kid in grey Mazda on road trip mountains

There is nothing quite as American as hitting the road for a family road trip. Some of your best memories as a kid probably involve riding in the back seat, playing “I Spy” and “State License Tag Bingo” with your siblings.

Gone are the days of clunky station wagons or old-fashioned vans, however. Today’s family vehicles include sophisticated and stylish Mazda SUVs, from the subcompact Mazda CX 30 to the three-row CX-9.

These family SUVs are equipped with the latest safety and infotainment features. Walker Renton Mazda gives you this overview of our best road trip vehicles so you can decide which best suits your needs.

The Lore of the Open Road

Family road trips offer pathways to new adventures. They are the source for some of our most cherished memories, both as a child and as a parent with your own kids. The New York Post highlighted a poll from Quaker State, which estimated that Americans spend around 23 hours on road trips during the summer.

Whether it’s a trip to the beach, the mountains or to a National Park, there is always something new to discover just around the bend.

Deciding on the best destination for a family road trip is a consideration. So is choosing the right vehicle.

Best Mazda Family SUVs for Travel

The best road trip cars must have the right features for your needs. There are several questions you need to consider. 

  • What size vehicle do you need? How many people need to fit?
  • What kind of cargo space do you need?
  • What safety features do you want?
  • What kind of tech and infotainment features?
  • Do you want to tow a boat, RV or a trailer?
  • Do you need All-wheel drive for off-road capability?

Here are several Mazda SUVs that can be on your list as the best car for road trips.

Mazda CX-30 Subcompact Crossover

all new 2020 Mazda CX-30 SUV


2020 offers big things in smaller packages, with the All-New Mazda CX-30. This subcompact crossover is ready to take on the world with class-leading performance and loads of style.

You get seating for five, with a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat and up to 20.2 cubic feet of cargo space. The SKYACTIV®-G 2.5-liter engine offers a responsive ride, with class-leading 186-hp.

This Mazda CX-30 also has pretty impressive fuel efficiency, which matters a lot when you're traveling long distances.

  • 25 mpg City
  • 32 mpg Highway

Safety Features

A family vehicle must put safety at the top of the list in terms of importance. The Mazda CX-30 delivers thanks to advanced i-Activesense® safety features, which help keep you focused on the road, other drivers, and pedestrians.

The Mazda CX-30 comes with a suite of available driver-assist systems that offer all-around protection and alerts.

Driver-assist systems:

  • Side mirror with Active Driving Display
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go
  • Smart Brake Support
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Driver Attention Alert

Infotainment Features

Keep in touch with the world, with a suite of standard and available infotainment features, from smart device connection to navigation.

Infotainment features:

  • Mazda Connect™ Infotainment System
  • 8.8-inch touchscreen with multifunction Command Control
  • Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ smart device integration to access your music, apps, maps, and other information
  • Mazda Navigation
  • Windshield projected Active Driving Display
  • SiriusXM radio
  • Voice-activated radio
  • Premium 12-speaker Bose® Audio System

The Mazda CX-30 is available in four trims: Base, Select, Preferred, and Premium. All four trims are available with Front-wheel drive (FWD) or i-ACTIV All-Wheel Drive (AWD).

Mazda CX-3 Compact Crossover

The Mazda CX-3 compact crossover is stylish and performance-driven. It is ideal for driving in the city or the highway.

Though it is a smaller SUV, you still get 12.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row. Plus, get up to 42.7 cubic feet of total cargo space when you fold down the 60/40 split rear seat.

You lose nothing in terms of power and performance, thanks to the 148-hp SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, with variable valve control (VVT). Even though SUV is on the smaller side, you still have enough capability to tow up to 2,000 pounds.

Since fuel efficiency always matters, you'll be happy to know that the Mazda CX-3 will take you further between fuel stops.

  • 29 mpg City
  • 34 mpg Highway

Safety Features

Safety is a hallmark of any Mazda vehicle, including the Mazda CX-3. This SUV offers some of the most advanced driver-assist systems, many of which come standard on all trims.

Driver-assist systems:

  • Dynamic Stability Control
  • Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Smart City Brake Support
  • Brake Assist
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go
  • Advanced City Brake Support with Pedestrian Detection

Infotainment Features

Connectivity is essential today, especially if you want to keep the kids entertained on the road. The Mazda CX-3 is loaded with the exact features you need to head off the "I'm bored!" complaints.

Infotainment features:

  • Mazda Connect Infotainment System
  • 7-inch color touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smart device integration
  • Mazda Navigation
  • Bluetooth® hands-free phone & audio capability
  • Pandora® Internet radio
  • Voice-activated radio

The Mazda CX-3 is available in one trim, in either Front-wheel drive (FWD) or i-ACTIV All-wheel drive (AWD).

Mazda CX-5 Compact SUV

red 2020 Mazda CX-5 parked




Moving up slightly in size, you have the Mazda CX-5 compact SUV, with seating for up to five.

Need to bring more luggage and gear? No problem, since the CX-5 has 30.0 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row. For added convenience, the 40/20/40 one-touch, fold-down rear seat gives you up to 59.6 cubic feet of cargo space.

The CX-5 gives you two engine options. There's the standard 187-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. Or choose the available SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter Turbo engine, which boosts performance to 250-hp and 320 lb-ft of torque.

If you need more traction and control for tough terrain, take a look at the available Predictive i-ACTIV AWD® with Off-Road Traction Assist.

With the Mazda CX-5, you'll need to stop for the bathroom before needing to fuel up.

  • 25 mpg City
  • 31 mpg Highway

Mazda CX-5 Safety Systems

Once again, the Mazda CX-5 shines when it comes to active driver-assist systems, which provide 360 degrees of protection for your family.

Driver-assist systems:

  • Advanced Smart City Brake Support with Pedestrian Detection
  • Dynamic Stability Control
  • Traction Control
  • Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go
  • 360 View Monitor

Mazda CX-5 Infotainment Features

You’ll want all the tech toys as well, which is no problem with the Mazda CX-5.

Infotainment features:

  • Mazda Connect Infotainment System with voice command or touchscreen control
  • 7-inch LCD display
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration
  • Mazda Navigation
  • SiriusXM radio
  • Bluetooth phone and audio capability
  • Choice of Internet radio connection, including Pandora®, Aha™ or Stitcher™
  • Premium Bose 10-speaker audio system

The 2020 Mazda CX-5 is offered in 5 trims: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, and Signature. All trims are available in Front-wheel drive (FWD) or All-wheel drive (AWD).

CX-9 Full-Size SUV

Blue Mazda CX-9 Full SUV From Walker’s Renton Mazda

The largest vehicle in our fleet is the Mazda CX-9 full-size SUV. You can seat up to seven when you use the available third row. Plus, if you activate the 60/40 split fold-down seat and 50/50 fold-down 3rd row you can get up to 125.6 cubic feet.

Meanwhile, the Power Rear Liftgate with programmable height adjustment makes it easy to load and unload your gear.

If you're interested in performance, check out the standard SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter Turbo engine that provides an impressive 227-hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. The larger size and more powerful engine allow the Mazda CX-9 to tow up to 3,500-lbs.

Want power and fuel efficiency? You've got it.

  • 22 mpg City
  • 28 mpg Highway

Related: How to Buy Tires for a Mazda

Mazda CX-9 Safety Systems

Whether driving in the summer or setting out on a holiday adventure, the Mazda CX-9 will get your family there safely. Predictive i-ACTIV AWD monitors the outside conditions and makes adjustments to the vehicle’s systems, from the power to the brakes. This helps provide better traction and control in all weather and road conditions.

You will also enjoy the confidence of a suite of standard and available driver-assist systems.

Driver-assists systems:

  • Brake assist
  • Dynamic stability control
  • Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Lane-Keep Assist
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Smart City Brake Support

Mazda CX-9 Infotainment features

All the connections you want will be at your fingertips, with a suite of infotainment features.

Infotainment features:

  • Mazda Connect Infotainment System
  • 7-inch HD touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration
  • SiriusXM radio
  • Voice-activated radio
  • Two 2nd row LCD monitors
  • Premium 12-speaker Bose Audio System

The Mazda CX-9 comes in four trims: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, and Signature. All trims are available in Front-wheel drive (FWD) or All-wheel drive (AWD).

Buy or Lease a Mazda SUV Before Your Next Road Trip

Road trips deserve family SUVs that can keep up with your sense of adventure. Mazda offers a range of road trip cars that are designed to meet your needs. If you’re ready to buy or lease a Mazda SUV, make your way to Walker’s Renton Mazda.

We’re located at 720 Rainer Avenue South, Renton, WA. We carry a wide range of new and pre-owned cars and SUVs so come in for a test drive today.

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