Test Driving the 2017 Mazda CX-5 and MX-5 Miata RF in San Diego

Did you ever think about how your car makes you feel when you drive it? For some it’s simply just a car that will get you around from point A to point B. But driving matters to Mazda and they believe a car should stir up an emotional connection behind the wheel.

I was invited out to San Diego, CA to spend a few days at the Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa with Mazda to learn more about their latest models the 2017 CX-5 and MX-5 Miata RF. Each car is hand crafted with beautiful dynamics and Japanese aesthetics. Mazda even let us have a one on one drive with each car to experience what they call the ‘Hashiru Yorokobi’, which is a unique experience of exhilaration, joy, and well-being a driver will have when driving a Mazda.

On our first day, we had a brief presentation about the evolution and history behind the challenges Mazda has overcome after the atomic bomb hit Hiroshima. The Hiroshima Spirit is the strength that pushes Mazda to prevail against all odds and overcome challenges that has led them to rise above all the tragedy. Preceding the presentation and the idea of what Mazda has incorporated in their vehicles, we set out in pairs and first took off in the CX-5 for a guided two-hour drive to Temecula.

2017 Mazda CX-5 and MX-5 Presentation

2017 Mazda CX-5 and MX-5 Presentation

2017 Mazda CX-5 Test Drive

2017 Mazda CX-5 Test Drive

Once I started to drive the Mazda CX-5 I instantly noticed the sense of balance in the interior layout of the car. Mazda engineers and designers focused on giving the driver the best experience by incorporating a unique driver-centric interior that allows the driver to focus on the road with minimal distractions.

2017 Mazda CX-5 Interior

2017 Mazda CX-5 Interior

A feature that I particularly liked was the full-color active driving display that allowed me to keep my head up and eyes forward on the road. Adding to its niftiness, the display can be adjusted to the height of the driver by pressing a button on the steering wheel. Another cool feature is the traffic sign recognition that automatically reads stop signs, speed limits, and ‘do not enter’ signs. The CX-5  was designed to deliver the best driving experience possible and it did just that for me.

Next, we stopped for a quick lunch and olive oil tasting at the Temecula Olive Oil Company. This family-owned and operated olive ranch uses traditional methods to produce fresh, full-flavored extra virgin olive oil using only California olives grown at the ranch.

Taste testing at Temecula Olive Oil Company

Taste testing at Temecula Olive Oil Company

Lunch at the Temecula Olive Oil Company

Following our lunch, we were handed the keys to the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF to drive back to the resort. This two-seater, fun to drive roadster has won the admiration of people around the world since its debut in 1989. Staying true to their roots, the 2017 MX-5 Miata has made its way back into the mix and is still a fan favorite of those seeking an exhilarating ride. Riding with the top down, the MX-5 Miata gave me a feeling of freedom and complete joy.

2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Test Drive

2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Test Drive

2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Test Drive

After a busy day of driving, olive oil tasting, and lunch, we arrived back at the resort to participate in a meditation session with a Sensei. Meditation bonds together the mind, body, and spirit to complete a sense of well-being and balance within yourself. And like meditation, Mazda has been able to bond together the combination of well-being, balance, and joy to enrich their drivers’ everyday lives and experience with the vehicles.

Meditation session at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa

Meditation session at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa

Remember Hashiru Yorokobi? Well, I felt so much joy, excitement, and well-being of driving both the CX-5 and MX-5 RF that I missed a few exits on our guided route, causing my car to be nearly late for our scheduled evening meditation session. Sorry Mazda.  

I truly enjoyed the relaxation and tranquility of the few days I spent with the Mazda team and colleagues. Thank you Mazda, for inviting me out to experience the Hiroshima Spirit.

Karen is a hustler in silence, speaking volumes through her actions. She is a photographer who captures diverse elements of life. Karen loves to travel, enjoy yummy food and inspire others through her own experiences.

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