HOUSTON — I’m not going to lie, I was almost “sold” on a car that had this amazing “Can’t believe that is a ______” slogan that has recently come out. A vehicle, formerly thought of for the elderly and uptight –at least in my mind – was now piquing the interest of the new-age consumer.

Too bad for them that I went to the 2017 Houston Auto Show and fell in love with MAZDA – and it is NOT JUST BECAUSE of the “Silver Fox” representative who told me everything I needed to know about the line, but he SHOWED me and it was a done deal after that.

First of all, my mouth dropped when I took a look at the new Mazda Miata. It was red, it sporty and everything a woman needed to feel confident and sexy when riding down the highway drawing attention to herself – after all, that IS what we want to do right?

Or for me, that was more of a “back-in-the-day-when-I-was 20-years-old” kind of purchase. Today, I’m a FABULOUSLY 40-year-old mother of two — with a lot of nieces, nephews and friends of my children to always haul around, and I need something that is reliable, responsible, up-to-date on technology, and still sleek enough to make me feel sexy and stylish!

“Mr. Seal your purchase with a smile” – real name Steven Douglas – let me hop in for a hands-on tour of the Mazdas on the NRG Center showroom floor and, at the end of it all, I knew that not only could I afford my new baby for my family, but I could still turn a few heads – especially if I purchased it in red. Ha ha!

“Mazda is fun to drive. The kids like it because it’s sporty feeling, as well as very, very comfortable. I have four grandkids, and every single one of them enjoying riding with me in my car. My wife has a 2015 and guess what, she has a lot of fun in hers,” Douglas said.

Then, even though I was heartbroken after hearing my Silver Fox say the “W” word, he said something that brought me right back from the dark side,“And the best part about Mazdas….they last.”

And with that, I was a keeper.

“Mazda has been geared toward safety, performance, known for our handling and we have taken it to the next level,” Douglas said. “Every vehicle you see here has been redesigned with our Sky technology and KODO Soul of Motion.

Now what the heck does that mean? Glad you asked.

It makes the vehicle look like it’s moving, even when it’s at a standstill. The KODO philosophy allows designers to imbue each model with its own personality while staying true to a unifying theme.

The new designs are sleek and stylish, and as Douglas summed it up, the automaker has gone “next level.”

In addition to Douglas thoroughly explaining everything I needed to know, my gal pals over at shebuyscars.com laid out all the perks and amenities for me to help me with my purchasing decision.

For me, I want the 2017 Mazda 6, which has a five-star safety rating — the best rating for all vehicles given by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Who is it perfect for?

  • Singles, couples or families of four or less
    • Empty nesters who want to downsize
    • Buyers who want above-average MPG
    • Drivers who want a sporty driving experience without the sports car price
    • Drivers who occasionally have rear seat passengers
    • Buyers who want a good value in a sports sedan

What’s the budget?

  • Base price: $30,695
  • Optional Equipment (cargo mat, gray paint, door sill trim plates,) $600
  • Premium package (grille shutters, shifter led accent lighting, bright finish interior trim, nappa leather trimmed upholstery, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel) $2590
  • Price of the model we drove: $34,530

Standard Safety Features:

  • SRS airbag system with dual front, side and full curtain airbags
  • Steering wheel mounted audio and cruise controls
  • Heads up active driving display with speed, navigation directions and other info within the driver’s line of sight
  • Blind spot monitoring system
  • 5 Passenger 3-point safety belt
  • Lane keep assist
  • Rear cross traffic alert (look out for kids!)