This past Saturday, I attended a Mazda Zoom Zoom track day/test drive event at Englishtown Raceway Park in Old Bridge New Jersey. For those who wondered what I look like that's me standing in front of the Mazda B series truck discussing "compact" trucks with Steve one of the many Mazda employees on hand. We were discussing how the Ranger/B Series was declining in sales.
The event was formerly called Mazda Rev It Up and this was the third I had attended over the last few years. It's a fairly well organized event, where you are given an opportunity to drive Mazda's offerings and improve your driving skills, by partaking in several "autocross" style events. On hand were Mazda 3's, Mazda 5's , Mazda 6's, Mazda MX5's and RX8's.
Now Mazda is not the only company to offer such events, I've also attended several GM AutoShowInMotion events over the last few years as well, and know from the AutoProphet that Ford holds a similar event at locations around the country. GM's let's you drive not only their vehicles but also models from the competition. Mazda aims at skill improvement and fun.
If anyone knows about Ford's version of this, please let me know, that's an event I'd like to sign up for.
Now this was fun, I got to drive the MX5 and really found it to be a nice car. Even with the automatic transmission it felt fine. The handling was outstanding, no surprise there. The Mazda 6 was also great, but I had driven those before and this just reinforced my fondness for the car. I did not get a chance to drive the RX-8, as the lines were just too long and had no real interest in the Mazda 5. I was disappointed that I did not get a chance to drive the Mazda 3, but one of these days I'll go to a local dealer. Overall a great experience, but one complaint is too few cars and too many people caused long lines and not many opportunities to drive all tracks or vehicles.
If you get a chance sign up for one of these events, even the GM AutoShowInMotion. They're free and fun.