» Commuting in the 2017 Mazda3 Grand Touring

I am blessed to work from my home office. Apart from a few weeks in Ethiopia and Uganda here and there you can typically find me working away under a heated blanket on my couch. I love it, but I also miss office life from time to time. That’s why I love getting the chance to spend a week at the America World corporate office in D.C. Not only do I get to spend time with our staff, but I also get to take in the sights of beautiful Washington D.C. On my last trip in I had the chance to give the 2017 Mazda3 Grand Touring a spin… and I’ll tell you… it was hard going back to my Honda Odyssey.

2017 Mazda3 Grand Touring

The Mazda3 was built for traffic. I had a crash-course in D.C. driving and found that the Mazda3 had me weaving in and out of traffic with the zip that only Mazda promises. Add the sporty moonroof for viewing Christmas lights and we were set. I drove the 6-speed manual (standard on the Touring model) which was an added bonus as I put my race-car driver moves to the test.

Things I loved:

Style – The photos say it all. The exterior and design is great and will definitely turn heads. The Mazda3 looks much pricier than it really is. And this particular color was to die for. Not only was the car a looker, the interior was able to comfortably seat up to 5 people. Talk about making the carpool to the office a bit more enjoyable! Another great bonus was the ample trunk space. You can easily fit 3-4 full size suitcases in the trunk. This was particularly nice because we all packed our fair share of shoes.

Performance – As expected, this car can go. D.C. streets can be a little (or a lot!) busy at times but this car didn’t have any problems. In addition, Sport mode came in handy when we needed that extra get up and go. The 6-speed manual that I drove was really fun once we hit the open road.

Safety – Similar to some of the other Mazda’s we’ve driven in the last year, this vehicle had an array of safety features: forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring. A new camera is now part of the package, which Mazda says expands the speed range at which pedestrians can be detected for the automated emergency-braking system. Cars equipped with the i-Activsense package (like ours) can now also recognize traffic signs.



The Mazda3 was comfortable, classy and functional with a bit of fun throw in. From USB ports, to heated steering wheels and traffic sensors I felt that this vehicle met all my needs and even a few wants. Who knew how much I would miss that heated steering wheel?? What impressed me most was the versatility of the vehicle, this car can fit a family of four nicely and still serve as a really good option for long work commutes.






Special thanks to Mazda USA for allowing us to test drive the 2017 Mazda3 Grand Touring. As always, these opinions are my own.

About the author


Erica is an advocate for simplicity, family time, making a cozy home and loving others well. She is the community coordinator for One Orphan, the orphan care ministry of America World Adoption Association. Erica and Calvin have four young children; Elliott, Charlotte, Lola and Liam. They currently reside in Nashville, TN.

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