a duck to water…and so we began our journey.

While I do spend very little time admiring the beauty of a car, the most important aspect for me is the safety features. The Mazda 3 ticked every box in this department.

I spend a lot of time on the roads in Durban having to travel to different offices on the North Coast of KZN and the upper Highway area in Durban so my car and I have to be best friends. In an age where technology is the order of the day, it’s wonderful that we are now able to talk to our cars.

This feature is one of my favourites in the Mazda 3 (especially if you are opting to take navigation).

At the touch of the speaker button, strategically positioned on the steering, you can talk to the ‘system’ even instruct it to take you to a specific destination without taking your eyes off the road and your hands of the steering.

As if this is not enough, your concentration will never waver because this car (the Astina) features the all new active driving display (new to the Mazda range).

This is a clear pop-up panel which pops up when you start the car and is in line of the driver’s vision.

It displays your speed, navigation directions and other important driving information. I never had to take my eyes of the road and I was travelling around the city during a thunderstorm – not complaining because Durban is praying for rain.

And there is no need to complain as the rain was no match for the Mazda 3 in terms of visibility. As I said, I never had to take my eyes of the road.

The vehicle also has bluetooth connectivity and a sound system that will bring life into any party with all controls suitable positioned on the steering wheel.

An added bonus is the layout of the foot pedals. It’s positioned to give the driver control of the vehicle and there are almost no scuff marks on my heels. Ladies who have to drive in heels often will love this (take a look at the back of most women’s shoes and you will see the damage of driving).

Still talking safety, other excellent features are the blind spot monitoring system and the rear vehicle monitoring system.

The car basically ‘screams at you’ if you attempt to change lanes and a car is too close. This is a really important safety features as most people these days don’t practise the dying art of checking blind spots. The one thing I was a bit afraid of is parking this ‘beast’.

In Durban city centre, mostly parallel parking bays are available and if you’re surrounded by giant SUVs and double cabs, you’re going to have problem fitting in a car in limited spaces. However, parking this ‘beast’ was no problem at all. The rear camera made me feel like a parking genius. Unfortunately, due to terrible weather conditions I was not able to test the speed handling of the car, but I did enjoy ‘zoom zooming’ past a few sport cars on the highway.

If I had to some-up my week with the Mazda3, I would say – it was a relaxing and wonderful journey and I can see us starting a long-term relationship.

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