The 2016 Mazda 3: All of the Places We Will Go! #DriveMazda #DriveShop #ad

The 2016 Mazda 3: All of the Places We Will Go!

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Over the past week I had the chance to drive the 2016 Mazda 3 and I can say I was pleasantly surprised with many aspects of the car. First I will start with size, I am about 6 feet and 300 pounds and I normally do not like driving smaller or compact cars but the room inside of the 3 was deceivingly large. The cabin was large enough for myself and 3 of my co-workers to head to lunch and all ride in comfort.

Mazda 3 (16)

Mazda 3 (15)

Mazda 3 (14)

Mazda 3 (12)

Secondly I love the handling and the sport feature. I normally drive SUV’s or mini vans so I don’t get to open up the gas and push the pedal, but on my rides to work let’s get just say I enjoyed driving it a lot! Anybody in the greater Baltimore area is familiar with the 695 beltway around the city. When traffic is light the expressway is quite open, and I really had fun popping open the sunroof and turning up the Bose sound system and taking the drive. I liked driving it so much that we took it to a couple of other places…

2016 Mazda 3 (8)

2016 Mazda 3 (7)

2016 Mazda 3 (4)

Every year with head to the beach to celebrate my summer children’s (Kennedi, Trey, and J.B.) birthdays as they all are in May and June. So this year instead of taking our normal mini van we took the Mazda 3 out to the beach and the kids loved it. I loved the blue tooth music feature it let me access song files from my phone and play them in the car. My wife is now a fan of Bryson Tiller’s Trapsoul album because this.  The touch screen navigation was flawless and the Sirius XM radio kept us all entertained on every ride.

2016 Mazda 3 (3)

2016 Mazda 3 (1)

When the cold weather breaks we make a drive to the Loch Raven reservoir about once a month, it’s a beautiful hidden gem in the Parkville/ Towson area. We take a private one way road to get there but it is filled with scenery of rushing streams, lush greenery, and amazing views. Once we arrive, we drive through the reservoir gate and then some times we park and go for a walk, or sometimes we just keep driving and take in the beautiful views along the ride. The 3 was great for the trip it handled the sharp turns, mini dips and drops like a pro.

Overall I was supremely satisfied with the Mazda 3, after looking at the size I was  not pleased but after I drove it I fell in love.  A great driving car with many cool features and great safety features also. I didn’t think I would want to drive a small car but the Mazda 3 definitely has me rethinking that…

This 2016 Mazda 3 in Soul Red Metallic has a top of the line package.  This model has a MSRP of $30,270, the starting price of the Mazda 3 is $26,495.  To learn more visit MazdaUSA.com

We received the 2016 Mazda 3 in Soul Red Metallic for a week-long review from Drive Shop and Mazda.  Any opinions expressed are our own.

Hersheypark, Autism, and the 2016 Mazda CX-3 #DriveMazda #DriveShop

Hersheypark, Autism, and the 2016 Mazda CX-3

Hersheypark opened a few weeks ago for their Springtime in the Park preview and we just had to get up there for a visit.  Thanks to Drive Shop and Mazda we had a 2016 Mazda CX-3 to test drive that weekend so we figured we’d take the kids to the park for some springtime fun.

Mazda CX-3

We’ve been making the trip to Hersheypark so much lately, it’s second nature to us, so I was surprised when we were able to reach the park in an hour and twenty minutes, and that included a stop along the way.

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We stopped by Maple Donuts to give them a try, we’ve seen them on the road a dozen times in the past and never had the opportunity to stop so we decided it was worth trying out at least once.

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We ordered some donuts and sat down to eat before continuing with our journey.  It didn’t take us much longer to get to Hersheypark.  The Mazda CX-3 was very fast on the highway, and the ride was so smooth, it felt like we were sailing.  My husband and I couldn’t believe that we got to the park so fast, including the stop we made for donuts.

Thanks to Mazda and Drive Shop I received a Mazda Drive for Good Giving Card for $25 to donate to a charity of my choice.  When I received it I knew immediately where it was going. It was super easy to redeem the card as well.  I decided on giving ours to a local organization called Pathfinders for Autism that supports families like mines by providing valuable information about Autism, and offering events for families with autistic individuals.  We’ve participated in a few of their events including the annual Run Wild for Autism event, and their Downtown Sailing event.

charity card

Donating was easy and while Pathfinders wasn’t listed originally I was able to add it and complete the donation process in about ten minutes.  I was incredibly thankful for the opportunity to give back and excited to see that a company like Mazda was doing something this amazing.

The 2016 Mazda CX-3 is an amazing car, it handled well on the highway and my husband got to work for an entire week without having to fill up at all.  He said it would be a great work car for him.  I loved the suede panels in the car on the door at on the seats.  It added to the style and decor of the car.  The trunk in this car was odd, there was a panel that kept it covered, and there was also a secret compartment.  Without the panel and compartment the trunk would be very deep and a nice size, those two things I felt limited the space in the trunk area.

The 2016 Mazda CX-3 standard package costs $26,240 and the model we test drove costs $29,690, to learn more visit MazdaUSA.com.

Our Holidays with the Kia Sorento #DriveKia #DriveShop

Our Holidays with the Kia Sorento

After the week we spent riding around in the 2016 Kia Sorento, I do believe that if Santa’s sleigh was a car, it would surely be the 2016 Kia Sorento.  My family and I had the luxury of riding around in the Sorento for a week.  Thanks to Kia and DriveShop for the loaner for a week.  There are so many wonderful things I could say about this car, the most important one is how in one week our whole family became huge fans of Kia.

Kia Sorento Review

I’ve been sold on Kia since we had the opportunity to test drive the Kia Sedona last year.  It was an amazing car that was perfect for our family and I’ve shared with my husband on multiple occasions why I think it should be our next car purchase.  We were all excited about having the car for a week during the holidays, the weather was warm however it rained the entire time we had the car.  We were hoping to travel to Hershey but the constant rain made it impossible. That however didn’t stop us from enjoying the car.

Kia Sorento (1)
Lighted Foot Board

One cool feature of the car was the lighted foot board, once it got dark out, to help you see where you were getting into the car, the foot board turned red.  I never had to worry about where to step.

Kia Sorento (8)

Kia Sorento (7)

Kia Sorento (3)

Kia Sorento (2)

The trunk was very roomy and held quite a few of our family’s Christmas gifts even when we were using one of the rear seats in the car.

There’s much more space when the rear seats are folded down.  When they are up there wasn’t much space, enough to hold a few items.  Our family of six needs as much space as possible so we prefer a bigger trunk.  Despite the trunk size all of us were able to ride comfortably in the car whenever we were traveling in it.

Kia Sorento (6)

Kia Sorento (5)

Kia Sorento (4)

Everyone were able to sit comfortably in the Sorento when we took it out around Baltimore.  When we needed more trunk space we folded down one of the rear seats and had one of the kids sit back there.  If we didn’t need trunk space we had two kids sit in the rear section and two in the middle row seats.

The interior of this car had a beautiful two-tone leather that made it look like a million bucks.  Personally we wouldn’t get the lighter cream color because, well kids are messy.  With the rain and mud I was constantly trying to wipe down seats.  If you don’t have kids or your kids are older this color combination may work great.  There were lots and lots of cup holders in the car.  This is another feature that may not seem like a big deal but trust me it really does make a big difference.

Technology was another big plus in this car, starting with ample usb ports for all your charging cables.  There were also quite a few car charger plugs as well as a center console that gave the driver ultimate control.  The parking assist on Kia is mind blowing and while it takes hubby a day or two to get accustomed to using, by the end of our week loan he’s a pro at trusting the car’s system.  It’s always hard to go back to our everyday car after we spend a week with the newest and best on the market.

I just love this moon roof in this @kiamotorsusa Sedona. #driveshop #drivekia

A photo posted by Nickida Stephens (@nostephens) on

We loved the moon roof in this car, it covered almost the entire length of the car.  The only downside was with all the rain we didn’t get to enjoy it on a sunny day.  I should also note that if you happen to be absent minded at times the Kia Sorento is here to help.  My husband had opened the roof one day when before it started raining.  Once he got home and parked, the car immediately alerted him the roof was opened and needed to be closed.

2016 Kia Sorento (22)

Privacy is key to anyone and the Kia Sorento has shades on the rear windows.  Use them to relax while riding in the car, to block out the sun or to just keep out the prying eyes.

2016 Kia Sorento (4)

We haven’t had a Kia yet that people didn’t give us compliments on, and it was no different with the Kia Sorento.  Everywhere we went people complimented us on how nice the car was.  We had quite a few inquires from strangers about the car and what features we loved about it.  This is another great car from Kia and I personally can’t wait to see what else they come up with in the future.  I’m sure it’s going to be fabulous.

Our loaner was the 2016 Kia Sorento SXL AWD and the MSRP is $46,495, however the starting base model of the Sorento has a MSRP of $25,100.  To learn more about this and other Kia Motors cars visit them online – www.kia.com