The Truth About Cars » Mazda http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:13:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Mazda http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/reviews/mazda/ Los Angeles 2014: 2016 Mazda CX-5 Unmasked http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-2016-mazda-cx-5-unmasked/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-2016-mazda-cx-5-unmasked/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 00:05:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=948169 Completing the Mazda trifecta of the all-new CX-3 and refreshed Mazda6 comes the revised CX-5. The 2016 update gives the crossover a face updated for the times, LED accents, 19-inch wheels, and nine colors from which to paint your world. As for the interior, higher-quality materials, improved NVH and seating, and more places to store […]

The post Los Angeles 2014: 2016 Mazda CX-5 Unmasked appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2016-mazda-cx-5-2014-la-auto-show-01

Completing the Mazda trifecta of the all-new CX-3 and refreshed Mazda6 comes the revised CX-5.

The 2016 update gives the crossover a face updated for the times, LED accents, 19-inch wheels, and nine colors from which to paint your world. As for the interior, higher-quality materials, improved NVH and seating, and more places to store all the things are now available, as well as an electronic parking brake to keep things in place.

Under the hood, two engines deliver the power to the front or all four wheels: a 2-liter four-pot, and a 2.5-liter variant that is expected to save the driver from spending more at the pump than necessary.

Finally, the cyborgs in your life can enjoy the automaker’s Mazda Connect infotainment system, as well as the i-Activsense safety suite, which makes driving a little easier with features like radar-based cruise control and smart braking.

2016-mazda-cx-5-2014-la-auto-show-01 2016-mazda-cx-5-2014-la-auto-show-04 2016-mazda-cx-5-2014-la-auto-show-05 2016-mazda-cx-5-2014-la-auto-show-09

The post Los Angeles 2014: 2016 Mazda CX-5 Unmasked appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-2016-mazda-cx-5-unmasked/feed/ 22
Los Angeles 2014: 2016 Mazda6 Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-2016-mazda6-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-2016-mazda6-revealed/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 23:50:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=948121 Meet the new boss, almost the same as the old boss. Refreshed for the 2016 model year, the Mazda6 has a revised smile, LED headlamps, and nine colors from which to choose. Meanwhile, the inside provides the driver with a first-ever-for-the-brand electric parking brake, minimized gaps between interior panels, and a 10 percent reduction in […]

The post Los Angeles 2014: 2016 Mazda6 Revealed appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2016-mazda6-2014-la-auto-show-01

Meet the new boss, almost the same as the old boss.

Refreshed for the 2016 model year, the Mazda6 has a revised smile, LED headlamps, and nine colors from which to choose. Meanwhile, the inside provides the driver with a first-ever-for-the-brand electric parking brake, minimized gaps between interior panels, and a 10 percent reduction in NVH levels on rougher roads, 25 percent on properly paved highways.

Motivation is reduced to one engine: the 2.5-liter four-pot capable of moving 184 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque to the front. Six-speed auto and manual transmissions make the connection possible.

Tech goodies include the Mazda Connect infotainment system and the automaker’s i-Activsense safety suite, which has features such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and smart braking.

2016-mazda6-2014-la-auto-show-01 2016-mazda6-2014-la-auto-show-06 2016-mazda6-2014-la-auto-show-05 2016-mazda6-2014-la-auto-show-07

The post Los Angeles 2014: 2016 Mazda6 Revealed appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-2016-mazda6-revealed/feed/ 40
TTAC Long Term Update: 2015 Mazda3 Sport http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/ttac-long-term-update-2015-mazda3-sport/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/ttac-long-term-update-2015-mazda3-sport/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 19:21:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=944873 What was supposed to be a milestone in my life – taking delivery of my first new car - ended up being thrown off by a slight mishap during PDI. And one that raises questions about Mazda’s Mexican operations. Before I took delivery of my new Mazda3, myself and my Dad gave the car a […]

The post TTAC Long Term Update: 2015 Mazda3 Sport appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
IMG_8708

What was supposed to be a milestone in my life – taking delivery of my first new car - ended up being thrown off by a slight mishap during PDI. And one that raises questions about Mazda’s Mexican operations.

Before I took delivery of my new Mazda3, myself and my Dad gave the car a thorough once over on the dealer lot. There, we noticed the faint gouge just above the rear badge, as well as some white marks in and around the badge (less visible in the photo). I decided not to take delivery of the car and let Yorkdale Dufferin Mazda’s PDI guy work out the problem.

The next day, I got a call from the dealer, saying the Mazda would replace the hatch with an entirely new unit. It turned out that the original hatch wasn’t sprayed correctly, and Mazda would send a new, pre-painted unit to replace it. The 2.0L versions are built at Mazda’s all-new Salamanca, Mexico facility. Perhaps there are some teething problems with the plant. One OEM quality engineer I spoke to suggested that there may have been pre-delivery damage. But according to the legal disclosure given to me at delivery, there is none. Should it emerge, I have legal recourse.

Almost immediately, I ordered snow tires – and the timing was perfect, given that we have our first snowfall today. On the advice of my tire vendor, I went with the Hankook W419 RS, which are apparently performance oriented winter tires. We’ll see how they fare.

Thanks to Jason Donio and Yorkdale Dufferin Mazda for their assistance. They can be reached at 416-789-4521.

Thanks to Jason and Mitch at Tirespot. While they tires were purchased at retail with no discounts, I cannot recommend them enough. 416-283-1300.

The post TTAC Long Term Update: 2015 Mazda3 Sport appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/ttac-long-term-update-2015-mazda3-sport/feed/ 143
TTAC Long-Term Review: 2015 Mazda3 Sport http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/ttac-long-term-review-2015-mazda3-sport/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/ttac-long-term-review-2015-mazda3-sport/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 14:00:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=943689 First it was Jack. Then my Grandma. Now it’s my turn to buy a new car. The idea of owning a pure, elemental sports car is romantic and enticing. But the reality of living with one as your daily driver in a climate that alternates between stiflingly humid and frigid enough to freeze your bone […]

The post TTAC Long-Term Review: 2015 Mazda3 Sport appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
9754_576571102475305_2176760557845313945_n

First it was Jack. Then my Grandma. Now it’s my turn to buy a new car.

The idea of owning a pure, elemental sports car is romantic and enticing. But the reality of living with one as your daily driver in a climate that alternates between stiflingly humid and frigid enough to freeze your bone marrow is another matter. Half the time is spent stuck in traffic with the sun delivering enough UV rays to turn your scalp the same shade as a lobster. The other half is spent shivering in the barely insulated cabin, dodging distracted drivers and all-season shod cars while trying not to panic your passenger with consecutive attempts at threshold braking (hooray, no ABS). It was time for something different. For now. I will revisit things once the ND MX-5 is released.

The Miata went up for sale, and like any clean, rust-free Miata in Toronto, it went for a pretty penny. I promptly took the money, did not pass go or put $2000 down on a nice car. Instead, I socked it away in my retirement account. In line with my new, adult priorities, my criteria for a new car was such:

1) Cheap

2) Reasonably fun to drive

3) Cheap

4) Fuel efficient

5) Cheap

I briefly considered a Volkswagen GTI, but at the time, premium gas was over $6 a gallon, and the only 5-door version in Canada cost a hair under $35,000. I resolved to move on to a Ford Fiesta ST, but by the time I was ready to buy, interest rates went from 1.49 percent to 5.59% for financing and 7.19% for leasing. I had no intention of paying $500 CAD a month over 60 months to own that particular car. Previously, Ford Employee Pricing and favorable rates would have made the car sit in the high end of the “affordable” range for me, but now it sat well outside that bracket.

Earlier in the year, I’d driven a Mazda3 with the 2.0L and 6-speed manual, and came away just as impressed as I was at the launch event. It wasn’t particularly quick, but it felt gutsier than my NB Miata. The handling was as brilliant as I remembered, and the steering reminded me of my beloved 1997 NA, with a custom alignment, minus the darty sneeze-and-you-change-lanes feel that came with having 5 degrees of caster dialed in. More importantly, it was fairly comfortable, had a real trunk and got 35 mpg in mixed driving on regular gas – far better than the premium-swilling NB ever returned.

Somehow, my local dealer, Yorkdale Dufferin Mazda, had a number of manual transmission Mazda3s (and Mazda 6s, and Mazda5s for that matter) on the lot. I was all set on a Crystal Blue Mica sedan when I had a change of heart at the last minute, and took the hatchback model, seen here, in the same deep navy blue. This one was spec’d exactly how I wanted: 6-speed manual, the Convenience Package (with automatic headlamps and the all-important heated seats, among other things). No sunroof. The big, tablet-like screen with the HMI Commander interface. With the various incentives, I paid just a hair above invoice.

Confession time: I actually leased it. With a 60 percent residual, the ability to write part of the car off and no desire to own it out of the 3 year warranty, I opted for the (substantially) lower monthly payments. Many of you will counter that leasing is akin to a long-term rental, and you are correct. But it also ended up being cheaper than getting a Zipcar for two days out of every month.

I’m sure I could have also paid cash for a used car, but I wanted to free myself from trips to the mechanic, repair bills and the hassles associated with all of those factors. And with a interest rate of 0.29% from Mazda, it’s effectively free, meaning there’s better places to park my money.

I plan on detailing my experiences with the car for as long as I am driving it. I’m proud that myself, Jack and other contributors can and do bring you real world impressions of cars that we have paid our own money for. I’m also happen to be driving something akin to a wagon, even if most of you don’t regard it as such.

 

 

The post TTAC Long-Term Review: 2015 Mazda3 Sport appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/ttac-long-term-review-2015-mazda3-sport/feed/ 144
Consumer Reports: Infotainment System Woes Mark 2014 Reliability Survey http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/consumer-reports-infotainment-system-woes-mark-2014-reliability-survey/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/consumer-reports-infotainment-system-woes-mark-2014-reliability-survey/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 10:00:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=936826 Consumer Reports released its Annual Reliability Survey for this year, focusing some of the attention on the woes experienced by a handful of infotainment systems. According to the publication, the absolute worse of the pack in 2014 was Infiniti’s InTouch system in the new Q50, with over one in five owners wanting to take a […]

The post Consumer Reports: Infotainment System Woes Mark 2014 Reliability Survey appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Infiniti InTouch - Infiniti Q50

Consumer Reports released its Annual Reliability Survey for this year, focusing some of the attention on the woes experienced by a handful of infotainment systems.

According to the publication, the absolute worse of the pack in 2014 was Infiniti’s InTouch system in the new Q50, with over one in five owners wanting to take a crowbar to the whole thing. The brand itself took a beating, dropping 14 points to 20th out of 28 as a result of the Q50’s issues, as well as the overall reliability issues in the QX60. Other infotainment systems ironing out the bugs included Ford’s MyTouch, Honda’s HondaLink and Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s UConnect.

Concerning overall reliability, Lexus once again took the top of the podium, while Toyota and Mazda respectively brought home silver and bronze, and Honda finished in fourth. Buick, meanwhile, was the only brand among the Detroit Three to place in the top 10, jumping from 16th to sixth on the strength of its entire portfolio.

As for why the other Detroit brands failed to reach the top 10, Consumer Reports says domestic small and compact cars, along with full-size trucks, are holding everyone back. Tesla also didn’t make the list, but that was due to criteria than low quality: the publication only rates brands with a minimum of two models, a situation that will be remedied when the Model X rolls out next year.

Finally, Audi took fifth behind the Japanese makes, while Porsche took ninth ahead of Kia. BMW and Volvo remained within the top 20. Only Mercedes-Benz took a hit among the Europeans this year, falling 11 spots to 24th thanks to the new CLA and S classes.

The Consumer Reports 2014 reliability survey obtained its information from 1.1 million vehicles, the largest survey of its kind in the publication’s history.

consumer-reports-reliability-list-1

The post Consumer Reports: Infotainment System Woes Mark 2014 Reliability Survey appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/consumer-reports-infotainment-system-woes-mark-2014-reliability-survey/feed/ 91
NHTSA Issues Urgent Recall For Takata-Equipped Vehicles In Humid Climes http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/nhtsa-issues-urgent-recall-takata-equipped-vehicles-humid-climes/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/nhtsa-issues-urgent-recall-takata-equipped-vehicles-humid-climes/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=934178 If you happen to own certain BMW, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Mazda and Nissan vehicles, and reside in a humid climate, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is urging you to take it in for repairs linked to the Takata airbags installed. Though the agency didn’t explain exactly the need for urgency, the airbags made […]

The post NHTSA Issues Urgent Recall For Takata-Equipped Vehicles In Humid Climes appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Takata Airbag Cutaway

If you happen to own certain BMW, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Mazda and Nissan vehicles, and reside in a humid climate, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is urging you to take it in for repairs linked to the Takata airbags installed.

Though the agency didn’t explain exactly the need for urgency, the airbags made by Takata have been linked to humidity-related failures, where upon detonation, metal shrapnel would be sprayed into the cabin, injuring or killing all within.

Owners of the following affected vehicles may need to bring their vehicles in for repairs if they call Florida, Puerto Rico, Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Virgin Islands or Hawaii home:

Toyota: 778,177 total number of vehicles potentially affected
2002 – 2004 Lexus SC
2003 – 2004 Toyota Corolla
2003 – 2004 Toyota Corolla Matrix
2002 – 2004 Toyota Sequoia
2003 – 2004 Toyota Tundra
2003 – 2004 Pontiac Vibe

Honda: 2,803,214 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2001 – 2007 Honda Accord (4 cyl)
2001 – 2002 Honda Accord (6 cyl)
2001 – 2005 Honda Civic
2002 – 2006 Honda CR-V
2003 – 2011 Honda Element
2002 – 2004 Honda Odyssey
2003 -2007 Honda Pilot
2006 Honda Ridgeline
2003 – 2006 Acura MDX
2002 -2003 Acura TL/CL

Nissan: 437,712 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2001 2003 Nissan Maxima
2001 – 2003 Nissan Pathfinder
2002 – 2003 Nissan Sentra
2001 – 2003 Infiniti I30/I35
2002 – 2003 Infiniti QX4
2003 Infiniti FX

Mazda: 18,050 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2004 Mazda6
2004 Mazda RX-8

BMW: 573,935 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2000 – 2005 3 Series Sedan
2000 – 2006 3 Series Coupe
2000 – 2005 3 Series Sports Wagon
2000 – 2006 3 Series Convertible
2001 – 2006 M3 Coupe
2001 – 2006 M3 Convertible

General Motors: 133,221 total number potentially affected vehicles
2002 – 2003 Buick LeSabre
2002 – 2003 Buick Rendezvous
2002 – 2003 Cadillac DeVille
2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer
2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Impala
2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Venture
2002 – 2003 GMC Envoy
2002 – 2003 GMC Envoy XL
2002 – 2003 Oldsmobile Aurora
2002 – 2003 Oldsmobile Bravada
2002 – 2003 Oldsmobile Silhouette
2002 – 2003 Pontiac Bonneville
2002 – 2003 Pontiac Montana

Recall letters are being sent out to affected owners, who can also look up their VIN through SaferCar.gov to determine if their vehicle is under recall.

The post NHTSA Issues Urgent Recall For Takata-Equipped Vehicles In Humid Climes appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/nhtsa-issues-urgent-recall-takata-equipped-vehicles-humid-climes/feed/ 62
Revised Mazda2 Takes Home Japan COTY Award http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/revised-mazda2-takes-home-japan-coty-award/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/revised-mazda2-takes-home-japan-coty-award/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 14:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=931434 The newly revised Mazda2 — Demio in its home market of Japan — won’t be in United States showrooms until sometime during the 2016 model year, but when it does arrive, it will be bringing along its first award: the 2014-2015 Car of the Year Japan, as presented by the Japan Car of the Year […]

The post Revised Mazda2 Takes Home Japan COTY Award appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
New-Mazda2-3-Demio

The newly revised Mazda2 — Demio in its home market of Japan — won’t be in United States showrooms until sometime during the 2016 model year, but when it does arrive, it will be bringing along its first award: the 2014-2015 Car of the Year Japan, as presented by the Japan Car of the Year Committee.

The fourth vehicle to adopt the automaker’s Kodo design language — after the CX-5, Mazda6 and Mazda3 — the Mazda2 took home the award just two years after the CX-5 did the same. The win is Mazda’s fifth overall.

All passenger vehicles announced or in production in Japan between November 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014, with over 500 units produced/planned for the home market, were eligible for this year’s award.

The post Revised Mazda2 Takes Home Japan COTY Award appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/revised-mazda2-takes-home-japan-coty-award/feed/ 27
EPA: Mazda Holds Highest MPG, Lowest CO2 Averages For 2013 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/epa-mazda-holds-highest-mpg-lowest-co2-averages-2013/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/epa-mazda-holds-highest-mpg-lowest-co2-averages-2013/#comments Fri, 10 Oct 2014 14:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=928618 Mazda’s green vibes must just feel right with the Environmental Protection Agency, as the agency has proclaimed the automaker has the highest fuel economy and lowest greenhouse gas emissions of any automaker in 2013. Edmunds reports Mazda’s portfolio netted an average of 28.1 mpg and 316 grams/mile of CO2, followed by Honda (27.4/324), Subaru (26.7/332) […]

The post EPA: Mazda Holds Highest MPG, Lowest CO2 Averages For 2013 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Mazda6_3

Mazda’s green vibes must just feel right with the Environmental Protection Agency, as the agency has proclaimed the automaker has the highest fuel economy and lowest greenhouse gas emissions of any automaker in 2013.

Edmunds reports Mazda’s portfolio netted an average of 28.1 mpg and 316 grams/mile of CO2, followed by Honda (27.4/324), Subaru (26.7/332) and Nissan (26.2/339). Nissan also had the greatest improvement in both rankings, jumping up 2.2 mpg and cutting down 30 g/mi of CO2 compared to 2012. All four are set to continue their green ways, as well, with Mazda leading the way again for 2014 at 28.8 mpg/309 g/mi CO2.

At the bottom of the list, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles delivered an average of 20.9 mpg/425 g/mi CO2. Volkswagen AG bested the other German manufacturers with 353 g/mi CO2 and 25.7 mpg, while Hyundai and Kia continue to be footnotes due to an ongoing investigation regarding fuel economy numbers.

As stated earlier, the overall average mpg for 2013 came out to 24.1 mpg, while overall CO2 emissions averaged 369 g/mi. The EPA adds that the number of vehicles topping out at 40 mpg and above jumped from three to 26, and that the top three most fuel-efficient models for 2013 are the Chevrolet Spark (119 combined MPGe), Honda Fit EV (118) and Fiat 500e (116).

The post EPA: Mazda Holds Highest MPG, Lowest CO2 Averages For 2013 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/epa-mazda-holds-highest-mpg-lowest-co2-averages-2013/feed/ 53
Maeda: New Mazda RX Must Have Rotary Power http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/maeda-new-mazda-rx-must-rotary-power/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/maeda-new-mazda-rx-must-rotary-power/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:00:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=921617 Can you imagine one day visiting a Mazda showroom to buy a new RX-7 and finding anything but a rotary engine under the hood? Neither can global design chief — and RX-8 designer — Ikuo Maeda. Automotive News reports the designer, whose father gave the world the aforementioned sports car, is hard at work on […]

The post Maeda: New Mazda RX Must Have Rotary Power appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Mazda 787B + Rotary Engine

Can you imagine one day visiting a Mazda showroom to buy a new RX-7 and finding anything but a rotary engine under the hood? Neither can global design chief — and RX-8 designer — Ikuo Maeda.

Automotive News reports the designer, whose father gave the world the aforementioned sports car, is hard at work on bringing back the RX line. Though nothing is set in stone, and that the Skyactiv engine “is a wonderful powertrain,” Maeda insists the next RX must live up to its name.

However, engineers are still at a loss as to how to make the rotary engine cleaner to meet today’s more stringent emission guidelines, having been hard at work in the background since the Renesis 16X engine debuted in the back of the Taiki concept in 2007. Mazda itself hasn’t pushed the rotary back into the spotlight since giving the RX-8 the ax in 2012.

The post Maeda: New Mazda RX Must Have Rotary Power appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/maeda-new-mazda-rx-must-rotary-power/feed/ 75
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Unveiled http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2016-mazda-mx-5-miata-unveiled/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2016-mazda-mx-5-miata-unveiled/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 01:00:43 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=905601 This is it: The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata unveiled for all to behold. The fourth-generation MX-5 takes the automaker’s Kodo design language to another level, giving the iconic roadster “the presence of a living creature and a strong sense of vitality to the car,” as well as convey agility. Underneath the bio-mechanical skin, the roadster […]

The post 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Unveiled appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2016+MX-5_Front3qtr_JP_1

This is it: The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata unveiled for all to behold.

The fourth-generation MX-5 takes the automaker’s Kodo design language to another level, giving the iconic roadster “the presence of a living creature and a strong sense of vitality to the car,” as well as convey agility.

Underneath the bio-mechanical skin, the roadster distributes its 2280 pounds of weight — 200 pounds lighter than the current MX-5 — 50:50 between the front and rear. Under the bonnet, a Skyactiv-G direct-injection gasoline engine sends its power to the back through either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

Part of the weight reduction comes from the use of aluminum forward of the A-pillar as well as the rear bumper reinforcements. Lighter suspension components and soft-top materials contribute to Mazda’s so-called “gram strategy,” also.

Behind the wheel, the automaker’s Mazda Connect next-gen connected-vehicle system “efficiently links the driver to the car and the outside world.” Meanwhile, the soft-top can be operated from within the cockpit, the roadster won’t look awkward like the Nissan Z and Murano CrossCabriolet with the top down, and wind control features will keep your hair or hat from blowing away.

The new MX-5 will go on sale in 2015. No price of admission has been announced at this time.

2016+MX-5_Front3qtr_JP_1 7.)+2016+MX-5_DirectFront_JP 15.)+2016+MX-5_SideProfile_JP_1 4.)++2016-MX-5_SideProfile_JP_Rf 16.)+2016+MX-5_Rear3qtr_JP 13.)+2016+MX-5_TailLight_JP 11.)+2016+MX-5_SkyactivBadge_Common_cpd 12.)+2016+MX-5_MX5Badge_Common_cpd+copy 10.)+2016+MX-5_interior 5.)+2016+MX-5_wheel_JP 6.)+2016+MX-5_chassis_in_0818 2.)+2016+MX-5_chassis_exterior_up_0821

The post 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Unveiled appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2016-mazda-mx-5-miata-unveiled/feed/ 98
Lightly Revised Mazda CX-5 Caught By Spy Cameras http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/lightly-revised-mazda-cx-5-caught-spy-cameras/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/lightly-revised-mazda-cx-5-caught-spy-cameras/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 10:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=893394 The Mazda CX-5 is doing well for itself among critics and customers alike, but like anyone else, the automaker has some ideas on how the crossover can keep its edge. Autoblog reports spy cameras caught a lightly camo’d CX-5 testing somewhere in Europe with tape covering parts of its face and backside. The head and […]

The post Lightly Revised Mazda CX-5 Caught By Spy Cameras appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2013 Mazda CX-5. Picture courtesy motortrend.com

The Mazda CX-5 is doing well for itself among critics and customers alike, but like anyone else, the automaker has some ideas on how the crossover can keep its edge.

Autoblog reports spy cameras caught a lightly camo’d CX-5 testing somewhere in Europe with tape covering parts of its face and backside. The head and rear lamps have been revised, along with the grill, and the side mirrors boast integrated turn signals.

Expect to see everything unmasked around the Los Angeles Auto Show this November prior to going on sale the following autumn for the 2016 model year.

mazda-cx5-spy-shots-facelift-00-1 mazda-cx5-spy-shots-facelift-03-1 mazda-cx5-spy-shots-facelift-05-1

The post Lightly Revised Mazda CX-5 Caught By Spy Cameras appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/lightly-revised-mazda-cx-5-caught-spy-cameras/feed/ 58
Mazda2 RE May Appear Soon, But Only In Select Markets http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/mazda2-re-may-appear-soon-but-only-in-select-markets/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/mazda2-re-may-appear-soon-but-only-in-select-markets/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 11:00:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=863249 The oft-rumored Mazda2 RE PHEV, powered by a range-extending rotary engine, may soon become reality, appearing sometime after the next-gen hatch debuts in showrooms between October and the new year. Motoring.com.au reports the PHEV won’t be making its global debut with the rest of the new Mazda2 family in August, nor will it likely appear […]

The post Mazda2 RE May Appear Soon, But Only In Select Markets appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Mazda-2-Range-Extender1

The oft-rumored Mazda2 RE PHEV, powered by a range-extending rotary engine, may soon become reality, appearing sometime after the next-gen hatch debuts in showrooms between October and the new year.

Motoring.com.au reports the PHEV won’t be making its global debut with the rest of the new Mazda2 family in August, nor will it likely appear in showrooms where government support is lacking, according to Mazda Australia Managing Director Martin Benders:

The only markets in which you can justify bringing something like that out, to get at least a reasonable amount of volume to justify setting it up as a saleable model, are ones where there’s government support for those types of models.

Benders adds that the current crop of Skyactiv engines do a better job of reducing CO2 emissions and boosting fuel economy than the more expensive PHEV technology, with subsidies and sales quotas hindering the case for hybrids in countries where the support isn’t there. However, Benders doesn’t believe government money should be used to promote the technology, preferring the market to decide what lives and what dies.

As for the new-gen Mazda2, which will take its cue from the Kodo design language found in vehicles like the Mazda3 and Mazda6, power will be supplied by a 1.5-liter naturally aspirated gasoline engine and a matching turbo diesel; the latter will likely not make it to the United States when the new compact arrives next year.

The post Mazda2 RE May Appear Soon, But Only In Select Markets appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/mazda2-re-may-appear-soon-but-only-in-select-markets/feed/ 15
Reader Review: 2014 Mazda6 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/reader-review-2014-mazda6/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/reader-review-2014-mazda6/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 15:46:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=863065 TTAC reader Steve submits his review of his 2014 Mazda6 Touring – with a manual! I drove home in my new Liquid Silver Mazda 6 (Touring with 6MT) in January of this year – at just over $23,000, this is the cheapest new car I’ve bought, and also the most enjoyable. Having previously owned a […]

The post Reader Review: 2014 Mazda6 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
20140707_201014

TTAC reader Steve submits his review of his 2014 Mazda6 Touring – with a manual!

I drove home in my new Liquid Silver Mazda 6 (Touring with 6MT) in January of this year – at just over $23,000, this is the cheapest new car I’ve bought, and also the most enjoyable.


Having previously owned a 2006 Mazdaspeed6 and more recently a 2011 Nissan Maxima, I had serious reservations about shedding so many ponies from my stable by opting for Mazda’s obligatory 4 banger. However, after a few years of the Maxima’s CVT, my left leg had atrophied to the point where I was bound and determined to buy another manual transmission, despite the power downgrade and the lack of entrants in the midsize sedan segment with an optional third pedal.

My first choice was a Cadillac ATS 2.0 RWD 6MT, but at the time I was shopping, I was not finding any deals. The tiny back seat and my three growing kids didn’t make things easier. The prospect of Detroit winters in a rear-drive car, my own lead foot (turbo engines tend to be thirsty with my driving habits) and the upward creep of the MSRP, I decided to pass.

20140707_200616

Although I looked at the Accord and Fusion, the sexy curves, long hood, imposing grille and general seductiveness of the Mazda6 drove me right into the waiting arms of my Mazda dealer. I opted for the Touring trim level without too much debate as it had the optional 6MT and the Sport was only available with cloth interior and could not be had with the considerably more aesthetically pleasing 19” rims. I considered the auto-only Grand Touring simply because it had quite a few extras not available on the Touring, like a moon roof, navigation, HID headlights, real leather seats and LED running lights to name a few. Had the Grand Touring been offered with a manual, I would probably have one in my driveway. But the Touring trim is really the sweet spot in terms of value; shaving at least $6,000 off of the price compared to a Grand Touring, probably more depending on equipment levels.

2014-07-08 12.03.11

The interior of the Touring trim is no penalty box. Upscale is not a word I would use to describe it, but it is tasteful and competitive with others in the class in terms of material quality. The dash is composed of primarily soft touch materials where it matters in addition to faux carbon and aluminum accents. There are hard textured plastics on surfaces where your hands are unlikely to wander. The seats are “leatherette” trimmed. It is a somewhat convincing leather substitute which is likely to fool those who don’t know better. I find that it is no better or worse than real leather in terms of comfort.

The base sound system is actually quite good; I have been very pleased with it. The Bluetooth audio works very well, as does the streaming Pandora function. HD radio is also nice feature to those who actually still listen to AM/FM. Fire up the car and my Google Music library starts playing where it left off in a matter of seconds; I assume it would do the same for an iPhone. There has been lots of criticism of the infotainment system which I find really unwarranted. It may not be the best, most intuitive system with the largest screen and fastest processor on the market, but I have managed just fine. It makes me wonder just how subjective the love/hate reviews of various infotainment systems must be.Open the manual and learn how to use it people!

The 6 has a touch screen infotainment system with a display that is roughly 5.5 inches, almost the exact same size as my Galaxy Note3. This also raises the question as to the value of these infotainment systems. Armed with a tablet, a giant phone and a laptop, what the hell do I need a fancy in-car infotainment system for? If you cannot manage to launch Google maps on the fly via voice command on your phone for turn by turn directions you probably cannot operate an in-car infotainment system properly either. My point being, these systems, particularly navigation systems, are largely redundant in my opinion. If you are so inclined though, you can use the touch screen or the command dial mounted between the gearshift and cup holders to operate the audio or customize a variety of functions such as the duration of your audible turn signal clicks, the time the exterior and interior lights remain on after the vehicle is turned off and various other functions. Climate control is easy to operate and has proven extremely effective for AC or heat. I have found that all the buttons are fairly well placed and reasonably intuitive to operate.

The back seat is spacious enough to accommodate my three children, two of whom still require booster seats sitting outboard and my five foot tall 8-year-old sitting in the center, but it is admittedly tight with the boosters. There is enough leg room for a 6 foot tall adult to sit in relative comfort behind a 6 foot tall driver.

2014-07-08 12.03.11

 

It’s true that ingress and egress to the rear passenger compartment is complicated by the sloping roofline but the situation is easily remedied by opening your eyes and not smashing your head into the door frame. If you find the process too daunting, you are probably lucky Darwin hasn’t yet come to claim you as an evolutionary failure in some sort of freak strangulation accident at the hands of some easily escapable contrivance. The front seats are comfortable on longer trips and sufficiently bolstered. The car has a push button start, but curiously, not advanced keyless entry. Only the driver’s window is express auto up/down and the key fob unfortunately cannot roll down any of the windows on a hot day. Headlights are auto off, but not auto on. It has a standard backup camera with cross traffic alert and blind spot monitor. The driver has a power adjustable seat. The rear seats split 60/40 to allow trunk pass through of bulky items. The trunk is sufficiently large for a few golf bags or at least one dead body.

On the road, the 6 feels downright nimble, especially compared to my old Maxima (a 4DSC it was not). The 6’s body stays planted while cornering even on imperfect surfaces where my old Maxima would have lost composure due to suspension rebound. Steering is fairly boosted at low speeds but has nice weight and feel once on the road. The 6 handles the patchy moonscape of Michigan roads rather well, even with the big rims and low profile tires. It is a firm ride, but never feels like it crashes over bumps; gracefully handling road conditions that would have shaken trim pieces off of my old Mazdaspeed6.

The car is not fast, but the 184hp and 185 torques produced by the Skyactiv 4-cylinder are a good match for the chassis and transmission. The powerplant is more than adequate for a 3200 pound car. Redline comes rather quick at just over 6k rpm and more brisk acceleration requires you to stay above 3000 rpm, shifts are relatively smooth and clutch operation is easy with a good engagement point not too far from the floor in the clutch pedal travel.

Cruising around 80 mph on the highway puts the car at about 3000 rpm, and there is what I would consider a moderate amount of engine, wind and road noise. In the last few months I have been consistently getting about 31 mpg is mostly city driving. The small amount of highway travel I have done so far has netted about 38 mpg. Fuel economy was a little lower in the frigid winter months, averaging 28-29 mpg, but I am very pleased with the fuel consumption since spring.

I have clocked over 7000 trouble free miles since I bought my 6 with no regrets, wishing only for a few goodies and options to be available with the manual transmission beyond the Touring trim standard features. But, like my father always said, “wish in one hand and sh*t in the other and see which hand fills up first”. It took me a long time to figure out what that means, and I think this crude pearl of wisdom is well suited to the compromises we all make when purchasing a vehicle. A perfect car with everything you want may not exist, but there is a vehicle that has what you need and is perfect for you.

I may be turning into my father – or perhaps finally letting go of my youth and embracing the horror of being a balding, 30 something father of three children who appreciates sensible, worry-free, reasonably priced transportation. With the new Mazda6, I get all that in addition to a nice dose of exterior styling, a chassis, suspension, transmission and engine that can bring a smile to my face and some joy to my commute. I know there are plenty of cars that can best the Mazda6 in every test that involves moving, I haven’t seen any ladies flocking to me as I pull up to the club and it is not luxurious by any stretch. But, what you get for the price of admission adds up to more than the sum of its parts and I believe the Mazda6 in general and the Touring trim in particular is a true bargain in a beautiful and fun to drive package.

20140708_115649 20140707_201014 2014-07-08 12.03.11 20140707_200616 (1)

The post Reader Review: 2014 Mazda6 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/reader-review-2014-mazda6/feed/ 138
Honda, Nissan, Mazda Recall 3 Million Over Defective Airbag Inflators http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/honda-nissan-mazda-recall-3-million-over-defective-airbag-inflators/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/honda-nissan-mazda-recall-3-million-over-defective-airbag-inflators/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 10:00:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=850770 Honda, Nissan and Mazda are recalling a total of 3 million vehicles equipped with defective airbag inflators supplied by Takata, following a similar action by Toyota. Automotive News reports 2.03 million Hondas, 755,000 Nissans and 159,807 Mazdas globally are being recalled to replace the defective units. The effort comes just after Toyota recalled 1.62 vehicles […]

The post Honda, Nissan, Mazda Recall 3 Million Over Defective Airbag Inflators appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Honda_Civic_Si_EP3

Honda, Nissan and Mazda are recalling a total of 3 million vehicles equipped with defective airbag inflators supplied by Takata, following a similar action by Toyota.

Automotive News reports 2.03 million Hondas, 755,000 Nissans and 159,807 Mazdas globally are being recalled to replace the defective units. The effort comes just after Toyota recalled 1.62 vehicles outside Japan that were recalled earlier this month for the same issue, and 655,000 vehicles in the home market that were being recalled for the first time. As of June 23, 10 million vehicles between 2009 and 2014 have been recalled due to defects in Takata’s airbag units.

June’s action follow those by the four automakers conducted in April of this year, when Takata informed the group that a number of the defective units had escaped into the supplier channels due to poor record-keeping between 2000 and 2002 at the supplier’s plants in Washington and Mexico, where the moisture-infected units were assembled and stored. Moisture degraded the airbags’ inflators, which led to the units exploding, throwing metal shrapnel throughout the cabin.

Other manufacturers who used Takata airbags — including Ford, Chrysler and BMW — are also calling back a handful of affected models, especially those in humid climates such as Florida and Puerto Rico; CEO Shigehisa Takada claimed “the high levels of absolute humidity in those states” may also cause catastrophic failure of the inflators.

The post Honda, Nissan, Mazda Recall 3 Million Over Defective Airbag Inflators appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/honda-nissan-mazda-recall-3-million-over-defective-airbag-inflators/feed/ 10
Mazda MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition Sells Out In 10 Minutes http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/mazda-mx-5-miata-25th-anniversary-edition-sells-out-in-10-minutes/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/mazda-mx-5-miata-25th-anniversary-edition-sells-out-in-10-minutes/#comments Thu, 22 May 2014 12:00:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=828610 Were you hoping to get your hands on one of the 100 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition roadsters? Alas, you can stop holding your breath: All 100 were sold within 10 minutes. Autoblog reports Mazda opened its pre-order site for the roadster on Tuesday with the idea of keeping it open until the […]

The post Mazda MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition Sells Out In 10 Minutes appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition

Were you hoping to get your hands on one of the 100 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition roadsters? Alas, you can stop holding your breath: All 100 were sold within 10 minutes.

Autoblog reports Mazda opened its pre-order site for the roadster on Tuesday with the idea of keeping it open until the end of May or when 250 customers registered. Ten minutes later, 250 customers signed up, leaving the automaker with the unenviable task of contacting and verifying the first 100 who will be granted the opportunity to order this particular MX-5.

Once the customer chooses either the $32,205 six-speed manual or $32,655 six-speed sport automatic with manual shift, “the customer’s information will then be forwarded to the dealership of their choosing to finalize the transaction.” All models come with a retractable hard top, the Soul Red paint found on the Mazda6, special badging inside, and a custom Tourneau watch among the pieces available.

The post Mazda MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition Sells Out In 10 Minutes appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/mazda-mx-5-miata-25th-anniversary-edition-sells-out-in-10-minutes/feed/ 21
Rental Review: 2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/rental-review-2014-mazda-cx-5-touring-awd/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/rental-review-2014-mazda-cx-5-touring-awd/#comments Sat, 26 Apr 2014 18:30:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=810162 Two years ago, I declared my undying affection for the Mazda CX-5. The “Skyactiv philosophy” cute-ute was, I reckoned, pretty close to perfect. There was just one little problem: although the manual-transmission variant shone in venues as diverse as Laguna Seca and the back roads surrounding Monterey, the CX-5 struggled a bit when its two-liter […]

The post Rental Review: 2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
20140423_132701

Two years ago, I declared my undying affection for the Mazda CX-5. The “Skyactiv philosophy” cute-ute was, I reckoned, pretty close to perfect. There was just one little problem: although the manual-transmission variant shone in venues as diverse as Laguna Seca and the back roads surrounding Monterey, the CX-5 struggled a bit when its two-liter powerplant was combined with an automatic transmission. So what, right? Obviously the stick-shift is the one to have.

Since most people don’t feel that way, however, Mazda has decided to address the power issue by making its 2.5L, 184-horsepower engine standard equipment in Touring trim and above. To check out what difference the bigger mill makes on the road, I drove a CX-5 nearly twelve hundred miles in the course of seventy-two hours.

20140423_133728

My trip took me from sunny Powell, Ohio to, um… is that Bangkok in the photo above? Perhaps it’s Kuala Lumpur, or Nairobi. Maybe this next shot will help.

20140423_133755

Yes? No? Maybe? The Pepsi-Cola sign should be helpful. Let’s see it from another angle:

citi

That’s Citi Field, home of the Mets. The CX-5 is, therefore, in the so-called “Iron Triangle” behind Citi, the unregulated, unpaved area where chop-shops and bootleg collision centers dominate the not-quite-urban landscape. The “Iron Triangle” is, I understand, not long for this world; too many people have their eyes on the real estate. You can read more about it on Slate. My six-foot-tall, unashamedly Dutch boon companion and professional urban planner, [name redacted], considers the area perhaps the most exciting part of New York. “It’s amazing, to see a place where nothing’s been done.” Then, referring to the city’s willful failure to provide the Iron Triangle with paved streets, city sewers, or electric lighting, she offered this: “Every Republican in this country should be dragged there to see what happens when you have little to no government involvement in daily life.”

One thing’s for certain: if you want to go off-roading within the five boroughs, this is your destination. The landscape abounds with foot-deep sinkholes, ruts, and crests created by the action of undrained rainwater across the dirt surface. Once or twice, I was able to get the Mazda to do some deliberate traction transfer to the rear wheels in order to get up a slippery hump. The locals, who avoid those areas as a matter of course, eyed me with suspicion. What kind of idiot would deliberately tackle stuff like that in a CUV?

The CX-5 is totally fine on rough surfaces, as long as you’re conscious of the ride height, but it was designed to operate on-road. A good thing, as I had a lot of road to cover during this trip, and I had to drive it all myself. I decided that I would deliberately compare this $26,215 four-cylinder car against the Grand Cherokee that won the Rental Grinders comparison a week ago. What do you lose for the $13,000 price gap to the JGC, and what, if anything, do you gain?

We all know that a transverse FWD platform pays dividends in all sorts of ways. Start with interior space utilization. The CX-5 is significantly smaller than the Grand Cherokee, losing half a foot in both length and wheelbase and four inches across the beam, but it doesn’t feel like it. All four passengers have at least as much usable room in the Mazda as in the Jeep, and cargo area was effectively identical. After the decidedly upscale interior and touch points of the Grand Cherokee, the CX-5 was functional at best — but nearly everything you touch feels acceptable for the segment. Some of it is a little over-designed, as with the turn signal and wiper switch that have J-shaped connectors to the steering column, but it’s all usable enough.

The Touring trim’s included center screen and stereo system are the easy equal of anything the Jeep or Ford Edge SEL have to offer; better, in fact, with more features and a more satisfying listening experience. The Bluetooth integration was a little frustrating; not only were phone conversations using my Samsung Galaxy S3 quite frustrating, the texting feature was completely useless.

20140424_185638

Yeah, don’t bother with that. It doesn’t work. On the positive side, track and artist information were clearly and correctly displayed when using my phone as an audio device, and the directional buttons for track selection were functional as well.

A good stereo is a requirement for a long drive, but a good ride and low interior noise don’t hurt matters. Here, the CX-5 shone, matching the bigger utes for ride and beating the Edge on noise suppression. It had the measure of its rivals on manueverability, as well, particularly on the surface streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn where moving aggressively to find and fill gaps isn’t an optional behavior.

So far, that’s all the behavior I expected from the little-ish Mazda based on previous experience. The questions I had revolved around the pairing of the 2.5L Skyactiv and the six-speed automatic. We can start with the good news: On the 560-mile trip from Powell to Williamsburg, the CX-5 displayed an average 30.1mpg consumption figure, showing 30.3mpg all the way to the Holland Tunnel. I drove for economy, avoiding strong starts or kickdown-intensive passing, but I did run 75-80mph wherever possible.

On the way back, however, there was a strong headwind and I frequently found myself summoning fifth gear for climbs. Against the wind, so to speak, the CX-5 couldn’t maintain 80mph without dropping out of top gear. At the end of the return trip, therefore, the score stood as you see here:

20140425_095049

Still not bad, right? And still about twenty percent better than what either the Edge or Grand Cherokee could manage. Make no mistake, though, the addition of the 2.5L didn’t make this CUV a rocketship. At best, it’s now quick enough to work with all traffic situations. If you want a fast vehicle in this segment, get the old V-6 RAV4, which fired off fifteen-second quarter-miles with no problem. This Mazda won’t come close to that.

It’s tempting to wish for a V-6 in this CUV, as well. But the CX-5 shines in large part because of the overall balance Mazda got from making it incompatible with a larger engine. Perhaps alone among its competitors, this is a vehicle of restraint and even taste. Just enough size, just enough motor, just enough features. At two-thirds of the price of the larger CUV competition, this vehicle offers a full share of their virtues, with some additional ones besides.

After two long days on the road, I remained convinced by the CX-5. It would really knock my socks off if Mazda could combine the six-speed manual with the bigger engine, but this Touring variant is more than good enough to see off the competition. The sticker price represents tremendous value and it continues to be recommended over the alternatives, from CR-V to Escape. If you really need more power, more curb appeal, and more off-road ability, you can choose the Grand Cherokee without regrets — but for the vast majority of buyers, this Five is enough.

The post Rental Review: 2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/rental-review-2014-mazda-cx-5-touring-awd/feed/ 196
New York 2014: Mazda Skyactiv Chassis Live Shots http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/new-york-2014-mazda-skyactiv-chassis-live-shots/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/new-york-2014-mazda-skyactiv-chassis-live-shots/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:14:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=802970 While Mazda’s new MX-5 Miata’s debut will have to wait another day, the iconic roadster’s new Skyactiv Chassis made the rounds at the 2014 New York Auto Show. As demonstrated, the new chassis places the engine further back toward the center while providing the upcoming Miata with a lower center of gravity and 220 pounds […]

The post New York 2014: Mazda Skyactiv Chassis Live Shots appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Mazda-Skyactiv-Chassis-05

While Mazda’s new MX-5 Miata’s debut will have to wait another day, the iconic roadster’s new Skyactiv Chassis made the rounds at the 2014 New York Auto Show.

As demonstrated, the new chassis places the engine further back toward the center while providing the upcoming Miata with a lower center of gravity and 220 pounds in weight savings over the outgoing chassis. Front and rear suspensions have been reworked, and steering improvements have been made, including the introduction of electric power steering.

Mazda-Skyactiv-Chassis-02 Mazda-Skyactiv-Chassis-03 Mazda-Skyactiv-Chassis-05 Mazda-Skyactiv-Chassis-06 Mazda-Skyactiv-Chassis-07 Mazda-Skyactiv-Chassis-08

The post New York 2014: Mazda Skyactiv Chassis Live Shots appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/new-york-2014-mazda-skyactiv-chassis-live-shots/feed/ 26
Japanese Automakers Find New Export Base, Opportunity In Mexico http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/japanese-automakers-find-new-export-base-opportunity-in-mexico/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/japanese-automakers-find-new-export-base-opportunity-in-mexico/#comments Tue, 11 Mar 2014 14:45:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=769626 Within four months of each other, Honda, Mazda and Nissan have opened new factories in Mexico, taking advantage of the opportunities within the nation’s automotive industry to grow a new export base into the United States, Latin America and Europe while also gaining ground in the rapidly expanding local market, all in direct challenge to […]

The post Japanese Automakers Find New Export Base, Opportunity In Mexico appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Mazda3s Loading Onto Three-Tiered Train Car

Within four months of each other, Honda, Mazda and Nissan have opened new factories in Mexico, taking advantage of the opportunities within the nation’s automotive industry to grow a new export base into the United States, Latin America and Europe while also gaining ground in the rapidly expanding local market, all in direct challenge to the Detroit Three and other automakers on both sides of the border.

Automotive News reports Mexico will become the No. 1 exporting nation to the U.S. by 2015 at the earliest in large part due to the 605,000 units per year added by the three Japanese automakers. Meanwhile, Toyota will begin production in 2015 at Mazda’s newly opened Salamanca plant prior to deciding whether or not to build a new factory of their own. Nissan’s premium brand, Infiniti, may also set-up shop in Mexico.

In turn, the Japanese will see benefits from the move, from mitigating losses from a weaker yen in exports from home and greater profit due to cheap labor, to no tariffs on exports to the U.S. due to the North American Free Trade Agreement and improved product availability resulting from shorter distances between markets.

Speaking of free-trade agreements, Japanese automakers will also have access to some 44 countries and up to 40 million sales annually as a result of Mexico’s many agreements, allowing them to take on competitors in Latin America and Europe.

Finally, the Japanese have taken market share away from the Detroit Three in Mexico’s own automotive market, holding a collective 42 percent over Detroit’s 35 percent in 2013, when just four years earlier Detroit dominated with 57 percent of the market over Japan’s 23 percent.

The post Japanese Automakers Find New Export Base, Opportunity In Mexico appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/japanese-automakers-find-new-export-base-opportunity-in-mexico/feed/ 27
Toyota To Receive SkyActiv Engines For Upcoming Subcompact http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/toyota-to-receive-skyactiv-engines-for-upcoming-subcompact/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/toyota-to-receive-skyactiv-engines-for-upcoming-subcompact/#comments Fri, 07 Mar 2014 15:33:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=767377 Toyota’s line of engine/body mashups continues, this time with their upcoming Mazda2-based subcompact powered by Mazda’s SkyActiv engine family. Automotive News reports the subcompact, set to replace the current Yaris by 2016 at the latest, will be assembled alongside the new Mazda2 at Mazda’s newly opened Salamanca, Mexico factory. Approximately 50,000 of the factory’s total […]

The post Toyota To Receive SkyActiv Engines For Upcoming Subcompact appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Mazda3 SKYACTIV engine, photo courtesy Michael Karesh

Toyota’s line of engine/body mashups continues, this time with their upcoming Mazda2-based subcompact powered by Mazda’s SkyActiv engine family.

Automotive News reports the subcompact, set to replace the current Yaris by 2016 at the latest, will be assembled alongside the new Mazda2 at Mazda’s newly opened Salamanca, Mexico factory. Approximately 50,000 of the factory’s total annual output of 230,000 units will be allocated to Toyota for the subcompact, with the SkyActiv transplant assembled on-site.

Though few details regarding either subcompact have been released, Mazda’s partnership with Toyota will allow the former to achieve greater economies of scale for the factory by supplying engines and possibly other SkyActiv-related components to Toyota.

Production for Toyota’s subcompact is set to begin next year, while Mazda2 production may begin as soon as the second half of 2014.

The post Toyota To Receive SkyActiv Engines For Upcoming Subcompact appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/toyota-to-receive-skyactiv-engines-for-upcoming-subcompact/feed/ 82
Fiat, Abarth Likely To Receive Mazda-Based Roadster Over Alfa http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/fiat-abarth-likely-to-receive-mazda-based-roadster-over-alfa/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/fiat-abarth-likely-to-receive-mazda-based-roadster-over-alfa/#comments Tue, 04 Mar 2014 19:19:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=764089 Long rumored to wear the Alfa Romeo badge, the next-generation Mazda MX-5 may instead don a Fiat or Abarth necklace in 2015 if Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne has the last word. Automotive News reports sources close to the project stated product planners from Mazda and Fiat met recently to discuss a roadster based […]

The post Fiat, Abarth Likely To Receive Mazda-Based Roadster Over Alfa appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2011_Mazda_MX-5_PRHT_--_04-28-2011

Long rumored to wear the Alfa Romeo badge, the next-generation Mazda MX-5 may instead don a Fiat or Abarth necklace in 2015 if Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne has the last word.

Automotive News reports sources close to the project stated product planners from Mazda and Fiat met recently to discuss a roadster based upon the MX-5. Fiat’s planners are looking for a way to maintain the supply partnership deal with the Japanese automaker, lest the break-up leave Fiat in the red through 2016, when they hope to return to the black in their native Europe.

As for why, Marchionne has proclaimed that no Alfa will be made outside of Italy so long as he is CEO, a statement reinforced as recently as the 2014 Detroit Auto Show; Marchionne plans to head FCA until 2017 at the earliest.

The so-called heir to the throne abdicated by the Fiat Duetto Spider made famous by the film “The Graduate,” the Italo-Japanese roadster may find a home with Fiat or Abarth, too underpowered be paired with Ferrari or Maserati, while Lancia retreats into its home market as a one-model brand by the end of 2014.

The post Fiat, Abarth Likely To Receive Mazda-Based Roadster Over Alfa appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/fiat-abarth-likely-to-receive-mazda-based-roadster-over-alfa/feed/ 36
Yamanouchi: Mazda’s Mexico Factory Key To Global Strategy http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/yamanouchi-mazdas-mexico-factory-key-to-global-strategy/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/yamanouchi-mazdas-mexico-factory-key-to-global-strategy/#comments Fri, 28 Feb 2014 16:15:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=757201 Mazda Chairman Takashi Yamanouchi opened his company’s sole North American factory in Salamanca, Mexico, proclaiming the new factory the key to a global strategy “upon which the very future of [the] company hinges.” Automotive News reports the strategy with the factory — Mazda’s Structural Reform Plan — follows a three-pronged approach: a hedge against currency […]

The post Yamanouchi: Mazda’s Mexico Factory Key To Global Strategy appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Takashi Yamanouchi

Mazda Chairman Takashi Yamanouchi opened his company’s sole North American factory in Salamanca, Mexico, proclaiming the new factory the key to a global strategy “upon which the very future of [the] company hinges.”

Automotive News reports the strategy with the factory — Mazda’s Structural Reform Plan — follows a three-pronged approach: a hedge against currency exchange disruptions, provide Mazda with a low-cost manufacturing base, and give the automaker access to new markets. The factory’s location allows the automaker to gain more profit for the Mazda3s destined for the United States, than those exported from Japan, while also providing an export base to Europe and access to new markets in Latin America. In turn, Mazda’s new access through Mexico’s free trade pacts provides to markers worth a combined 35 million to 40 million vehicle sales annually.

Though the yen is weakening against the dollar at the moment, Yamanouchi said the factory will act as a hedge against unpredictable currency fluctuations that could bring down profits for his company at any time:

When the yen becomes stronger, we have the Mexican plant, therefore we will never again go into the lost position. But when the yen gets weaker, we will further cost reduce the Mexican plants so it will contribute to our total profitability. Our philosophy is that we will strike the balance of business so that we won’t go into the very difficult times of the past that we have experienced. Never.

The factory is expected to employ 4,600 workers once at full capacity of 230,000 units/annually. Currently, 3,000 employees assemble Mazda3s for the North American market, which will be joined by the Mazda2 and a Mazda2-based vehicle for Toyota. An engine machining plant will also set up shop in the factory by October 2014.

The post Yamanouchi: Mazda’s Mexico Factory Key To Global Strategy appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/yamanouchi-mazdas-mexico-factory-key-to-global-strategy/feed/ 41
A Bi-polar Review of the 2014 Mazda 6 GT http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/a-bi-polar-review-of-the-2014-mazda-6-gt/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/a-bi-polar-review-of-the-2014-mazda-6-gt/#comments Thu, 27 Feb 2014 17:03:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=749169 I’ve been driving the 2014 Mazda 6 GT w/ Mazda’s SkyActive Technology Package for about a week now. It’s a stunner, looking for all the world like the kind of sports sedan Aston Martin would build if it had any stones. On top of that, the car has some seriously trick fuel-savings features and, I […]

The post A Bi-polar Review of the 2014 Mazda 6 GT appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2014 Mazda 6 GT SkyActiv

I’ve been driving the 2014 Mazda 6 GT w/ Mazda’s SkyActive Technology Package for about a week now. It’s a stunner, looking for all the world like the kind of sports sedan Aston Martin would build if it had any stones. On top of that, the car has some seriously trick fuel-savings features and, I must admit, handles brilliantly (even on my tester’s Blizzak winter tires). For each of the Mazda’s highs, however, there is a low, and I will do my very best to remain objective as I share these, leaving you, dear reader, to decide whether the highs outweigh the lows.

Get comfy, then. We’re about to get weird.

2014 Mazda 6 GT: Highs and Lows

The 2014 Mazda 6 GT is a study in compromises. As I alluded to above, the Mazda is the best car I’ve tested in some ways. In other ways, it’s the very worst. Let’s start, then, on a high note: the Mazda’s muscle-car styling.

The 2014 Mazda 6 is, simply, one of the best-looking cars ever built. That may sound like it’s one of those “opinion” things, but it’s not. It’s a fact, and anyone with even the slightest hint of soul will see it immediately. The 2014 Mazda 6 GT combines the same sort of long hood/short deck sort of rear-drive proportions that made the original Mustang a classic, and combines those with a sexy, flowing curviness that is both subtly European and very, very Japanese in the best possible sense of the word.

There is only 1 (one) thing wrong with the Mazda’s look: it’s fake.

Granted, being 1 step away from perfection seems pretty good on paper, but the fact that the car draws you in with a long-hooded Muscle-car vibe then sticks you with the same basic mechanical front drive layout as a minivan is, at best, disappointing.

Let’s move on to the next “good” thing, then, shall we?

My 2014 Mazda 6 tester was equipped with the company’s highly lauded SkyActiv Technology Package. That includes Mazda’s i-ELOOP energy recovery system, active grille shutters, and radar-assisted cruise control, along with a few other goodies. The system is supposed to give back 28 city and 40 highway MPG and do all kinds of cool things like maintain a distance from the car in front of you, matching speed, accelerating back to your set speed once the “blocking” car moves, etc. It works amazingly well, and is almost totally invisible. It works so well, in fact, that I would almost suggest Mazda’s Technology Package be held out as the “gold standard” by which automotive electronics are measured by.

Almost, that is, because as well as the Mazda 6’s Technology Package worked, I didn’t get anywhere near 40 MPG. On several drives, even re-tracing the same route that gave back 51 MPG in the Toyota Corolla I tested earlier this month, I never saw more than 29.5 MPG, according to the car’s computer.

Mazda 6 MPG

Worse than the fuel economy letdown, however, was the Mazda’s infotainment system. It is, without question, the worst part of this, or any other car I have ever driven. Keep in mind, that list includes a Renault 5 (LeCar) that required me to, more than once, spray the fusebox with a fire extinguisher while driving.

What, exactly, made the infotainment system in the 2014 Mazda 6 so infuriating? It’s hard to explain, I think, but I’ll give it a try. Take a look at the photos of the system in in play, below, then read on as I explain the issues I had.

Mazda6_radio4-620x350 Mazda6_radio2-620x350 Mazda6_radio3-620x350 Mazda6_radio1-620x350

I was listening to the radio on a drive from my home in Oak Park to see a man about a guitar out in Plano, and wanted to change the station. Not wanting to take my hands off the wheel or my eyes off the road, I pressed the button on the left of the steering wheel that looks like it would have a “seek” function. Rather than going to the next station, it went to the next pre-set station.

“OK,” I thought. “That’s not what I expected, but it’s not the end of the world.

Next, I tried the BMW iDrive-syle knobule in the center console- and that’s when things really went sideways between me and the Mazda. Literally not a single input produced a sensible response. Turning the knob, pushing it left or right, pressing down on it, all seemed to have different functions depending on what screen I was in. In Nav mode, for example, I turned the knob thinking that it would take me back to audio or, at least, allow me to select a Navigation menu.

No dice.

Instead, turning the knob on the center console in the Mazda’s Nav screen zoomed in and out. Quickly. Distressingly quickly, in fact, going from “this is what is in your pores” close to “see what Lake Michigan looks like from deep space” far in seconds.

I’m sure I would, eventually, figure out the radio’s controls- but after nearly two decades of driving all manner of different cars, I’d like to think I’m pretty good at figuring out how an infotainment system works. In the 2014 Mazda 6, however, I was no closer to intuiting any of its supposed “features”, even after a week of trying. On the bright side, however, the Mazda’s sound system delivered fantastic sound quality- a fact I discovered after giving up entirely on the radio and playing songs through my phone’s BT connection. It was crisp, clear, and had decent bass.

So, where does that leave the Mazda 6?

 

2014 Mazda 6 GT: the Verdict

I couldn’t decide how I felt about the thing. In fact, the 2014 Mazda 6 GT seemed a little like a woman I used to date years ago- which is to say “beautiful, but incredibly frustrating”. Like the car, I used to love looking at her. She was an excellent playmate, too, but I couldn’t really figure her out and never managed to convince her to do anything productive with herself. In my twenties, that seemed OK- in my thirties?

Utterly stymied by the Mazda and unable to decide what I thought of it, I turned to the wife. While highly educated and extremely intelligent, the wife has almost no knowledge of car culture. She was, then, totally unaware of the fact that, as an automotive journalist, I am “supposed to” love the 2014 Mazda 6 GT. I asked her about the car, and she had generally positive things to say. Good-looking, roomy, yadda-yadda. It was when I asked her what she thought a car like the 2014 Mazda 6 GT might cost that she dropped a bomb on me: “I think more than the Corolla,” she said, referring to my last tester. “So, I dunno, $18,000 or $18,500.”

Hoo-boy.

My wife is pretty good at guessing prices. She was within 10% of the sticker of both the Toyota Avalon and Lexus CT200h we tested, and nailed the Chevy Sonic with such precision that I’m convinced she peeked at the sticker while I wasn’t looking. Still, the price she put on the 2014 Mazda 6 was nearly $15K shy of the car’s $32,845 sticker.

So, where does that leave the 2014 Mazda 6 GT? I think it leaves it exactly where I have it, which is to say in a weird sort of “Why is this a thing?” limbo that it will never, ever escape- at least, not without some kind of massive infotainment overhaul, all-wheel drive, or a 35% price cut. There is, however, an alternative. A product that gives you all of the benefits of the 2014 Mazda 6 GT’s sexy curves, brilliant handling, and 40-ish (claimed) MPG fuel economy while getting fairly close to the car’s $18,000 “feels like” price.

That alternative? The 37 MPG 2014 Mazda 6 Sport with manual transmission, which stickers at just $20,990.

If you stick to your guns, drive a hard bargain, and show up at your nearest Mazda dealer an hour before closing time on the last day of the month, you’ll get to drive home the best looking $18,000 car cash money can buy.

 

Mazda6_1 Mazda6_2 Mazda6_3 Mazda6_4 Mazda6_5 Mazda6_6

Originally published on Gas 2.

The post A Bi-polar Review of the 2014 Mazda 6 GT appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/a-bi-polar-review-of-the-2014-mazda-6-gt/feed/ 267
Mazda CX-5 Closes In On 100,000 Sold http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/mazda-cx-5-closes-in-on-100000-sold/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/mazda-cx-5-closes-in-on-100000-sold/#comments Wed, 19 Feb 2014 16:15:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=748425 Mazda moved nearly 80,000 CX-5s from the lot to the highway in 2013. If the automaker has its way this year, the C segment crossover may break 100,000 units sold. WardsAuto reports Mazda North American Operations CEO Jim O’Sullivan his employer can hit the 100,000-mark again with the CX-5, placing the crossover alongside the Mazda3 […]

The post Mazda CX-5 Closes In On 100,000 Sold appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2013 Mazda CX-5. Picture courtesy motortrend.com

Mazda moved nearly 80,000 CX-5s from the lot to the highway in 2013. If the automaker has its way this year, the C segment crossover may break 100,000 units sold.

WardsAuto reports Mazda North American Operations CEO Jim O’Sullivan his employer can hit the 100,000-mark again with the CX-5, placing the crossover alongside the Mazda3 within the company, and the Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape and Honda CR-V in the overall C segment crossover record books.

Factors cited by O’Sullivan in his hopes for the CX-5 include a recovering United States auto industry, brand awareness among U.S. consumers, reduced fleet volume, a new plant in Mexico that will build the Mazda3 while allowing more capacity in Japan to be used for CX-5 assembly, and a growing enthusiasm for the C segment and small crossovers:

We’re seeing really good, organic growth from our current-generation Mazda3 customers that have bought maybe (the old compact) Protege, then Mazda3, (and) now (are) moving into crossovers and the CX-5.

Speaking of crossovers, O’Sullivan says Mazda is looking at entering the B segment with a subcompact crossover slotted under the CX-5. The so-called CX-3, expected to be based upon the Mazda2, would see production in Mexico beginning July 2015.

Finally, the CX-9 will undergo a new redesign for 2016, and will make use of the automaker’s SkyActiv brand of fuel efficiency technology upon introduction late next year.

The post Mazda CX-5 Closes In On 100,000 Sold appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/mazda-cx-5-closes-in-on-100000-sold/feed/ 48
Hyundai, Mazda Eyeing Small Crossover Market http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/hyundai-mazda-eyeing-small-crossover-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/hyundai-mazda-eyeing-small-crossover-market/#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2014 14:30:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=743737 The growing small crossover segment, featuring the likes of the Nissan Juke, Buick Encore, Honda Vezel and Kia Soul, may soon find two new players in the game as both Hyundai and Mazda have their eyes on the prize. Automotive News Europe and Automotive News report the two automakers are planning to release subcompact CUVs […]

The post Hyundai, Mazda Eyeing Small Crossover Market appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2011_Mazda2_Touring_--_11-30-2010_2.jpg

The growing small crossover segment, featuring the likes of the Nissan Juke, Buick Encore, Honda Vezel and Kia Soul, may soon find two new players in the game as both Hyundai and Mazda have their eyes on the prize.

Automotive News Europe and Automotive News report the two automakers are planning to release subcompact CUVs of their own down the road, with Mazda tying theirs to the newly redesigned Mazda2 due out later this year. The crossover would slot underneath the current CX-5 in Mazda’s home market, and would be priced between 1.5 million and 2 million yen ($15,000 – $20,000 USD).

Mazda also aims to bring the mid-size CX-9 to Japan as soon as 2015 following its next redesign; both new models would expand the automaker’s crossover lineup to three vehicles in their home market.

Meanwhile, Hyundai’s subcompact crossover is in the study phase according to Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski:

We’re always looking at segments that we’re not in right now that maybe we should be based on where the market’s going. We’re very intrigued by this B-segment CUV.

Zuchowski also announced that his employer may also bring a smaller luxury sports sedan within a couple of years, which would form a trinity with the Equus and Genesis sedans.

The post Hyundai, Mazda Eyeing Small Crossover Market appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/hyundai-mazda-eyeing-small-crossover-market/feed/ 43
Birthwhistle: Mazda’s SkyActiv Program Influences RWD Design In FWD Vehicles http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/birthwhistle-mazdas-skyactiv-program-influences-rwd-design-in-fwd-vehicles/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/birthwhistle-mazdas-skyactiv-program-influences-rwd-design-in-fwd-vehicles/#comments Sun, 16 Feb 2014 19:15:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=740809 As other manufacturers downsize their offerings to meet ever-increasing fuel economy milestones, Mazda’s SkyActiv program utilizes engine geometry to hit those marks, resulting in the automaker’s current offerings looking rear-wheel drive while feeling front-wheel drive. In an interview with Automotive News Europe, Mazda Europe design boss Peter Birthwhistle explained that since the automaker’s SkyActiv technology […]

The post Birthwhistle: Mazda’s SkyActiv Program Influences RWD Design In FWD Vehicles appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2014 Mazda Mazda6 Exterior

As other manufacturers downsize their offerings to meet ever-increasing fuel economy milestones, Mazda’s SkyActiv program utilizes engine geometry to hit those marks, resulting in the automaker’s current offerings looking rear-wheel drive while feeling front-wheel drive.

In an interview with Automotive News Europe, Mazda Europe design boss Peter Birthwhistle explained that since the automaker’s SkyActiv technology allows for engine size to remain larger than the competition, the layout of the exhaust system results in the passenger cell being pushed back to accommodate a “sloped angle” where the pipes exit from the engine. In turn, the overall look is that of the traditional long hood/short deck RWD layout in spite of the power going toward the front.

Turning toward alternative power, Birthwhistle mentioned a few offerings in the works, including a hybrid variant of the 3, a rotary-powered range extender that may see use in a future plug-in hybrid, and a move into electric vehicles. That said, the designer sees a lot of continuing potential with the internal combustion engine:

There’s still a lot of potential in conventional engines. They remain very inefficient in terms of things like heat loss. Get that sorted out and there’s amazing potential in gasoline engines in terms of fuel economy.

Looking further into the future, Birthwhistle also believed that by 2100, most cars will be automated personal pods, with small cars made for weekend warriors to use on track days.

The post Birthwhistle: Mazda’s SkyActiv Program Influences RWD Design In FWD Vehicles appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/birthwhistle-mazdas-skyactiv-program-influences-rwd-design-in-fwd-vehicles/feed/ 92