Posts tagged LA
While being a photographer isn’t really as glamorous of a job as it looks, it does occasionally have some benefits. For example, I had the opportunity to fly out to Los Angeles, California last week for some photoshoots and while I was out there, Mazda USA kindly hooked me up with an all-new 2016 CX-3 to drive while I was out there. Although I would’ve loved a new MX-5 Miata to run through the canyons and to the beach, the CX-3 did a great job of swallowing all of my extraneous camera gear. It even came with the new Mazda Connect system that integrated perfectly with my phone in seconds so I could stream some tunes and read messages from my wife as I drove up the coast, all without having to touch my phone!
With Mazda’s reputation for sporty, fun-to-drive cars, I scheduled an open day into my trip so I’d have time to put the nimble little CX-3 to the test and see if it delivered the “zoom-zoom” experience of other Mazdas. My plan was to leave my friend’s condo in LA around 10:00 AM on Monday morning, drive up the 101 Highway to Santa Barbara for lunch, then take the Highway 154 north, away from the beach and into the hills for a bit before rejoining the 101 via Highway 246 to head back towards the beach at Gaviota State Park. My goal was to end up at Point Concepcion State Marine Reserve, which looked like a beautiful and rocky point that juts out towards the Pacific Ocean. With a solid mix highways, mountain roads, and even a few dirt roads along the way, I knew that the Mazda CX-3 would get a solid workout on this nearly 350 mile round-trip drive.
I waited until LA’s notoriously horrible rush hour traffic subsided before hitting the road on Monday. The drive up to Santa Barbara was surprisingly boring since the 101 Highway doesn’t really follow the coastline at all but once I made it up to Santa Barbara, I found some parking right on the beach and set off to explore a bit. After a quick bite down the road at In-n-Out Burger in nearby Goleta, CA, I backtracked a little bit to get back to Highway 154.
This is a fast, twisty highway that snakes through the hills, offering beautiful views of Santa Barbara and the ocean. While scouting the route the night before, I stumbled upon Painted Cave Road, a little ribbon of tarmac that had a huge concentration of tight, technical corners and didn’t stray too far from the general route I’d laid out for myself. With nothing but time on my hands, I figured I’d give the road a try and see where it took me. I made a quick exit off of 154 and was immediately confronted with an incredibly steep climb up a single-lane serpentine road. The views were breathtaking but I was forced to keep my eyes on the road for fear of careening off the side of the road and down a VERY steep drop.
After rejoining the 154, I continued past the oasis of Lake Cachuma before hopping onto Highway 246 where I drove through the picturesque town of Solvang, a town so proud of their Danish heritage that many of the buildings feature windmills and similar architecture to what you’d see in Copenhagen. Eventually I rejoined the 101 heading south towards Gaviota State Park and the beach. My plan was to arrive at the state park and then immediately hop onto Hollister Beach Road which runs right next to the ocean and looked like it should lead me to – or at least close to – Point Concepcion. Unfortunately, my plan hit a snag when only about a mile down the road I came up to the entrance to a gated community. The gatekeeper rather sternly informed me that road didn’t go through unless I happened to be on his list for the day. As I turned around and headed back towards Gaviota State Park, I pulled up Google Maps on my phone and quickly found another route, one more than an hour out of my way, that looked like it might be promising! I hopped back on the 101, this time heading back to the north and hitched up with Highway 1 which would take me back through the hills along the coast briefly before exiting at Jalama Road. According to Google, this would take me towards Jalama State Beach and onward to Cojo Bay Road, which I’d follow south to eventually get to Point Concepcion. I figured if I didn’t waste too much time, I could get there in time to watch the sunset.
While Jalama Road eventually led me to yet another gated road that I couldn’t traverse, it turned out to be one of the best driving roads I’ve ever encountered. I couldn’t make it to my final destination but it ended up being a blessing in disguise because it meant I got to drive back on my new favorite road! It’s a beautiful mix of fast, flowing corners with lots of elevation changes through a mix of hills, meadows, and forests before culminating in an absolutely breathtaking view of the ocean stretched out wide in front of me. By the time I hopped back on Highway 101 and was headed back to LA, the sun was beginning to set. I made it just short of Malibu before I was able to stop for a quick photo-op as the sun set over the horizon. The rest of the drive back to LA was dark and uneventful but the Mazda CX-3 made a great, and comfortable, companion for my 10 hour drive. While the 146-hp SKYACTIV inline-4 provided enough grunt to make it through even the steepest of mountain passes while still returning very respectable fuel economy and the interior, while befitting of a $20,000 subcompact CUV, offered all the features, technology, and comfort that I expected and then some! The CX-3 takes all the things that makes the Mazda3 such an amazing car and adds a little bit extra ground clearance and interior volume. I’d call this one a home-run for Mazda!
It was another busy day at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the 2013 LA Auto Show! We made sure to get plenty of coverage of all the Morrie’s brands, plus more to share with you. Here are more pictures and information from the latest debuts here at the show.
Nissan had quite the presence at the Auto Show this week with multiple Nismo performance vehicles including the all-new Nissan Sentra Nismo concept, the 2014 Juke Nismo RS, which will be available in January and finally the showstopper, the 2015 GT-R Nismo!
2014 Juke Nismo RS
2015 GT-R Nismo
Ford’s main attraction this week at the Auto Show was the 2015 Edge Crossover Concept and it sure drew a lot of attention. We were excited to be able to see the concept that will hopefully pave the way for the future of the production model Edge.
We were very excited to be able to get a closer look at both the 2015 Subaru WRX and the Subaru Legacy concept! The WRX stole the show this week as auto enthusiasts have been waiting for the production model to be unveiled since the concept debuted last year in New York. The Legacy concept was just as beautiful as we had anticipated with menacing headlights and a low sleek roofline.
2015 Subaru WRX
Subaru Legacy Concept
Kia’s k900 luxury sedan also debuted this week which gave us a better idea of the direction that Kia is headed with their transition to a full luxury lineup. Stay tuned for more information on when we will have one on our show floor at Morrie’s Kia.
We also got to see some excitement at the Hyundai booth where they brought an all-new Tucson hydrogen fuel-cell crossover, the 2014 Hyundai Elantra and a Veloster Turbo R-SPEC! Check out our pictures below.
Tucson hydrogen fuel-cell
2014 Hyundai Elantra
Veloster Turbo R-SPEC
Cadillac brought the Elmiraj concept to the Auto Show this week and it was constantly surrounded with individuals trying to get a gander. This vehicle is easy on the eyes with it’s long sleek sweeping hood, elegant look and gorgeous interior. This vehicle may not make it into production but we are keeping our fingers crossed. As well as the concept, Cadillac also had their recently revealed 2015 Cadillac Escalade on display.
Morrie’s is proud to bring you the latest news as it happens live from the LA Auto Show. Make sure to check our YouTube page soon for videos on all these great new models!
Morrie’s Automotive Group is proud to bring you live coverage from the 2013 LA Auto Show this week! Many of the brands in the Morrie’s group were debuting, revealing and introducing new models and we were live getting coverage to share with you!
The first press conference of the day, and arguably the most exciting, was Subaru’s where we saw the all-new 2015 Subaru WRX and the Legacy Concept. Attendees swarmed the stage following the press conference to look at the WRX and see how the vehicle has evolved since we saw the concept back in March at the NY Auto Show.
Nissan pulled out all the stops with an appearance by the company’s Director of Excitement, Usain Bolt, as well as complimentary beverages and their own Nissan NV grilled cheese food truck! The press conference was packed as they rolled out the 2014 Juke Nismo RS as well as a refreshed 2015 GT-R Nismo! Make sure to check out the photo of Usain’s signature pose below!
Ford got edgy this year with their all-new 2014 Edge crossover concept. The 5-passenger concept gives us a sneak peek at what lies ahead with the next generation Edge. Lately Ford has been focusing a lot on their driver assist technologies and it is no secret when you see what the Edge has to offer. A Collision avoidance system and a remote parking feature are enough to catch the eye of any consumer in the market for an affordable crossover vehicle.
Although the Maserati Ghibli has already landed at Morrie’s Luxury Auto, it was still very exciting to be in attendance for its North American debut today at the LA Auto Show. After you check out our photos, stop into Morrie’s Luxury Auto and take one for a test drive to get the real experience!
We made sure to stop by the Porsche press conference to get coverage for all of our luxury car fans and it sure was packed in there! The most affordable Porsche on the market, the Macan crossover compact SUV, debuted today as well as the 911 Turbo Cabriolet.
Hyundai was the last press conference of the day and as usual they did not disappoint! The crowd was packed as they unveiled a 2014 Veloster Turbo R-SPEC along with the new Tucson hydrogen fuel-cell crossover and the 2014 Hyundai Elantra.
Stay tuned for more live coverage from the LA Auto Show this week and make sure to find us on Facebook and Twitter for LIVE updates.