Want Family Flexibility? Get a 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

Disclaimer: Thanks to Drive Shop and Hyundai, I was given the opportunity to test drive the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport for seven days.

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe  was a car that was rather hard to say goodbye to. We road tripped the heck out of this car and it was so incredibly good to us! I was concerned as a family of 5 that it might be a bit tight on our road trip to Vegas, but I had nothing to worry about. The Santa Fe was agile, comfortable, and maneuverable PLUS we got so many compliments on it! The color was called nightfall blue and it practically shimmered in the sunlight.

The fact that we took it so so many different places and put a lot of miles on was a great way to see if it would work for our family. I have a 14 year old teenager, a 10 year old tween and a 6 year old girl so the age gap is large and every kid has different needs.

The first place we took it to was Long Beach to see Christmas Lights in the Canal.

The navigation in the Santa Fe Sport is incredible. It has a true 3D rendering of 3D City Buildings, 3D Lane Assist and guidance, 3D Exits, Real Junction views and real signposts, and real Countryroad shields. The screen was bright and all of the buttons were visible and self explanatory.  I loved how the nav system had proximity, road condition and speed limit alerts.

The next place we took the Santa fe was all the way to Las Vegas. It’s a 4-hour trip but the amenities in the car made it such a pleasant drive. My teen and Tween never fought the entire time because each of them had their iphone or ipad and they were able to keep them charged with the various USB & Auxiliary ports and ipod playback.

As a driver I loved how loaded the Santa Fe was with safety features. Everything from Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist.

I really liked having Steering wheel controls and Voice Commands at the touch of my finger and the Bluetooth and audio streaming also made for an enjoyable ride.

But the one thing that I couldn’t stop talking about was the smart cruise control feature. This was by far the coolest thing I have ever seen in a car. When this feature is activated and it detects a vehicle in your lane ahead, it automatically slows the Santa Fe down maintaining a safe distance with the vehicle ahead and will even come to a full stop, then start again without driver input. Crazy right? It was awesome using that feature on the 15 freeway.

The last place we took the Santa Fe was on another road trip to Venice Beach, CA. I grew up in a beach town so I love taking cars to the beach! The salt air, the wind and the sun was a perfect way pull in this sweet ride!

An update of Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture design gives Santa Fe power and strength. It’s seen clearly at the rear of this sleek SUV with a new fascia and tail lights plus a new lower bumper exhaust design.

Video of Panoramic Sunroof

Video Of Automatic Trunk

We loved this car and thought it would be the perfect car for my teenage son to drive next year. It had plenty of trunk storage for sports bags, groceries and even small pieces of furniture. The next time I am in the market for a new car we will definitely be considering a Hyundai.

For more information please visit Hyundai on Facebook and Twitter.

City Adventures With the 2016 Kia Sportage


I recently had the opportunity to test drive the new 2016 Kia Sportage, and was blown away with all the luxury features! For a compact crossover SUV, this little package has got it going on! During the week we had the Kia we drove it all over town and not only did it keep up with us, but it was super fun to drive, easy to park and I loved how sleek it looked. Let’s face it, 3 kids can make a lot of mess between soccer cleats, tennis rackets and wrestling gear but this car held it’s own.



I really enjoyed the roomy space in the trunk as well as the split seats. I like being able to make more room for things without compromising space.  My favorite feature was the compartments for groceries in your trunk. How remarkable is that?! Beacause who needs cantaloupe falling out of the trunk? Not this mom!

Kia has continually focused on safety and The Sportage’s new optional front crash prevention system earns a superior rating. The SUV avoided a collision in both the 12 mph and 25 mph IIHS track tests. The system also includes a forward collision warning component that meets National Highway Traffic Safety Administration criteria.


A comfortable ride is extremely important to me and The Sportage comes equipped with breathable leather seats. Everything from the dashboard to the cup holders was in perfect alignment. I liked how the  all the buttons i needed for volume control, cruise control and blue tooth were right on my steering wheel making it safer for me as I did not have to take my eyes off the road.

Interior of 2016 Kia Sportage



I even took the Kia Sportage on a mini road trip to Manhattan Beach. It handled the freeways so well and I could have driven the 405 all the way into the valley. I stopped briefly at a Starbucks and I just had to take a picture because the Sportage looked like it was beaming!


After a week and a half driving the Sportage, this is what the tires looked like. They looked nearly brand new. The LX package an be equipped with the Popular package, which adds a trip computer, rear spoiler, rear backup sensors, roof rails, a rear backup camera, touch screen audio, auto headlights and the UVO system.

Don’t miss out on the Kia Holidays sales event. Purchase select vehicles and make no payments for the first five months, with the first two months on Kia.

Toyota Prius Two Eco Review #LetsGoPlaces #GoPriusGo




The Toyota Prius has been the leader in the Hybrid class for many years. Since I have never driven a hybrid before, I was eager to have the chance to test drive a Two Eco model for a week. My son is 14, so next year will be a big year for me when he gets his learners permit. This was a great way for me to get to know the Prius for when we decide to buy him a car.

The main question I was asking myself was would my son be happy driving this car? And, as his mom, would I be reassured with him behind the wheel of this car? The answer to both of these questions is YES! The Prius proved to be comfortable, quiet, safe, efficient and fun. Below is a picture of my son with his little sister. I felt 100% protected and secure driving my favorite people around the city for the week. Not to mention it was so enjoyable to zip around and get errands done during the day. Did I tell you what a breeze it is to park this thing? After driving a large SUV for the past few years, this was a piece.of.cake.


Features of The Prius Two Eco

I loved how stylish the 2016 model is. It was sleek, and had a striking new look. It had enhanced driving dynamics and impressive fuel economy. It comes in 7 different colors (see colors here) and 3 different choices of interior fabric. Some of the features the Prius Two Eco offers are:

  • Bi-LED Projector Low- and High-Beam Headlights With Auto On/Off FeatureStylish and efficient projector beams help light the road ahead.
  • 15-In. 5-Spoke Alloy Wheels With Two-Tone Wheel Covers With these two-tone wheels, good looks come standard.
  • Smart Key System13 on Three Doors With Push Button Start One-touch access to your door locks and ignition.


What shocked me most was the incredible amount of space in the trunk. I loved the hatchback feature because it was so accessable. One evening, we went to watch a movie on the lawn of a big hotel so we packed the Prius to the rim! Who knew it could hold a large wagon, four folding chairs, a huge comforter and several blankets? It wasn’t even tight.

And check out the new design on the back of the Prius. The rear LED tail lights are shaped like a boomerang and are very distinctive at night. It also has a glass light in the rear hatch which enhances your vision through your rear view mirror.



This was our view on the way to our destination. It is a canyon road with about 5 miles of wide open space. No signals or stop signs, just smooth driving that was a perfect way to enjoy the 1.8-Liter, 4-cylinder Aluminum DOHC 16-Valve engine with Variable Valve Timing.


Interior of the Prius Two Eco

On the first day I drove the Prius, I couldn’t help but notice the unusual shifter. At first I panicked a little because I couldn’t figure out how to get into reverse, but after successfully backing out of the driveway I realized it was kind of neat to use the selector. Once I got to my destination, panic set in again because I couldn’t find the “parking” gear. After a few minutes fidgeting with the selector I realized the parking gear was not an option and that perhaps the large “P” button  next to the shifter might do something. BINGO!

The Prius uses an electronic transmission mode selector, similar to a gear shift on a conventional car. Unlike a conventional vehicle with modes P R N D 2 1 (park, reverse, neutral, drive, 2nd gear, 1st gear) the Prius has a power button, a park button, and a selector for modes R N D and B (reverse, neutral, drive, and engine-Braking).

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The interior was roomy and the cloth seats were so awesome to have because we had several days where the heat index rose above 100 degrees.

Another interesting feature of the prius is that the dashboard is very symmetrical. It is in the center of the car so that it is visible by both the driver and the passenger. The touch screen is very pleasing and it has your climate control, radio control as well as everything else. The center console even has space designated specifically for your cell phone.

Voice Recognition

One of the neatest features of the Toyota Prius is voice recognition. As a mom I feel good knowing that my son could control things with never having to take his hands off the wheel or avert his eyes.

Toyota Entune™ Plus Audio features voice recognition that controls many aspects of the audio and phone. Voice recognition commands power to Phone and Audio. So say for example, you are driving and want to make a blue tooth call. Just press the “speaking” button on the steering wheel.


Say: “Call” or “Dial” number (You can also call from a name in your phonebook) and the voice prompt will ask you to choose a number selection to call.

Before you do that I suggest you train with the system first. Here is a video of me doing just that. The system will learn your voice and how you enunciate and more.

Video of Voice Training

What is the MPG and Price of The Prius Two Eco?

The reason this car has so much appeal is due to it’s incredible MPG and starting MSRP, among many other things.

Mileage estimates (mpg city/highway/combined) are: 58/53/56. 

Starting MSRP is $24,700

Sounds like a win/win situation doesn’t it? I drove this car all day every day for a week and I never even got down to half of a tank. Being a stay at home mom, this is extremely appealing to me. Less money as the gas pump means more money to do other fun stuff with my kids!

For more information on Toyota visit them on Facebook or on Twitter.

Test Drive: New 2016 Mazda6 #DriveMazda


This past month I had the privilege of testing out the new Mazda 6 Grand Touring. Not only does it look sleek, stylish, and sophisticated but the color I got was electrifying. It was called soul red and everyone including myself absolutely loved it! This car was built with true craftsmanship in mind. Everything from the rims, to the interior to the body of this car shouts classy and fun.


I was a tiny bit concerned that it wouldn’t fit all 3 of my kids comfortably in the back since my youngest is in a car seat, but that quickly faded because I found the rear of this car to be spacious and pleasant.There was plenty of leg room and no fights ensued between my children because everyone was happy.


I have to say that going from an SUV to a sports sedan like the Mazda6 is wicked fun! This car took turns like a dream and was so smooth on the road. It actually made me consider if I could switch over to a sedan. Best of all the starting MSRP for a Mazda6 is only $21,495.

Features Of The Mazd6

  1. Close Proximity Warning

Judges the relative speed and distance to the car ahead, working within a set speed range to help maintain a safe following distance, making highway drives less strenuous. The system’s Close Proximity Warning provides audible and visual warnings when it senses your vehicle fast approaching another ahead.

2.  Smart City Brake Support

Helps minimize or possibly prevent frontal collisions when driving between about 3 and 18 mph. The system automatically applies the brakes if it determines that a collision with an obstruction ahead is unavoidable.

3.  Smart Brake Support With Collision Warning

Smart Brake Support helps minimize or possibly prevent frontal collisions when driving at speeds over approximately 10 mph. The system automatically applies the brakes if it determines that a collision with an obstruction ahead is unavoidable.

4.  Distance Recognition Support System

Using a radar sensor, the Distance Recognition Support System (DRSS) measures the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead when traveling at speeds of 19 mph or faster. DRSS will recommend a comfortable following distance, and if you encroach upon this recommended distance, a visual warning shows in the Mazda6’s information display.

5. Lane Departure Warning System

Alerts you when the system senses the car drifting unintentionally from its current lane.

6.  Rear Cross Traffic Alert

Alerts you if a vehicle approaches your Mazda6 from the side when you’re backing out of a parking space or driveway.





One afternoon we took the Mazda6 for a ride in the canyon. There are lots of windy roads and gorgeous hills and this car handled it like a champ. He is a video of the Mazda6 in action.

Mazda6 Interior

As for the interior, the Mazda6 grand touring come full loaded with everything imaginable. I thought the seats were perfect for me as a short person, as I could easily adjust the hight, and the back support was firm and cradled you in all the right spots.

The 2016 Mazda6’s standard features include push-button start, (which is so convenient instead of fumbling for your keys in your purse), Bluetooth, a six-speaker stereo, and an auxiliary input jack and a USB port. Sport models with the automatic transmission get an upgraded infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen (super easy on the eyes), a center console-mounted control knob, a rearview camera, HD Radio, Pandora Internet radio compatibility and hands-free text messaging. Available features and features available in higher trims include dual-zone automatic climate control, a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, proximity key (which allows you to access the car without removing the key from your pocket), an 11-speaker Bose audio system, satellite radio, navigation, a moon roof, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning and forward collision warning with automatic braking.



Trunk Space



Trunk space in the Mazda6 is shockingly big. And deep! It seemed like this trunk went on forever. We were able to fit a full sized wagon, a bag of beach toys and 3 beach chairs, plus towels and a cooler with room to space. I was shocked!

Mazda6 Warranty

The Mazda offers a 3 yr/36,000 mi basic, 5 yr/60,000 mi powertrain. This transferable “limited warranty” is included on all new Mazda vehicles sold and serviced in the United States.


I did not want to give this car up at the end of the week and would absolutely recommend this car to everyone, whether it be for business (looks amazing to bring clients along), or families (has plenty of space). The next time we go ona vacation and need a car rental I think i will ask if they have any Mazda6’s in stock. #zoomzoom


Mazda CX5 Review #zoomzoom



It’s springtime here in California and the weather has been gorgeous. They talked about a big El Nino that was supposed to keep us wet for months but so far we have only had some drizzle and a couple days of rain.  Our after school sports are in full swing and I spend nearly half of my day driving kids to sports and back home only to get in the car and do it all over again for pick up.

Recently I had the opportunity to test drive a Mazda Cx-5 grand touring which is significantly smaller than my mid-sized SUV but you know what? I actually preferred the smaller size. Not only was it a breeze to park, but I could turn corners a little tighter, parallel park like a boss and back out of parking lots quick and easy.

On my first day I loaded up the huge trunk with our tennis bag and all of our rackets.

(c) FamilyReviewGuide mazda_cx5

And before that I put in my daughters car seat (which is a beast) and I had plenty of room to spare. It was deep and lined with rubber so I did n’t have to worry about anything scratching or rubbing, and things didn’t slide around either.


Once I got her car seat  buckled in I was happy to see she had plenty of legroom. She is small to begin with but she had no issues extending her legs.

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Let’s talk about the sunroof. The Mazda CX-5 has a power sliding-glass moonroof with one-touch-open feature and interior sunshade. The amount of sunlight that comes in will give you enough Vitamin D for a week! And on the flip side, on days that it rains you will have a pretty cool view of water droplets above. The kids loved staring at them above their heads.

Shuck-It Oyster Challenge For Charity-6

What are the Mazda CX-5 Specs?

The Mazda CX-5 has:

  •  19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels 
  • + Bose® 9 speaker surround sound system with Centerpoint® 2 and AudioPilot® 2
  • + Mazda Navigation System
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio with 4-month trial subscription*
  • Available i-ACTIV AWD®
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control with pollen filter
  • Leather-trimmed sport seats
  • Power sliding-glass moonroof with one-touch-open feature and interior sunshade

(c) FamilyReviewGuide Arugula_pizza_Stacked_Huntington_Beach-3


Interior of the Mazda CX-5


The CX-5 comfortably seats 5, plus your gear with extra leg room, passenger volume, and cargo. Bluetooth, which can be found on the steering wheel lets you easily stream phone calls, music, texts and more with convenient steering-wheel-mounted controls and voice command. Keeping you focused on the road ahead. But perhaps the coolest  toy in the CX-5 was the MAZDA CONNECT™ infotainment system that let me control and customize my Mazda’s features, connections, and entertainment. Everything was easy to find and use with the Commander control knob or a few taps on the large touch screen

Smart Brake Support

Available Smart Brake Support helps minimize or possibly prevent frontal collisions when driving at speeds over approximately 10 mph. The system automatically applies the brakes if it determines that a collision with an obstruction ahead is unavoidable. That is priceless in my book!

Fuel Economy

With gas prices always fluctuating here in California I was incredibly impressed at the 29 MPG (26 City and 33 Highway) the CX-5 gets. I did a lot of inner city driving and I never had to gas up while having this car for 7 days.

To learn more about the Mazda CX-5, with specs and pricing, head to a local dealership or the Mazda USA website. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter. Happy driving!


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