int(123) Mazda Archives - Charell Star
Tags Posts tagged with "Mazda"


Compact, comfy and oh so cute, the 2017 Mazda3 packs a lot to like in a small package. I test drove an automatic 4-door sedan for a week (it also comes in a hatchback) and the ride was pretty awesome.   

Kicking it with my (loaner) Mazda3

First off, the car handles really, really well, like surprising well considering the price. Yes, $21,495 is nothing to sneeze at, but cars around this price point can be hit or miss. I drove this bad boy all around New York City and northern New Jersey to run errands. It was totally smooth sailing on the bumpy streets and long stretches of highway.  

Mazda3 Dashboard

The Mazda3 gets 28 miles to the gallon in the city and 37 miles to the gallon on the highway.  I drove a 2-30 mile radius around my home each day and didn’t have to refill the tank once. Plus, I still had more than a quarter tank at the end of the week. 

2017 Mazda3 Center Console

Not having to stop to grab gas was great and so was all the handy tech features built into the car. The Mazda3 includes a digital center console, an infotainment system, Sirius XM Satellite radio, hands-free dialing and Bluetooth connectivity for navigation. Of course, the first thing I did was sync my cell phone with the car. My Spotify playlist sounded great playing through the 6-speaker system and I might have got wrapped up in some carpool karaoke whiles sitting at a stoplight or two;).   

2017 Mazda3 Infotainment System and Dual Temperature Controls

I totally dug the built-in touch screen display which is the control panel for all the car’s tech features. It shows incoming calls, GPS directions, and the rear view when you’re reversing to backup or park. Below are dual temperature controls and buttons to activate the amazing heated seats.  

2017 Mazda3 Exterior

Overall, the inside of the Mazda3 was very roomy, despite its compact size. It seats five, includes a good-size trunk, advanced safety features like blindside monitoring and city break support in addition to front air bags, front side-impact air bags, and side-impact air curtains. 

2017 Mazda3 Rear

The Mazda3 is a strong car that feels firm as you drive. The added tech features make it a great value for the price and one to add to the consideration list.

You can also check out more info on the Mazda3 here

-XOXO Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress 

I’ve been on the go non-stop this summer and Ihave no reason to complain. From vacationing in Greece to shooting my tech pilot (air date TBD) and landing trend segments on Fox 5 Good Day New York and NBC 4 – New York Live, this has been an absolutely amazing freaking summer.

Me Having Some Fun At The Acropolis
Shooting the Outro for On The Scene Tech – Whoo Hoo

In my haze of happy I totally neglected a few items on my summer to-do list and decided I needed to check them off before summer came to a close.  So, when Mazda asked me to review the new 2017 CX-3 I lept at the chance to knock off some of my last minute items in style.


I’ve reviewed the Mazda 3 series before and this newer model did not disappoint. It drove smooth and included all the bells and whistles that a busy person would need to make a car their sanctuary – Bluetooth connectivity, active driving display, voice navigation, all-wheel drive, seating for five, wireless calling and my favorite for parking in tight city spaces – a rear view camera.


I started my journey by hitting up my local grocery store and restocking my empty cabinets (like I said, it was a busy summer). The trunk space on the CX-3 was more than adequate to hold a month’s worth of groceries and I didn’t have to load anything into the back seat.


Later in the week, I headed to the New York Renaissance Faire which has been on my list of places to visit for years. In the course of my 90-minute drive, I discovered two pain points with the CX-3.  The first is the navigation system (which I’ve written about previously). It’s not as user-friendly as it should be and it took my husband and I about 15 minutes to load the address in the system. We almost gave up to use our cell-phone GPS instead, but I refused to be defeated by a machine.

2016-09-03-15-18-52-hdrThe actual drive to the Ren Faire was great with the exception of the car’s blind spot monitoring. This safety feature was way too sensitive for NYC highway driving and went off constantly. It would give me a warning beep whenever a car was in my blind spot or when I’d turn off an exit ramp. I found myself tuning it out after a while, which defeats the purpose of the system. I’m not sure how to tweak the sensitivity level of the safety system, but would totally recommend it to keep from being distracted while driving. (FYI… Blind Spot Safety Mointoring is feature poping up in many newer model cars. I’ll need to review compatable systems to see where Mazda’s stands).

Enjoying the Ren Faire with a Costumed Lady.

My last stop in my Mazda CX-3 was the tester of all great relationships – Ikea. The hubby and I needed a new TV stand, so we made the trip to Elizabeth, NJ. Honestly, the ride there and back was easy-breezy and everything we purchased fit in the trunk easily. Plus, we made it in and out of the store without out seeing a single couple argue (which never happens). So, there might actually be unicorn magic in this car ????.

The Mazda CX-3 starts at $24,990 and totally makes my list of boss-babe car contenders.

-XOXO Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress

Most of my girlfriends are badass, superhuman, 9-5 working and I’ll knock out bathtime mommies these days and they are all taking bets on when I’ll join the club. It will be a little bit before I add a mini-me to the clan – the ink is barely dry on my marriage license after all – but I’m totally digging the amazing auntie and god-mom role I get to play right now. I’m also loving the fact that I get to be the getaway girlfriend and treat them to adults-only, treat yo-self days.

So, when Mazda asked me to review the 2016 Mazda3 S Grand Touring 4-door, I knew the best way to test it out would be with a mommy escape day in New York City.

(FYI…my friends are in witness protection, so I’ve omitted their names and images from the post. Just kidding. They are just really private people and I respect that, so I don’t include images of them online).

2016-02-24 14.27.17 HDR
This Soul Red Metallic color is everything!

I scooped my friends up in Brooklyn and they totally praised the amount of backseat room and smoothness of the ride. We were all craving seafood, so we headed to City Island in NYC to get our grub on.

This dashboard had me feeling like James Bond…only cooler.

The Mazda3 S Grand Touring came with Bluetooth, Sirius XM radio and autopilot navigation. I nicknamed the voice of our navigation system Sally.

2016-02-24 14.19.10
It took me a sec to figure out the navigation, but once I did, we were rolling.

At first, Sally didn’t seem ready to handle big-city living. Entering an address was a little complicated in her system and she was a little slow on telling us what was coming next on the drive, so we missed a few turns at the beginning of our journey. But she came through in the end. We just needed time to adjust to each other and get in a rythem.

2016-02-19 13.47.21 edit
This secondary navigation screen would let me know what turns were coming up.

After I discovered that Sally had a secondary navigation screen that displayed upcoming turns, we were on the same wave-length.

2016-02-21 14.05.26
Not the best shot, but the food was great.

We arrived at The Original Crab Shanty in good time and proceeded to devour plates of crab legs and lobster tails. We’re not dainty eaters;).

2016-02-21 14.02.58

From there Sally navigated us to Dashing Diva nail salon in Downtown Brooklyn. While on the ride the ladies updated me on the eye-popping prices of baby-strollers and the ecosystem of stroller accessories. I had no idea that these things cost more than rent in some places. I bet Mazda would see a spike in sales from pregnant women and new moms if they offered free strollers with every car purchase. Our Mommy Escape got real-life, real fast.

2016-02-21 16.39.08

Luckily, it didn’t take us too long to get to the nail salon and get back to pampering ourselves. Sally’s rear-view camera came in handy as we squeezed into a free on-the-street parking spot in the busy neighborhood. It was Sunday, so I didn’t have to feed the meter (winner, me). We then treated ourselves to manis and pedis.

2016-02-21 16.08.27
Me getting my nails touched up:).

From there, we headed to the movies to see How To Be Single. I love me some Rebel Wilson but wasn’t loving this particular film. I’m not saying, don’t see it. I would just wait for it to be on cable. We still had a great time though and the drugstore candy we smuggled into the theater might have given us a sugar high:).

I dropped the ladies off at home after the movie and we gave the Mazda3 the Mommy Escape Seal of Approval. We had a great time driving it around NYC and it was one of the nicest cars I have driven in a while.

2016 Mazda3 S Grand Touring 4-door starts at $25,795 with standard features.

-XOXO Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress