mazda

The Mazda’s no-extra-charge moonroof lets sunlight pour in
Credit: Judy Antell / Vegetarian TravelingMom

As many people who live in New York City do, my family tries to use public transportation as much as possible, and we often take buses or trains for short weekend trips out of the city. But with a dog in tow, and multiple stops crammed into two long weekends, we could not take the train.

Luckily, I had an economical Mazda CX-5 to test drive.

The compact SUV was the ideal size for our family of 5, or 6 if you count a lumbering yellow lab, who sprawls out on couches and seats. The Mazda has a hatchback with plenty of room for luggage and a lazy dog.

We were driving during the never-ending Polar Vortex ’14, when trains got stuck on icy tracks, so we appreciated the all wheel drive that let us roll over snow banks.

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All smiles in the back seat of the Mazda CX-5
credit: Judy Antell / Vegetarian TravelingMom

Mazda CX-5 is an Eco Choice

Most of all, I loved the 30 mpg the car got, all on highway driving. We drove from our home in Brooklyn to Washington, D.C. to look at college, detouring on the way home to visit my mother in New Jersey.

The following weekend we headed upstate New York, and loved the way the car handled the Taconic Parkway’s curves.

The car offered heated and comfortable leather bucket seats, with a high perch so you could easily see the road. The huge moonroof bathed the car in sunlight during the day and opening it is a feature I would love in warmer weather.

The back seat had ample room for 3 adults and a split seat in case you wanted to transport oversized items.

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The trunk has a split seat for carting large items
Credit: Judy Antell / Vegetarian TravelingMom

Safety Features of the Mazda

The Mazda has Smart City Braking Support, which prevents front collision when driving at low speeds in the city or in slow traffic. We were mostly in traffic-free highway conditions, so we didn’t test this out (and I would be too nervous that it wouldn’t actually work) but the idea is that a laser sensor automatically activates the brakes if the driver fails to. The sensor also has Acceleration Control, in case a new or distracted river accidentally uses the accelerator instead of the brake pedal.

The car also has a back up camera, navigation system with voice commands, rear cross traffic alert and blind spot monitor, all of which help you keep your eyes on the road.

A Reasonable Sticker Price

The Mazda Grand Touring AWD, with a Tech package that includes remote keyless entry, navigation system and that Smart City Braking Support is $32,075 – and the moonroof doesn’t cost extra!

Disclosure: Mazda provided the car for our test drive. Opinions expressed are my own.