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.
When someone tells you “you’ll save a lot of money,” always ask: “How much will it cost me?” New technology that saves you a lot of money usually comes with a nasty habit: It costs a lot upfront. With a car, you are faced with the dilemma whether to pay Big Car now or Big Oil later. I never forget when I was a young copywriter and I had the task of launching the first diesel powered Golf. I extolled its prudence at the pump and its longevity. Whereupon a grizzled old guy at the advertising department of Volkswagen said: “That thing is expensive. You need to drive 80,000 km to get your money back. By that time, the engine will fall out of the car.” (VW had some corrosion issues back when.) That introspection was triggered by two events: Ed is in Michigan, he has a date with the Volt. His mission: Find out when you will get your money back. Then there’s Mazda, which did something utterly boring, but likewise highly exciting. (Read More…)