It was my first time in San Diego, California thanks to Mazda, who invited me out to experience their 2017 Mazda CX-5 and the MX-5 Mazda Miata RF. I’ve driven Mazda’s before in my local market, but this drive event Mazda coordinated in San Diego was something special and the Japanese company paid great attention to the details – just like they do with their cars.
We stayed at the exquisite five-diamond rated resort Rancho Valencia Resort in Rancho Valencia, which was so beautiful I had to host a Facebook Live from my villa shortly after checking in.
Mazda then hosted a cocktail reception on the Croquet Lawn at Rancho Valencia Resort, where there vehicles surrounded the reception and picturesque mountainside view. Even a wild rabbit bounced through the dinner party, adding additional excitement to our evening.
But the next day, we got a crash course in the history of Mazda – in short, it started as a cork company in 1920 and were saved from bankruptcy in the late 1920s before moving into equipment manufacturing in the 1930s. Originated in Hiroshima, Mazda was completely destroyed in 1945 when the first atomic bomb was dropped on them during World War II. Much of the city was obliterated and 30% of the population died from the blast and ensuing fireball.
But the bombing of Hiroshima is where the spirit of Mazda was birth, and their ability to bounce back and thrive is how the brand’s indomitable spirit was born.
From history to horizons, I paired up with my friend and TV anchor/journalist Rene Syler to test drive the Mazda CX-5 and MX-5 Mazda Miata RF in the beautiful mountains of San Diego and into the surrounding cities.
We started out in the CX-5, Mazda’s crossover vehicle that I’ve tested earlier models of. It was great to explore the inner workings of the vehicle with Rene, as our driving needs and expectations of comforts from a vehicle differed in a his-and-her type of way. We even chronicled some of our ride during a Facebook Live broadcast – of course, led by whoever was the passenger at the time.
During our short drives (we swapped after about an hour or so into the drive), the immediate impression of the CX-5 was a positive one.
Mazda has a new color for its vehicle unique to only its company called Soul Red Crystal. It took nearly nine years to create and the color looks as though its wet at all times. I’m going to do an extended auto drive in a Soul Red Crystal model of the CX-5 in Washington, DC soon.
After an amazing lunch at Temecula Olive Oil Company – we had great food, picturesque food, were gifted bottles of Temecula Olive Oil and even saw a big snake just moving down the side walk – we swapped cars and went for an afternoon drive in Mazda’s MX-5.
The MX-5 was originally called the Mazda Miata. Executives at the company encourage people to still embrace the original name, as their are lifelong drivers of this attractive convertible. I recall being a college student and two industry mentors of mine, radio personality Michel Wright and Celebrity Insider/Author Flo Anthony both owning the sleek two-seater.
The MX-5 Mazda Miata RF was fun to drive as the sun beamed down on me and Rene. It handled the road well, had great pickup as a manual and was just attractive to look at. The advancements in the vehicle are exceptional, though it maintains a lot of the fundamental aspects that Miata purists love it for.
Both drives offered a sneak peak into the offerings of Mazda and heightened my interest in spending more time in both vehicles and other cars from the brand. Mazda prides itself on being a boutique automaker. Its desires to produce quality over quantity means Mazda sells less cars than some of its competitors, but its consumer is a loyal and typically are a repeat purchaser because they love the brand.
Mazda closed out this excursion with some wonderful spa and meditation services and then a dinner under the stars. On hand at dinner was a Mazda clay modeler, who showed how the energy of Japanese sculpting goes into the design of their vehicles. That is one additional nuance Mazda celebrates, as their cars are molded and approached like works of art.
Overall, Mazda offered media guests and Influencers a high-end experience to compliment their elevated approach to creating cars.
For more details on Mazda and all of its brand offerings, go to Mazdausa.com. To learn more about the spirit of Mazda and the inspiration behind the Mazda Miata, watch the video below.