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“It’s early morning and I am driving my son to school. To my left, I see a silver car. I think to myself, I wonder what type of car that is? There is a man driving it and as he starts to pass me, I see two small children laughing in the back seat. I start thinking that this man must be taking his two children to school before work. As the car is passing me I observe the size of the car. It’s a mid-sized vehicle. The kids not only look comfortable, but the man driving the car does as well. It’s attractive in design and definitely has grabbed my attention. Once the car passes me I look again. It’s a Mazda3.”



I recently had the pleasure of test driving the 2012 Mazda3 5-Door. I have never driven a Mazda so I didn’t know what to expect. I have seen them on the road and was excited to get into the driver seat and really test it out.

Let me start off by saying, WOW! I haven’t enjoyed driving a car this much in a really long time. We are an extremely busy family. My husband commutes over an hour, and traffic can make his commute almost three hours one way. I, on the other hand, not only commute to work but am the one dropping the kids off at school, daycare, sport practices, games, events and more. Needless to say we are in the car A LOT, so we expect a lot when it comes to the cars we drive.

There are so many fantastic features that the 2012 Mazda3 5-Door provides, and they are all definitely ones to brag about.

Gas prices are on the rise

The fuel economy on this car really sold me. Fueling our vehicle is taking more and more out of our family’s budget so having a vehicle that will take us further with the same dollar amount is important. For every dollar we save at the gas pump, we can put that money towards those family getaways we have planned. The 2012 Mazda3 5-Door gets 39 Highway MPG and 28 City MPG. I can tell you this, I drove it more than 250 miles and barely hit half a tank. By that point on the car I currently drive I would have been on empty and filling up yet again.

I was also really impressed with the size of the cargo area. Along with being on the road a lot comes hauling items you need to use every day. For us that is our stroller and sports bags. The 2012 Mazda3 5-Door not only held my jogging stroller but my son’s baseball equipment as well. Not to mention it easily had enough room to pile in groceries and my diaper bag. Once the trunk was closed you could not see in, making it safe to store expensive items that can easily be seen from many SUVs and hatchback vehicles.



Safety first!

One thing I noticed with this car is that they really put safety first. Mazda made it a point to add features to allow you to keep your eyes on the road at all times. My favorite has to be the Blind Spot Monitoring. It had been pouring rain the week I drove the Mazda3 and I was  really thankful for this feature. The side-view mirrors have an icon that illuminates when a vehicle enters the detection area to let you know there’s a vehicle next to you and you can’t change lanes. On top of that, if the icon is illuminated and you turn your signal light on a chime sounds to alert you.


Other great safety features include:

  • Adaptive Front-Lighting System: The first in its segment to offer an Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), Mazda3 5-Door helps illuminate the road in front of you to help spot potential danger around every curve. With the available Adaptive Front-Lighting System (AFS) the headlight beam automatically swivels in the direction the driver wants to go based on vehicle speed and steering angle, improving visibility while cornering at night. Available Self-Leveling Bi-Xenon High-Intensity-Discharge (HID) headlights use Xenon gas elements that produce brighter, broader light and last longer than traditional halogen bulbs.


  • Active Front Headrests: Active front head restraints help guard against neck injury in the event of a rear-end collision. During a rear impact, the front head restraint moves forward when the occupant is pushed into the seat back and helps minimize whiplash.


  • Steering Wheel. Mazda has everything you need built into the steering wheel from radio to cell phone. They even made hands-free cell phone use easier than pushing a button. Mazda vehicles equipped with Bluetooth Hands-Free capability now allow you to use voice-command or steering mounted controls to make and receive calls, keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.


  • Non-Distractibility: So many GPS systems can leave a driver distracted. The Mazda3’s GPS is located directly above the dashboard near the driver’s natural line of sight.


  • Top safety pick: The 2012 Mazda3 was also named a 2012 top safety pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)—pretty important if you ask me.

A lot of the safety features mentioned above are included in the Technology Package, which I highly recommend. Safety is a priority when it comes to driving and Mazda knows that. There are so many reasons to upgrade to the Technology Package:

  • Self-Leveling Bi-Xenon High-Intensity-Discharge (HID) headlights
  • Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS)
  • Auto on/off headlights
  • Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) System
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio with free four-month subscription
  • Anti-theft alarm system


“Always the soul of a sports car”

Driving the Mazda3 5-Door was definitely memorable. We couldn’t believe how well the car handled at every turn, bump and road we came across. We always felt in control. One of my husband’s favorite features was the SKYACTIV®-Drive six-speed automatic transmission. My husband is a fan of manual transmission vehicles, but for a parent that isn’t always ideal. Luckily with this feature we are easily able to switch from automatic to manual whenever we please.


The Mazda3 5-Door is a commuter’s dream car. Not only does it drive better than most cars in its class, but it is affordable. Starting at $19,300 the Mazda3 5-Door is, in my opinion, the only sports car out there that won’t break the bank when it comes to fueling your car.


As busy parents, I know what it’s like to not have time to go to a dealership, especially with the kids. That is why I strongly encourage you to click the image below if you would like to learn more about the Mazda3 or any other Mazda vehicles. They are wonderful to work with and can help you with any price range!


Big thanks to Mazda for providing me a car to review!  All opinions written are my own.