31 August 2019

A SUMMERS DAY OUT WITH THE ALL-NEW MAZDA3

All-New Mazda3, Japanese design, Car review, Mazda3 review, Family Travel, Japanese Car Design

Since watching Extraordinary Homes on Netflix, The Optical Glass House in Japan seems to have captured Felix’s imagination and left him wanting to learn more about Japanese architecture and design. Mix this with his love of cars, seeing his face light up when the All-New Mazda3 was delivered to our front door was nothing short of explosive excitement.

As a family we love travel and good design, and always jump at the chance of adventure, whether it’s local or further afield. So when we were asked take the All-New Mazda3 for a test drive to a Japanese twinned town of our choice, we couldn’t resist a fun summers day out.

All-New Mazda3, Japanese design, Car review, Mazda3 review, Family Travel, Japanese Car Design

Twinned with Beppu, Japan’s most spectacular ONSEN natural hot spring city nestled between the mountains and the sea, Bath made the ideal location for us to experience the engineering that goes into the sleek and sporty design of the All-New Mazda3. Loading the kiddos into the car, made easy with the ISOFIX anchorage as standard, we took the scenic route using the cruise control, while Felix excitedly navigated from the back seat and asking whether he could sit in the ‘cockpit’.

We headed into the historic city of Bath, a UNESCO heritage site known for its Roman Baths and honey coloured Georgian architecture and although there are many links between the popular tourist destinations of Beppo and Bath, including thermal springs, a love of rugby and Saki festivals, it is always the open spaces and parks that Felix and Romi make a beeline for.

All-New Mazda3, Japanese design, Car review, Mazda3 review, Family Travel, Japanese Car Design

More than a car and a simple need to get from A to B, I love learning the stories behind great design and every Mazda is designed around one thing, you. Each car isn’t just engineered to move you literally, but to do so emotionally. This is called Jinba Ittai, meaning a sense of oneness between car and driver. Inspired by Japanese tradition, it symbolises the oneness between horse and rider, something entirely natural, like a true extension of your being that brings pure driving pleasure. Pretty cool ay and to be honest it does feel like the car is designed with joy in mind.

All-New Mazda3, Japanese design, Car review, Mazda3 review, Family Travel, Japanese Car Design

We drove past the Bath Holborne Museum in the hopes of cheering out the new Lauren Child: The Art of Illustration exhibition as it was a staple book when Felix was little, but unfortunately they were filming that day so we made mental note to head back next week and drove a little further on to Royal Victoria park.

All-New Mazda3, Japanese design, Car review, Mazda3 review, Family Travel, Japanese Car Design
Apart from the epic playground, this holds a warm and fuzzy place in my heart as we often go Ice Skating here at Christmas and it’s become a bit of a family tradition with hot chocolate, Christmas Markets and looking for a Christmas Eve book for the stockings. Romi got straight into the drivers seat on the wooden toddler playhouse, while her and Felix squabbled over who would ‘drive’ especially as he was keen to pretend he was in the new car using the heads up display, projecting the speed limit, actual speed and next navigation instruction onto the window when driving.

After the kiddos had covered themselves in sand we headed for a quick coffee and nose in our fave two haunts, Toppings bookshop and Mr B’s Emporium. After Paul and I met in a bookshop in London we can’t help but wander around stacked shelves and reminisce with family in tow.
All-New Mazda3, Japanese design, Car review, Mazda3 review, Family Travel, Japanese Car Design

All-New Mazda3, Japanese design, Car review, Mazda3 review, Family Travel, Japanese Car Design
As a surprise addition to our day out, we were gifted a picnic hamper stacked with Japanese goodies from sushi and seaweed to Lychee soft drinks to really immerse ourselves in the experience, before driving up through the narrow streets for a stroll along the infamous the Royal Crescent. Being conscious of driving through the heritage site and trying to be a more eco-conscious I was pleased to learn about the All-New Mazda3 innovative Skyactiv-X engine and its low CO2 emissions, it burns less fuel than a conventional petrol engine but provides better performance. Plus I can confirm that the Petrol needle didn’t seem to move even after a full day out so it’s economical too!

All-New Mazda3, Japanese design, Car review, Mazda3 review, Family Travel, Japanese Car Design

All-New Mazda3, Japanese design, Car review, Mazda3 review, Family Travel, Japanese Car Design
We eventually headed to the perfect shaded picnic spot, as the weather was being temperamental, threatening rain and got stuck in! Sometimes relaxing together outside as a family is just what the doctor ordered and it was sweet to hear Felix’s giggles as Romi gave the sushi experience a suspicious stare!

I wondered whether the car would feel cramped with two children, a 6ft4 husband and pushchair all in a hatchback when we were used to our estate, but in all honesty it didn't feel like that, and even though the boot space is very different compared to an estate it was such a treat to drive the All-New Mazda3. As well as all the cool tech details such as Bose 12 speaker sound system, Apple play and best parking assist I’ve ever seen (I would so need this), it very much felt that this sleek car has been designed and engineered to the enjoyment of the drivers experience.

All-New Mazda3, Japanese design, Car review, Mazda3 review, Family Travel, Japanese Car Design

Note to Father Christmas, Felix is now wondering how he can wangle one of these on his Christmas list or at least visit Japan for the architecture AND the cars. What can I say the kids knows good design!


*This is a collaborative paid post with Mazda. 
We test drove the All-New Mazda3 for five days to get a true feel for the car as part of this review. 
All words and opinions are my own. 
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