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Compact SUV reviews- part 2

mazda32016 Mazda CX-5 (2017 not available yet)

Mazda of Honolulu is located on Ala Moana Boulevard where the go carts used to be for a short time.  A friendly young man waved as Aunty drove in to test drive a CX-5.  This was the instantly likeable Leo Kim, who was more than happy to let Aunty check out their vehicles and ask a lot of questions.  The first question was, “Does it have a power lift gate?”  Answer, “No.”  This was a bummer and at that very moment, Aunty decided that Mazda’s CX-5 was not for her.

However, because Leo seemed more than willing to help, Aunty asked if she could drive one, even if not planning to buy one.  “Sure!” Leo said, and went off to find the keys to the Grand Touring top of the line model.  We drove to the parking lot of Point Panic and even though Aunty just wanted to hop in the car and drive, Leo had to point out the key features of the vehicle.  The safety of the body, the 180º backup camera, the oncoming traffic warning, lane change assist, cargo space and hidden storage, engine stuff that only men understand, and about Mazda’s CX-5 being ranked tops in its class by somebody or other.  It was quite impressive, actually.

And then, Aunty got behind the wheel and was super impressed with how quiet the ride was, how good it smelled inside, and how well it handled and drove.  It was almost like a Lexus inside, though not quite as plush.  It was with sadness that Aunty drove back to the lot with Leo, because this vehicle did not have a power lift gate and was a teeny bit too big.  While saying our farewells, Aunty spied the zippy looking CX-3, the CX-5’s little brother.  Oooooh oooooh ooooooh, SO cute!  “Does it have a power lift gate?”  “No.”  Bummers.  Even so, Aunty told Leo that she wanted to return another day to test drive that little one.  “Sure!” said Leo.  Aunty did return a few weeks later, got to test drive the cute but too small CX-3 with Josh, and then got a little talking to by Wayne (that’s Josh, Aunty, Leo, and Wayne in the picture above).

Wayne insisted that Mazda was just about the best of the best and that the 2016 CX-5 is better looking than the 2017, etc., etc, etc.  Anywho, here is a review of it:

2017 Kia Sportage and glimpse at the Hyundai Tucson

The next stop of the day was Aloha Kia at the corner of Lagoon Drive and Nimitz Highway near the airport.  Why a Kia?  Because when Aunty asked Mazda’s Leo Kim what he thought about the Korean cars such as Kia and Hyundai, Leo said that he thought they were good cars, because he is Korean.  LOL, Aunty had to chuckle, so also had to check out at least one Korean made car.

The Sportage is just the right size with some very nice features.  The rear passenger seats can recline, lane change assist is available, and it DOES have a power lift gate!  There is a lot going on with the exterior design, it does have a very peppy look and the ride was quite alright.  The front sides of the car rose a bit like shoulder blades and were a bit of an irritant to Aunty – taking away some of the visibility while driving, but that might just be something to get used to.

Martin Kozlik was totally not pushy and easy to talk to.  He even gave Aunty a color brochure of the 2017 Sportage with nice glossy color pictures and specs and such.  It has a special braking system in case the car in front stops suddenly as well as rear cross-traffic alert, lane change assist, and rear and front park assist.  Quite nice, but it had a strong chemical smell (which will probably go away after a bit) and the head rest was irritating to Aunty because it pushed Aunty’s head forward.  Still, it had a power lift gate that automatically opens if standing behind the vehicle with the key in close proximity.  Cool!

What about Hyundais?  Martin said that they were a level above Kias, and the Tucson was the same size as the Sportage.  Hmmmm.  The Hyundai Tucson SUV was a nice looking classic compact SUV.  In fact, it looked very similiar to the Mazda CX-5, with the same or better features than the Kia Sportage.  This may be another one to look at.

2017 Ford Escape Titanium

Aunty used to really like European cars because they are beautiful and they smell good.  Like a million dollars.  They also cost a lot more and have a certain prestige of flaunting wealth.  Japanese cars are for smart practical people, and so are the new Korean cars, except for the high end ones such as Infiniti, Acura, Lexus.  And then there are the American cars, which used to be THE best when Aunty was growing up, and then they weren’t.  Maybe they deserved a chance, especially after Daniel Morisato over at Infiniti of Honolulu mentioned Ford’s leading technology and improvements.

Aunty decided to stop in at Honolulu Ford on King and Dillingham after a quick lunch at Bob’s Barbeque (yum yum).  Somehow it felt patriotic.  Buy American brand, support an American industry, give it a test drive and then decide.

Stuart Alsup greeted Aunty and was very easy to work with.  After a short stroll looking at the demos on the lot, we got into a 2017 Ford Escape Titanium model that had the ability to park itself in parallel situations as well as backing into perpendicular parking stalls!  Pretty cool feature, and very foreign feeling.  Its best feature was a power lift gate – activated by waving my foot under the gate!  THAT was really nifty and Aunty was almost ready to sign up right then and there.

We took it out for a short test drive.  The ride height was nice and high, but not so high that getting in the vehicle was difficult.  It did not have a luxurious feel, no million dollar car smell, but it was adequate.  The control panel and interior were rather nice, and it felt like a solid safe car with more technological conveniences than I could remember.  The Titanium Sports Appearance package gave the vehicle a sort of macho, hip, bully vibe that Aunty liked, with black rims and nice partial leather/trim 2 tone seats that looked really nice.

The color that Aunty loved was called Magnetic, a dark dark grey metallic that looked like it belonged on a luxury car.  This color with the Titanium Sports Appearance package was pretty awesome looking, in Aunty’s opinion.

Stuart printed out a sheet with lease option pricing for 2 or 3 years.  The price looked pretty good, but the Titanium Sports model in the Magnetic color was away in their storage lot, and Aunty would wait until she could physically see and touch it before deciding.

Meanwhile, here is a review of the 2017 Ford Escape:


To be continued…..

About The Author

Aunty is a new senior citizen and loving this phase of her life. Less responsibilities, less fear of being weird, able to do more of the things that I want to do! Older, yes, slower, yes, but life is even more wonderful in my golden years and I look forward to even goldener ones.

Number of Entries : 379

Comments (10)

  • Musings

    I hate making these decisions. You are really fabulous at doing the research and making excellent choices.

    • Aunty

      For cars, this is the first time that I really researched and test drove so many. It used to be a snap decision before based on looks. Maybe I got wiser as I am getting older.

  • gigi-hawaii

    As you know, I prefer Korean cars, because I am Korean. I bought a Hyundai Accent in 2002 and 2016.

    David likes Toyota Camry, and that is what he bought in 2010.

    Good luck with your search.

  • Bill H.

    I sure wish you were doing reviews a year ago when my wife was looking for a new car! We looked at most of the same cars you are, and they all looked good, but when we were over at Tony Honda’s/Hyundai/VW/Honda/etc., looking at all their offerings, we saw this beautiful, sexy looking car in the line-up and we both fell in love with it on the spot. It was a Honda Crosstour and took your breath away. We bought it on the spot even though I have always said I would never buy a new car ever! But we just drove it off the lot and sucked up the $3 or $4,000 loss as soon as it left the showroom. And all she needed was a car to haul her clubs around in!

  • Cook

    Not interested in any of your reviewed models, but LMK if you plan to sell the Subaru.
    Your pal,

  • jalna

    Great reviews! Looking forward to the outcome.


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