It’s that time of year again, when sleigh bells start jingling, and Jack Frost starts nipping. It’s also that time of year when traveling is at its peak. People are heading home for the holidays, or perhaps escaping the winter’s cold and heading somewhere where sunshine is plentiful and beaches are bountiful. Either way, travel, especially on the road, can turn into the nightmare before, during, and after Christmas quicker than you can say bah humbug if you’re not careful and don’t plan accordingly.
I recently got to test out the Mazda CX-3 and I got to put it to the test during a winter storm here in Atlanta (the car color was Snow White Pearl! How fitting was that?!). Let me tell you, it passed with flying colors! So, if you have upcoming winter travel plans, here are some tips to surviving travel on the road, and why, if you’re not already a proud owner, you should consider the Mazda CX-3 for your road trip adventures.
Tip #1: Save on Maintenance, Rent Instead
Save on wear and tear, miles and maintenance, and consider renting a vehicle instead. Renting a car may seem like an extra, unnecessary expenditure, but, in the grand of scheme of things, it could be saving you tons, especially for long road trips. Driving your own vehicle for a road trip means, it’s up to par – the oil is changed, tires are good, it’s tuned up and ready to go. Renting, you simply get in and go, and leave the maintenance up to someone else.
However, there are some things to consider when renting; such as choosing a fuel-efficient vehicle. With 34 MPG, you can cover a lot of road in the Mazda CX-3 without having to stop and fill’er up. Another thing to consider are the safety features your personal car may not have. For instance, the CX-3’s i-ACTIVE all-wheel drive system that monitors the road conditions and adjusts power delivery to ensure optimal traction so that your tires don’t slip. This is perfect for those winter-weather road conditions. Not only that, the i-ACTIVE system also detects what’s coming and adjusts the throttle and braking patterns accordingly. I was so impressed by how the car knew exactly what to do and when to do it. When I set the cruise control, if I were coming up on a car, it would automatically slow down. If I switched lanes and the coast was clear, it would accelerate back to the set cruise control speed. Basically, this car drives itself and it is AMAZING!
Tip #2: Pack a Winter Safety Kit
You never know what can happen when traveling and no one wants to be stranded on the side of the road, literally shaking in their boots from the cold. So, always be prepared and have a winter survival guide packed and ready to go. You don’t have to stock pile your car like you’re waiting for zombie apocalypse to ascend; however, you should have a few essential items, such as:
- Blankets (I love these fleece blankets. They’re cheap, compact, and cozy. I never travel without one)
- Water/non-perishable foods
- Traction mats
- Portable phone chargers
- Small Toolkit
- Roadside Emergency Kit
- Paper towels
Since the CX-3 is a crossover and hatchback, there isn’t a ton of space in the trunk; however, if no one is in the backseat you can let the seats down and have quite a bit more space; certainly enough for your winter safety kit, luggage, or pretty large boxes as you can see below.
Tip #3: Plan Alternate Routes
Always, have a Plan A, B, & C when planning a winter road trip, especially if you’re traveling around peak travel times, i.e. Christmas and New Years. Cities like Atlanta, where traffic is already pretty bad on a regular day, can be a nightmare during peak travel times, so have a couple of alternate routes programmed to help minimize your time on the road. I loved the GPS system in the Mazda CX-3 because it provided up-to-date maps and traffic information. Therefore, when the snow storm threw a little wrench in my plans to take a short trip and visit my family, I was able to see exactly where all the traffic was and make attempts to bypass it. Simply program the routes before getting on the road and you’re all set. While everybody else is sitting in bumper to bumper traffic, you can breeze on by.
Tip #4: Secure Your Valuables
Nothing screams TRIP GONE BAD, like having your vehicle broken into, and your valuables stolen. It’s no surprise that the holiday season is the optimal time for people with sticky fingers to be on the prowl. Vehicles are filled with holiday shopping gifts and goodies, and one forgetful moment could cost you big time. So, check and recheck that your doors are locked. Another thing I absolutely loved about the CX-3 is that it has auto-locking doors. With its proximity key functionality, if you have the key on you and walk away from the vehicle, the doors will automatically lock on their own. This is perfect for those times when you are in a rush or gathering the kiddos and forget to lock the doors. It’s an extra peace of mind to know that your valuables are safe.
Why the Mazda CX-3 for Your Next Winter Road Trip?
Besides the incredible safety features I previously mentioned, this vehicle the smoothest ride and drive of any vehicle I’ve ever driven. It would be my go to for a long road trip. Some of the other bells and whistles I thoroughly enjoyed were the heated seats, and heated steering wheel, It truly came in handy on those frigid winter mornings.
There’s also the active drive display which projects the current speed limit, your speed limit, upcoming stop signs, etc. It helps to keep your focus on the road in front of you. The backup camera is always an added bonus, and if you’ve followed any of my other auto write ups, you know I love a good concert in the car. So, the 7-speaker BOSE surround sound was amazing! Aside from all the cool features, the Mazda CX-3 is one sleek and stylish crossover. Not only will you be prepared for whatever comes your way with these tips to surviving the road, but you’ll also be doing it in style.