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The Mazda CX-9 – TIFF 2020 Experience


Like most things, the 45th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) looks different this year with a combination of virtual, open air and drive-in events, Mazda Canada being the Official Automotive Partner of the festival. I’ve always fancied the nostalgic feelings invoked through the drive-in experience, so when the opportunity to test drive Mazda Canada’s luxurious CX-9 to one of the drive-in screenings, I already had my foot on the gas.

The night started with the arrival of my CX-9, delivered straight to my front door by two High Test team members. Prior to arrival the car’s interior and exterior was thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, and then again upon arrival using Zoono‘s Z71 Microbe Shield, which protects surfaces against infectious microorganisms for 30 days after application. A travel size bottle of the Zoono Hand Sanitizer was also gifted to me, boasting of a 24-hour protective barrier against germs.

Once the process of sanitizing the vehicle was complete I was alerted via phone call and went outside to meet the team, all three of us wearing protective masks and keeping 2 meters apart for the exchange. Key features of the car were explained while I completed a quick walk through with the High Test team. Mazda Canada thought of every last detail, the radio station had already been programmed to the listening stations for the night, and the venue address already inputted into the navigation system. Of course I was asked all the standard COVID-19 screening questions before I was given the keys, which were left on the driver’s seat after sanitation to limit our contact.

Matthew and I then headed off, enjoying a very smooth and comfortable drive in the all leather, wood trimmed vehicle. The world outside almost entirely silent, the noise isolating windscreen and glass seemed to just completely shut it out. The navigation system easily and clearly lead the way on a 9″ colour touchscreen display. My favourite feature however might easily be the Windshield-projected colour Active Driving Display… basically as I drove my speed and all dash instrument readings were displayed on the windscreen in a hologram type manner allowing me to keep my eyes on the road and off the dashboard. It was wild!

Upon arrival at the site uniformed Police offers were visible directing a very organized and flowing line of traffic. We were then ushered to the designated parking area by the Mazda Guest Automotive Services Team who were available throughout the night to provide all filmgoers with a premium and seamless experience. My personal Mazda Canada designated concierge then greeted me and assigned a spot right at the front of the TIFF stage.

We then got comfortable [reaching for the gift basket in the trunk, filled with goodies from The Scented Market, Red Hen Popcorn, Crate 61 Organics, Tentree, and The One of a Kind Show] , adjusted and reclined our 8-way power-adjustable seats and made use of the additional lumbar support for the long show. I even tested out the Second Row Captain’s Chair and imagined that the kids would be perfectly set up with arm rests and cup holders had they come with us.

Popcorn and chocolates were just the appetizers for the night however, and surely someone knew we were coming because the menu consisted of Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas, Doubles, Chicken and Veggie Roti, and of course Jerk Poutine…cause would we even be in Canada if Poutine wasn’t on the menu? The entire ordering process was as easy as scanning the QR code with our phone camera and ordering online, all of which we paid for with the $100 Visa gift card included in the gift basket. About 20 minutes later our order was delivered straight to our car!

And then the movie started, “One Night in Miami”, actor-director Regina King’s feature directorial debut. Based on Kem Powers’ play the film is a fictionalized account of a 1964 meeting between Malcolm X, Muhammed Ali, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown. The distinctive viewpoints from these four characters of the racial tension at the time, and the relevance to the present day conversations made it gripping and powerful from beginning to end. The sound expelled by CX-9’s 12-speaker premium Bose sound system was comparable to sitting directly in Theatre. Crisp, clear and with SurroundStage signal processing, nothing was lost in translation.

When the night was over , we were again ushered out of our parking spot by the Mazda Guest Automotive Service team and directed to the exit. I drove myself home and found a team member already there and waiting to collect the car. The night went off without a hitch. Thank you to Mazda Canada for a first class experience.


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