Traveling with a Tween: Mazda 6 Takes On DC

Traveling with a Tween isn’t always fun. The kids need more space than they used to. They want to stay connected but they still want to go to new places and visit new sights. This past week we got to test drive a Mazda 6. First of all it was a beautiful car but I wanted to see how it would do for traveling with my tween and most of all how would the Mazda 6 takes on DC. My first step since I wasn’t used to a car so big anymore was to take it for a spin to Solomon’s. I promise to tell you more about that trip next week though! This was all about DC. Traveling in heavy traffic, dealing with parking garages and how the different features of the Mazda 6 would handle it. I was provided with a Mazda 6 to drive for one week. All opinions are my own.

mazda 6 takes on dcCharlie and I had talked about where all he would want to go but by the time we finished with the first two stops, we just didn’t have time left for anything else. First we ran a small errand but then headed to Fuel Pizza for lunch. To get there though we had to get to the parking garage. I had some issues getting the navigation system to work for me (this is an extra feature and I’m sure if I had more time I would have gotten it figured out.) The infotainment system connected easily to my phone though and I was able to hear the directions from Maps through the speakers of the car. No need to look at the screen when I was able to clearly hear where I needed to turn. We made it to the parking garage. I had reserved a space the night before through Parking Panda. I have to say this was the worst parking garage I’ve ever seen. The spaces were extremely tight and there were only 3 small floors to chose from. After trying a few times I finally got parked. I will say I had to do like a 16 point turn in order to get in the spot safely but the Mazda 6 did it with ease.

Can you see how tight that spot is? There’s another car directly next to us and a barrier wall on the driver’s side. Charlie had to get out first and hold my door to make sure we didn’t hit the wall.

We then started walking over to Fuel Pizza. On the way we found a great art piece fountain. The birds were taking little baths in it and as we walked through China Town we found the Zodiac Symbols on the bricks.

At Fuel Pizza we had a delicious gluten free pizza and enjoyed the different sights in the restaurant itself.

Next up was the Spy Museum. It’s a quick 2 block walk from Fuel Pizza so easy to get to. We spent 3.5 hours in the museum so we gave up on all of the other things we thought about doing that day.

Charlie wanted to know if I thought he could fit like this in the Mazda 6. That black in front of the motor is actually a mannequin.

We couldn’t end the day without something sweet though so we took a walk one block north and hit up Red Velvet Cupcakery. They have a White Velvet and Black Velvet that are gluten free.

Now keep in mind how close those spots were. How was I going to get the Mazda 6 out of that spot. I was honestly concerned. First we loaded into the car and put the car in reverse. Here’s the easy thing:

The Mazda 6 we used had a back up camera which is a standard equipment item! Now this photo I had to take at a parking lot with better visibility just because the garage was so dark. But it made it easy to back up without hitting the wall or the columns that were behind me in the garage.

What other features are standard and a must have especially for new drivers? Traffic Sign Recognition system (it displays traffic signs in a small pop up screen above the steering wheel This is perfect for roads that you might be new driving and feel you haven’t seen a speed limit sign. It pops up and no excuse for speeding now.), Auto dim rearview mirror, and blind spot monitoring. I think the blind spot monitoring was my favorite feature. I’m either in Steve’s huge truck or in my teeny tiny car. My car has no blind spot its just too short. Steve’s truck has blind spots and I hate driving it in traffic because of it. The Mazda 6 Grand Touring that we used had the blind spot monitoring and it was fantastic in the heavy DC traffic. If a vehicle is in your blind spot on either side you have two warnings available to let you know they are there. Unfortunately they only way to get a shot of that would be to use my camera while driving so no visual on this one. One of the warnings is going to be in your side mirror. A small symbol pops up that has a car coming on the side of your car. This pops up on what ever side mirror the car is on. IE A car is passing you on the left side, the symbol pops up there. The other warning comes in the small reflection screen above the steering wheel. This symbol is just a couple of lines that surround the car on the side that a vehicle is on.

The funny thing while driving was that Charlie insisted he had to sit in the front seat so he could use the seat warmers. Forget that it was 100 degrees out he wanted to test them out. On the last 2 days of using the Mazda 6 we discovered that if he had pulled down the center console in the back, our car had the optional back seat warmers.

Some other features we liked were the warm leather seats, the signal that tells you which door is still open and the ability to control the infotainment system from the center console rather than the touch screen.

The trunk had so much space. I was able to do 2 weeks worth of grocery shopping without cramming groceries!

A great feature of Mazda is that in 2013 they developed the Mazda Drive for Good program. So far they have donated $129 million and over 192,000 service hours. I was given a $25 charitable giving card to donate to the charity of our choice.

First step was to find a charity I loved. No hard when I knew it had to be child related.

Second step was to outline how much I wanted to send and add any comments to the charity. #NolanStrong

Finally we got confirmation that my donation had been made.

I want to say thank you to Mazda for allowing us to test the Mazda 6 for our Mazda 6 takes on DC article. Can’t wait to travel some more next week!

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