Posts tagged Minnesota
Fall Color Tour
The best part of fall is the beautiful colors as the leaves change. Our favorite way to see these changes is by going for a cruise in a convertible. Get one last rental in before the end of the MHCC season and go for a drive through Minnesota. Check out the DNR’s fall color finder to discover the best time and place to view gorgeous fall foliage!
If you need a route to take your freshly rented MHCC convertible, check out this list of roads that are “pure bliss in the fall” or these so called “rainbow routes“. Although it’s still early in the season for southern Minnesota, the northern parts of the state are nearly at 100% color change! Get out and see the best fall has to offer, and don’t forget the pumpkin spice!
Fall is finally here, and with it come a whole slew of new events. Minnesota is home to multitudes of pumpkin patches, apple orchards, haunted houses and more. Check out our list below for places to take advantage of these seasonal activities! More >
In between preparations for Mother’s Day, we got up bright and early for the monthly MN C&C. The sunny, spring weather was everything we could’ve asked for this month and it brought a ton of amazing cars out to the show! Thanks everyone for joining Morrie’s at MN C&C and making it a great show!
The 2015 Twin Cities Auto Show kicks off this week and Morrie’s Automotive Group made sure to hit the show floor earlier this week to show you some highlights from the show. If you haven’t found time to make it to the show yet, visit our 2015 Minneapolis Auto Show website to get a pair of complimentary tickets from any Morrie’s location of your choice.
Also, be sure to check out our YouTube page for some video footage from the show this year!
The Mazda CX-5 field vehicle that Morrie’s Minnetonka Mazda donated to the Minnesota Zoo for moose and butterfly conservation projects has come in handy this winter! Dr. Brian Kot, a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the Minnesota Zoo, has used it to check up on the wolves he is tracking using GPS collars, for a study of wolf-moose interactions in northeastern Minnesota. Brian is comparing how wolves and moose use their habitat, to understand where moose are at high and low risk of predation. Minnesota has lost more than half of its moose population in the past ten years. Wolves have also recently been returned to the US Endangered Species list with a “threatened” listing in Minnesota.
Check out Brian’s photos from recent excursions using the field vehicle!
Today we heard that the U.S. Department of transportation has proposed a backup camera mandate, requiring all vehicles built after May 1, 2018 to be equipped with a rear back up camera.We wanted to share this news with our readers to find out what you think about the mandate. Do you think this is fair, do you think this will be a helpful safety feature?
The National Highway Safety Transportation agency has sited an average of 210 deaths and 15,000 injuries per year due to back up related accidents. This mandate will require all vehicles under 10,000 lbs to have a rear-backup camera that allows for visibility at least 10 feet wide and 20 feet back.The estimated cost for a camera on each vehicle is an estimated $132-$142.
What do you think about this? Do you own a vehicle with a rear-backup camera? If so what do you like, dislike about it? Could you live without it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
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!
This past weekend there was a lot of excitement buzzing around here at Morrie’s Brooklyn Park. Why, you ask? Well it’s not everyday we have an NHL player stop by our store.
Minnesota Wild Defenseman, Marco Scandella, gave us a call last week to express his interest in the 2014 GT-R that was on our showroom floor. We were very excited to bring him in for a test drive to check out the vehicle in person.
He arrived on Saturday, smiling ear to ear, and after a short while, decided he was going to go ahead and seal the deal on the GT-R. If you’ve ever seen Marco, you know he’s hard to miss. We even had a few customers in for service that got very excited when they realized who was in the dealership on the same day as they were.
We were thrilled to be able to work with Marco to help him find the vehicle that best fit his needs. Give us a call or visit our website here for more information on our vehicles or to take a test drive today.
The all-new 2014 Kia Cadenza has just arrived here at Morrie’s and it is quite the luxurious addition to the lineup. This full size sedan is available in one trim level at a base price of $35,100. The vehicle’s standard features include keyless entry, an advanced navigation system, leather-trimmed seats with heat and power adjustment in the front, Bluetooth, an 8-inch touch screen, 12-speaker audio system and rear camera display.
This 6-speed automatic transmission is equipped with a 3.3-liter v6 engine that generates 293 horsepower and 255 lb/ft of torque and utilizes gasoline direct injection technology, which helps to improve performance and maintain fuel efficiency. The Cadenza achieves 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway and is sure to provide safety with 8 standard air bags.
Minnesota winters can make traveling difficult especially during the rush hour commute. Here are a few tips for driving in winter weather conditions.
If you do plan on traveling during a winter storm, make sure you are prepared. Before heading out on the road, remove the snow from all surfaces of your vehicle to ensure visibility while driving. Make sure your gas tank is full to avoid your tank freezing, and fill your tires with air to guarantee traction on snowy road surfaces.
Once on the road, it’s important to slow down, driving too fast is the main cause of accidents when driving in the winter. Make sure to keep your distance; it takes a lot longer to stop your vehicle when the roads are packed with snow and ice. If the driver in front of you has to stop abruptly and you are tailgating, you may cause a collision. This also means that you need to take extra time and precaution when braking and accelerating due to the reduced traction.
Be extra cautious on bridges and entrance or exit ramps, which are most likely to freeze first. Be aware of other drivers around you, remember to give snowplows plenty of room and don’t pass them.
If you do happen to get stuck in the snow, turn your wheels from side to side for added traction. If you get stranded make sure to stay in your car. Prepare in advance by keeping a safety kit in your vehicle. Refer to our earlier blog post for a list of items to carry when traveling during the winter months.
If your vehicle is equipped with a manual transmission, or one of the many automatic transmissions that allows manual gear changes, you can often use your transmission to your advantage. If you’re having a hard time moving or your wheels are spinning, shifting to a higher gear often helps gain traction to get you going. For planned stops, gradually downshifting as you apply the brakes can often slow you down quicker. You can get more vigorous with downshift to avoid an impending accident. In non-accident avoidance scenarios try to be gentle on the transmission, though, since brakes are always cheaper than transmission parts.
Most cars these days are equipped with traction control which does a great job of keeping you on the road and on the intended path of travel. However, there are situations where traction control can hinder your ability to move. If you find yourself stuck and needing to rock the car out of place, try turning off the traction control. Sometimes you need the tires to spin a little bit to get some traction.
Remember to take it slow, and use caution, weather patterns in Minnesota can change quickly. Being prepared and educating yourself on how to drive in the snow can help to make traveling in winter weather conditions easier and less stressful.