Archive for December, 2013
Last weekend, Morrie’s Mazda loaned me a fully-loaded 2014 Mazda3 Grand Touring. The Snowflake White Pearl sedan blended in perfectly with the snowy weather but kept my passengers and I coddled with leather-trimmed, heated seats in a nice and cozy interior. The SkyActiv 2.5L 4-cylinder uses a very high-tech hybrid-like system called i-ELOOP to increase fuel economy to 32 MPGs which means I had no problems driving all over the metro area visiting family before the holidays on less than a half tank of gas. The available navigation system that came standard on the Grand Touring trim level helped guide me along as if I was in command of Santa’s reindeer.
The 2014 Mazda3 is all new and completely redesigned. The exterior styling now falls more in-line with the more recent offerings from Mazda and to my eye, the Mazda3 looks like a miniature Mazda6. To me, that makes it the best looking compact car on the market today. The front of the Mazda3 no longer features the big, smiling grille that gave the car a rather polarizing look. Now, the front end is a bit more angular with the grille taking on more of a sneer than a grin. The new LED taillights look almost jewel-like which adds a touch of class as well. There’s also a hatchback which offers a bit more space in the back for transporting those large or unusually shaped items. In my case, it would’ve been great for carrying presents around! That being said, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I could fit in the trunk or rear seat.
Inside, it’s obvious that Mazda has taken a more European approach to Mazda3 GT. The seats are covered in perforated black leather with sporty red stitching. This same theme is carried over on the shifter and steering wheel where all of the touch points feel solid and well-made. Even the dash is entirely covered in soft-touch plastic which is almost unheard of in this segment. The hard plastics around the buttons on the steering wheel and door panels have a cool, high-tech looking carbon fiber pattern as well. All in all, it contributes to the Mazda3’s interior feeling much more luxurious and expensive than it actually is. Suffice to say it’s also incredibly quiet inside.
Taking a look at the technology inside, first and foremost is the all-new 7.0-inch touchscreen. It’s crisp and colorful with big icons on the home screen to access things like media and phone features or the navigation system. In addition to the touchscreen, there is also a small control knob that works similarly to BMW’s iDrive system in that the driver can scroll through the menus, toggle through screens, and press down to make selections. There are also a handful of helpful shortcut keys surrounding the control knob for accessing phone, audio, and navigation features as well as back button. What really sets this Mazda3 apart from everything else in the segment is the available head-up display. Mazda has implemented a small, clear plastic screen that elegantly rises out of the top of the dash above the instrument cluster and information like speed or navigation directions are then projected onto it. The Mazda3 is the only vehicle in the USA to use a system like this and it really does work well with the navigation system. The navigation system also features 3D map graphics for big cities like downtown Minneapolis and St Paul which add a touch of class to the Mazda3.
Now, Mazda has a long-standing partnership with Bose for their stereo systems and the same holds true for the 2014 Mazda3. This car featured a 9-speaker Bose stereo with a Centerpoint 5.1-channel surround sound and active noise cancellation. Of course, there’s also AM/FM radio, HD Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, a single disc CD/MP3 player and two USB ports. In terms of sound quality, this is easily one of the best in its class. When a phone is connected via Bluetooth, it also enables Pandora, Aha Radio, and Stitcher which all feature integrated apps that can play through the Bose stereo. One other advantage to pairing a phone is that this Mazda system will receive and read SMS text messages back to the driver and allow them to reply by voice command. One last thing to note about the technology inside the Mazda3 is that it is WiFi enabled. Although it’s not available to use quite yet, a future software update will allow the driver to connect their Mazda3 to available WiFi networks and download content like traffic and weather information.
Continuing with the all-new theme, the Mazda3’s SkyActiv direct injection 2.5L 4-cylinder engine uses a trick hybrid system to boost MPG while delivering 184 HP and 185 lb-ft of torque. The i-ELOOP system is basically a big capacitor that stores energy recovered from braking and uses it to power things like the headlights, stereo, navigation system and air conditioning so that these systems don’t need to draw power from the engine to work. This means that there is less there is less stress on the engine and better fuel economy. Other high-tech features in the Mazda3 include a blind spot monitor that alerts the driver when a vehicle is in their blind spot as well as a lane departure warning system that will let the driver know if they drift out of their lane. A back-up camera combined with a rear cross-traffic alert system makes parking in busy parking lots a snap.
So, what’s it like to actually drive the 2014 Mazda3? Well, Mazda has kept the “zoom zoom” DNA with a peppy engine and tight suspension that feels well balanced between sporty and comfortable. After driving the new Mazda3 with both the 6-speed manual transmission and the 6-speed automatic, I found the automatic to be the better all-around car. In the past, Mazda’s have made compromises in interior features and technology in exchange for being more fun to drive than the competition. Mazda has made it clear that there are no more compromises. With the Mazda3, you really can have it all. It’s a fun to drive compact sedan with loads of technology and safety features that delivers great gas mileage while still offering a level of refinement nearly on par with that of German luxury cars.
Now, with an as-tested price of $28,035 for this fully-loaded model, that’s priced near the top of the compact, front-wheel drive segment but by backing off on some of the options, you still end up with a really nice car that has all of the features you’d use on a daily basis for around $20,000. For those that are a little more budget-conscious, the entry-level Mazda3 comes in at just $16,945. Whether in base trim or fully loaded, the new Mazda3 firmly establishes itself as one of the best compact cars on the market today.
Guest blog post written by: Alex Bellus – a well-known automotive photographer in the Twin Cities area and a frequent attendee of MN C&C at the Automotorplex. He is an Automotive Analyst for IHS Automotive and has a wide range of automotive knowledge. Keep your eye out for his next Blog Post where he will highlight another popular new vehicle!
Morrie’s Chippewa Valley Mazda and Gordy’s County Market have teamed up once again to bring you the 90 Days of Giving. The holiday season is the perfect time to give back to those in our community. Over the course of 90 days, we will give away 3 cars and $1500 worth of gas to three lucky individuals nominated by someone in the community.
We gave our first car away the day before thanksgiving and the timing couldn’t have been better! Tiffany from Eau Claire, Wisconsin was very surprised to see us at her door when she was getting ready to go bowling. Check out her reaction in the video on our YouTube page and stay tuned for two more giveaways on December 18th and January 15th! Make sure to check our blog often for updates and video coverage of each giveaway!
Last month, 22 of our team members at Morrie’s Minnetonka Mazda put down the razors to raise money for prostate, testicular cancer and other men’s health issues. With your help, we made an everlasting impact on men’s health by raising over $9,000! We want to thank everyone who donated to our team and helped to spread the word. Many individuals within the Morrie’s Automotive Group and Morrie’s Minnetonka Mazda have been touched by cancer. We felt that Movember was a great oppertunity to come together and fight a cause that we care deeply about.
We made sure to have a little fun throughout Movember and we shared a lot of entertaining mustache content throughout the month. Head over to our Facebook page to see some of our Movember trivia, pictures and the winner of our “best stache” contest.
After decades of building small affordable vehicles, Hyundai is really starting to make their way to the top in terms of quality and reliability. According to the latest Vehicle Health Index Report, Hyundai has surpassed Toyota which has been a giant for years in the industry as the lowest-cost repaired vehicle. What this means for current owners of Hyundai vehicles is that down the road you will be saving more money than any other car owner that bought from another manufacturer.
You are especially in luck if you own a 2010 Hyundai Elantra which breaks into the top 10 at No. 8 of the overall least repaired vehicles. This has been published through a website called CarMD which surveys the repair costs of all the manufacturers.
If you haven’t already considered a Hyundai the time may be now. Hyundai has the lowest cost of repairs among any car on the road, . Make sure to check out Morrie’s 394 Hyundai on the web or stop by to see for yourself what makes the Hyundai so great!
Tis the season to give back to those in your community and this year we’ve teamed up with Mazda to do just that. Now through January 2nd 2014 for every test drive we will donate an hour of our time to a local worthy cause. But that’s not all! When you buy or lease a new Mazda, we will donate $100 to one of the select charity organizations:
Giving back is an important part of how we do business here at Morrie’s, that is why we created the Buy Happy giving program. This program gives us the opportunity to give back to local organizations through volunteering, donating, spreading awareness and much more. When Mazda customers purchase a new vehicle they will choose from the above organizations to donate to. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the American Red Cross, American Heart Association and Mazda Foundation are the four national charities chosen by Mazda and United Health Care Children’s Foundation has been chosen by us as our local charity.
For more information about United Health Care Children’s Foundation head over to their website. Make sure to check the official website of Mazda Drive 4 Good often to see how many service hours have been pledged and how much money has been donated!
Stop by one either Morrie’s Minnetonka Mazda or Morrie’s Chippewa Valley Mazda today to test-drive or purchase a vehicle and give back to one of these great organizations.
There is a lot going on at Morrie’s Brooklyn Park this weekend! Lucky for all you pet lovers, we will be having an animal overload. On Saturday join us for pictures with your pet and Santa! Midwest Animal Rescue and Morrie’s invite you to Join us this Saturday, December 7th from 11am to 3pm! Please bring a treat, toy, collar, or cash or check donation made out to Midwest Animal Rescue & Services to help a dog in need stay warm and full this winter. The furry fun doesn’t stop on Saturday, we will be at the Humane Society on Sunday!
Morrie’s Brooklyn Park Subaru will also sponsor adopt-a-pet day in conjunction with the Animal Humane Society and the ASPCA on Sunday. Give a shelter pet a home for the holidays and receive a free photo of your pet with Santa, a free pet travel kit and a chance to win a stocking stuffed with gifts for your animal! The first 50 visitors will receive a free travel mug so make sure to get there right at 11am! We will be stuffing a Subaru on our show floor full of these items so that we can help benefit homeless animals at the humane society. Items to bring in include on Sunday include:
-Digital food scale
-Cat and Dog treats
-Meat-based baby food.
This event will take place at the Animal Humane Society at 845 Meadow Lane N, Golden Valley on Sunday December 8th from 11am-3pm. For more information call us at 763) 424-4400 or visit the animal humane society’s website here. We hope to see you either Saturday or Sunday for one of our pet-friendly events!