Tag Archives: test drive

Mazda MX-5: Miata Shopping in Australia Visiting Blue Mountains Mazda, Sydney & NSW’s Best MX-5 Dealer

back to: South Pacific MX-5 Miata Road Trip Overview

f-australiaMX-5 Shopping in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

f-australiaMX-5 Road Trip from Kirribilli to Balmoral, NSW, Australia

MX-5 Road Trip from Papakura towards Coromandel, NZ

MX-5 Hire Cars on Holiday in Rarotonga, Cook Islands


Much like the faux-Miata shopping trip in Singapore took me to a few dealerships on the island, my chauffeur for the day – James made a special effort to stop at Blue Mountains Mazda on our drive back to Sydney from Bathurst to check out some MX-5’s on the lot… and there were quite a few of them (though no NC’s unfortunately).

James’s mother Jean purchased her beautiful ND MX-5 from Cameron the owner of Blue Mountains Mazda and so James thought it would be the perfect opportunity for me to check out the place and meet Cameron. Just minutes after meeting him he offered me the keys to his personal ND for a test drive which I politely declined.

But the selection of Roadsters on the lot was far better than anything I’ve seen even here in the US, and I’ve got three Mazda dealerships within a 10 mile radius from home.

Here are some shots I took of the cars (along with the obligatory selfie):

mx-5 road trip australia blue mountains mazda roadsters 1

mx-5 road trip australia blue mountains mazda roadsters 2

mx-5 road trip australia blue mountains mazda roadsters 4

mx-5 road trip australia blue mountains mazda roadsters 3

mx-5 road trip australia blue mountains mazda roadsters 5

There were a few cars in the garage getting prepped for delivery:

mx-5 road trip australia blue mountains mazda roadsters 6

mx-5 road trip australia blue mountains mazda roadsters 7

As well as this gem in the lot:

mx-5 road trip australia blue mountains mazda roadsters 9

mx-5 road trip australia blue mountains mazda roadsters 8

The NB SE model in Australia was the Mazdaspeed equivalent offered in the US which means it was powered by a factory turbo. Something Cameron said he was very fond of having raced this car with the MX-5 Club of NSW at various track rental events at Eastern Creek and others I’m sure.

This was such a great experience I forgot to ask how much does the new ND go for in Australia. They are lucky enough to have choice with both 1.5L and 2.0L engine options along with numerous trims for performance or comfort. James mentioned Jean’s car was in the $40,000 range which makes it more expensive than the US models but way cheaper than those sold in Singapore.

mx-5 road trip australia blue mountains mazda roadsters 10

Australia and Sydney area in particular is a perfect place to own an MX-5 and I was lucky enough to spot a bunch of them on my visit there, including this beautiful white NC parked at Kingswood train station when I boarded my train back to Sydney CBD.

mx-5 road trip australia nsw miata 1

mx-5 road trip australia nsw miata 2

Mazda MX-5: Test Drive Event for the ND Model

The good news is I got invited to test drive the latest Mazda MX-5 Miata ND model. The bad news is, I will be in Austin, TX for WEC during that week. Bummer!

But hopefully by sharing this information others that are interested in the test drive would be able to take advantage of the opportunity. I will also share the calendar of events around the country for those interested in the test drive to see if one is available closer to them.

The original e-mail from MAZDA:

The open road is calling—and you’re invited.

Join our special MX-5 test drive event.

Dear RUSS,

Thank you for your interest in Mazda. We’re extending a special invitation to select Mazda enthusiasts like you to experience the All-New 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata with SKYACTIV® TECHNOLOGY in person.

Please join us for our exclusive MX-5 Ride & Drive Event and get an up-close look at the latest edition of the world’s most popular roadster. You’ll be able to get behind the wheel, rev it up and take it out for a spin at MetLife Stadium to really see what all the excitement is about—for yourself.

Experience the 2016 MX-5’s impressive driving dynamics and test out its newly available advanced safety and infotainment technologies designed to make you feel even more connected to the road and the world around you. You don’t want to miss this unique opportunity to get behind the wheel of an icon, reimagined! Find out more.

Please join us at:

Met Life Stadium

1 Metlife Stadium Dr

East Rutherford, NJ 07073

Friday, 9/18: 12pm – 7pm

Saturday 9/19: 9am – 4pm

Note: All participants must have a valid driver’s license, be 18 years or older, sign a waiver form and pass a Breathalyzer test. Participants must wear closed-toe shoes.

and the list of events around the country which could be found here: http://www.mazdausamedia.com/index.php?s=31626&item=126061 (in case they update information after this blog post is published)

You’re Invited to The MX-5 Experience

 

Thank you for your interest in Mazda. We’re extending a special invitation to select Mazda enthusiasts like you to experience the all-new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata with SKYACTIV® Technology in person.

Please join us for our exclusive MX-5 Ride & Drive Event and get an up-close look at the latest edition of the world’s most popular roadster. You’ll be able to get behind the wheel, rev it up, and take it out onto the race track to really see what all the excitement is about—for yourself.

Experience the 2016 MX-5’s impressive driving dynamics and test out its newly available advanced safety and infotainment technologies designed to make you feel even more connected to the road and the world around you. You don’t want to miss this unique opportunity to get behind the wheel of an icon, reimagined!

Please note that all drivers must be over 18, have a valid U.S. Driver’s license, sign a waiver, and take a Breathalyzer test.

Please join us at:

 

Friday, September 4th & Saturday, September 5th

Autobahn Country Club

3795 Centerpoint Way

Joilet, IL 60436

 

Friday, September 11th & Saturday, September 12th

Atlanta Motorsports Park

20 Duck Thurmond Rd

Dawsonville, GA 30534

 

Friday, September 18th & Saturday, September 19th

Met Life Stadium

1Metlife Stadium Dr.

East Rutherford, NJ 07073

 

Friday, September 25th & Saturday, September 26th

Driveway Austin

8400 Delwau Ln

Austin, TX 78725

 

Friday, October 2nd & Saturday, October 3rd

Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park

20000 S Maricopa Rd

Chandler, AZ 85226

 

Hours of Operation:

Friday dates: 12 PM – 7 PM

Saturday dates: 9 AM – 4 PM

FAQ

Do I have to be over 18 to drive?

Yes. All drivers must be over 18. You are welcome to come watch the event, however.

Can I wear open toed shoes?

All drivers must wear close toed shoes.

Do I need to RSVP or pick a time slot?

No, The MX-5 Experience tour does not have an RSVP list. Our event is first come first served.

What other cities is Mazda coming to?

Please see the above event list. Future ride & drive events will be shared on our Mazda Facebook page, so be sure to like Mazda!

Can I bring my friends/parents/neighbors?

Of course, Mazda would love to see them at the track. If they are looking to drive, be sure to share that they need to be over 18, have a valid U.S. driver’s license, sign a waiver at the event, and take a Breathalyzer test.

The 2016 MX-5 Miata is amazing! I am over 18 and have a valid U.S. license, will I get to drive one? Are there automatic and manual transmissions available?

Yes, you will be able to drive the 2016 MX-5 Miata! Mazda will have a mix of MT and AT MX-5 Miatas available for driving.

What type of driving will I get to do?

There will be three stations: braking, autocross, and a hot lap on a specially designed road course.

For further information: For additional questions, please contact: Mazda Customer Experience at 800-222-5500
Thanks to Mazda for the invite, and it’s too bad I am not able to take advantage of the offer. Better luck next time…
mazda mx-5 miata nd
photo credit: Mazda USA

Frequent Flyer Miles

There isn’t a dollar that I spend that doesn’t earn me some frequent flyer miles. What’s my obsession with airline miles/points? It is my means of transportation to events far and wide to volunteer. Most people I tell have a hard time believing the fact that the last time I paid for a flight to Australia was the very first time I flew there on a working holiday. I don’t think I have ever paid outright for a flight to Asia, and over the past few years I’ve been to Singapore a number of times, typically in the luxury of the Singapore Airlines A380 to boot.

How is that possible?

Doesn’t it usually take thousands of miles to fly? And for an infrequent flyer it takes forever to earn those miles while paying for flights. Sure it does. But you don’t need to fly to earn miles. I’ve been a FlyerTalk.com and MilePoint.com evangelist for ages but most people I preach this information to simply don’t believe me. Let me say it again, you don’t need to fly to earn miles, especially if you live in the US. I take advantage of just about any promotion out there to earn miles. No matter how many miles I earn, it will all be useful at some point in time. No amount is too small or too big.

Currently, and probably for a very limited time, there is a generous promotion from American Airlines and Cadillac celebrating their partnership in offering service, giving you 7,500 FREE AAdvantage miles just for test driving a Cadillac of your choice. There are three Cadillac dealerships within 10 minute drive from my home, so you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll head over to one in a jiffy!

aa caddy

Here’s the link: http://www.aa.com/i18n/urls/aad-cadillac-offer.jsp

Such offers are rare though. But you must keep a look out and take advantage of opportunities as they come up. Obviously, you must not wait for a killer offer to come around because they are very unpredictable. You may however participate in various promotions on things you buy and do everyday to earn miles. One such example is Dining. In the past few months I’ve accumulated nearly 20,000 miles from several dining programs by taking advantage of their promotions. This included spending some money, but like I said it is for stuff that I buy anyway, so why not get some extra miles while doing it. I am of course speaking of the AAdvantage Dining promotion of 10,000 for 10 dines at $40+ apiece. Not the cheapest thing out there, but considering you earn miles for the money you spend on food anyway, between 3 and 5 miles per $1, you actually earn enough miles from the promotion to fly one-way anywhere in the continental US that American or USAir flies. That’s a ridiculously good deal. I’ve also used a similar promo to get United Airlines miles and am currently working on getting 7,500 Delta miles.

Remember you can double and triple dip on the mileage you earn. For example, I often book a car rental using a promo code from an airline or AAA to get a discount. Pay for the car with my Delta or American Airlines credit card to earn their miles, and credit the mileage earned for the car rental itself to a third airline, like Southwest for example which has one of the more generous earning capabilities with the car rentals. Considering that you can use a significantly smaller number of Rapid Rewards points to redeem free flights on Southwest, it makes perfect sense to do this. Using airline shopping portals is a great avenue of earning more miles for things you buy anyway. Recently I got more miles for purchases at auto-parts stores to do some maintenance on my personal vehicles, for buying parts than I earned for actually flying a short hop on that airline. It is amazingly generous.

The most generous airline frequent flyer miles/points earning potential is signing up for the airline credit card. This is mostly available for people living in the US. And many factors dictate if you qualify like your credit score. But when you can, definitely go for the generous sign up bonuses. It could mean the difference between paying $1,000+ for a flight to Singapore and flying for $60 (where you only pay a portion of the tax by redeeming miles).

Do it, do it… do it!  And if you need help, get in touch, I’m happy to share information about what I’ve learned so far…. Good luck!

Top photo credit: American Airlines – AA.com