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. Thu, 11 Sep 2014 17:31:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 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 Mazda MX-5 Turbo Video Was Just A Teaser http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/mazda-mx-5-turbo-video-just-teaser/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/mazda-mx-5-turbo-video-just-teaser/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 18:30:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=909049 The now-famous teaser video that had the whole world wondering about a possible turbo on the 2016 Mazda MX-5 turned out to be a red herring. According to our source, the vehicle used for the teaser video is actually a modified NB Miata with an aftermarket turbo kit, hence the audible woosh of a turbocharger. […]

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Click here to view the embedded video.

The now-famous teaser video that had the whole world wondering about a possible turbo on the 2016 Mazda MX-5 turned out to be a red herring.

According to our source, the vehicle used for the teaser video is actually a modified NB Miata with an aftermarket turbo kit, hence the audible woosh of a turbocharger. Over at Jalopnik, there’s a picture of the engine taken by Travis Okulski, which appears to show no turbocharger present. If I were a betting man, I’d wager that the next MX-5 will be naturally aspirated.

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Super Piston Slap: Thrifty Texans Trump Tailgate Theft? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/super-piston-slap-thrifty-texans-trump-tailgate-theft/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/super-piston-slap-thrifty-texans-trump-tailgate-theft/#comments Sat, 06 Sep 2014 12:39:43 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=907985   Yesterday’s post on Texas Tailgate Theft definitely struck a nerve with this Native Texan, especially the NCIB’s Quote: “Since a tailgate theft takes just seconds to accomplish, consumers might consider using an after-market security device, such as a hinge lock to thwart criminals.” Yeah, not quite… Yup, a hose clamp…well not just a hose […]

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(photo courtesy: hardworkingtrucks.com)

Yesterday’s post on Texas Tailgate Theft definitely struck a nerve with this Native Texan, especially the NCIB’s Quote:

“Since a tailgate theft takes just seconds to accomplish, consumers might consider using an after-market security device, such as a hinge lock to thwart criminals.”

Yeah, not quite…

photo 1

Just a little trip to my local Home Depot.

Yup, a hose clamp…well not just a hose clamp, but that’s for later.

Thanks to TTAC commentator, Editor in Chief of another blog and all around nice guy, Mr. Lyndon Johnson (yes, really) for planting this seed in my mind. He posted a photo on Facebook of a rusty hose clamp around the tailgate hinge of his Ranger. It instantly made sense: even if you don’t have a few of these rattling around, why the hell wouldn’t you spend $3 for these?

tailgate

Hose Clamp PROS: Cheap, easy to install, readily available and slows down a would-be thief to the point they’ll look for another tailgate to swipe. And its an extra measure of protection, even if you have a lock in your tailgate release handle. (As they aren’t too hard to punch out with a screwdriver, too.)

(photo courtesy: pickupspecialities.com)

Hose Clamp CONS: The expensive-ish aftermarket alternatives are more theft resistant. And the clamps are kinda ghetto-trashy ugly, if you care about those Vellum Venom type of design hang ups.

Here’s how to narrow the gap between the clamp and the lock: level the playing field with a bit of silicone adhesive.  You know, the stuff you already have in your garage.

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It’s not rocket science: coat the screw head and clamp’s threads in the stuff. It’s an extra level of complication, and as the night photo shows, a bit more complicated to comprehend. It’ll certainly drive a thief nuts trying to scrape that crap off.

Only to then need to unscrew the clamp. And finally lather-rinse-repeat on the other side. Or just leave my rig alone, find another Texan not wise to the hose clamp + silicone trick.

Now you know what I know: what say you Best and Brightest? Should all truckers spend $3-4 on this anti-theft modification?

 

 

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Packing Tons Of Tech http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2016-mazda-mx-5-packing-tons-tech/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2016-mazda-mx-5-packing-tons-tech/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 19:06:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=907321   The current generation Mazda MX-5 is pretty light on tech gizmos – the current car doesn’t even have Bluetooth, let alone navigation or a USB port. But the upcoming ND MX-5 will reverse that, with a generous suite of the latest in technology and safety features. After getting a closer look at a Japanese-spec […]

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The current generation Mazda MX-5 is pretty light on tech gizmos – the current car doesn’t even have Bluetooth, let alone navigation or a USB port. But the upcoming ND MX-5 will reverse that, with a generous suite of the latest in technology and safety features.

After getting a closer look at a Japanese-spec prototype, it appears that the new MX-5 will have an Adaptive Front-Lighting System Blind Spot Monitoring a Lane Departure Warning System and even a start-stop system. Whether these make it to America is unknown – I’d wager that start-stop will likely stay in world markets and not make it over here, but we could see the other features on higher end trim levels.

Also on board is a DVD-based navigation system, as well as multiple slots for USB, SD and MicroSD ports. The DVD slot is located behind the armrest, which also holds a storage compartment in lieu of a glovebox.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Live Shots, Technical Details http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2016-mazda-mx-5-live-shots-technical-details/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2016-mazda-mx-5-live-shots-technical-details/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 11:31:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=906073 Mazda’s newest MX-5 appeared live at an event in California, and although Mazda was stingy with details, we managed to get a few. As mentioned in an earlier post, the new car, dubbed ND, should weigh an incredible 2280 lbs. It will also be 154 inches in length, 4 inches shorter than the current car. […]

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Mazda’s newest MX-5 appeared live at an event in California, and although Mazda was stingy with details, we managed to get a few.

As mentioned in an earlier post, the new car, dubbed ND, should weigh an incredible 2280 lbs. It will also be 154 inches in length, 4 inches shorter than the current car. The base wheels will be 16″ with 195/50 Yokohama Advans while the larger wheels will use 205/40/17 Bridgestone RE050′s, the same grippy, 140 treadwear rated tires as used on the Ford Fiesta ST. Rims will have 4 bolts, leading to speculation that they will be 4×100 and able to use old Miata rims.

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2015 Mazda3 To Get 2.5L/6-Speed Manual Combination http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2015-mazda3-get-2-5l6-speed-manual-combination/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2015-mazda3-get-2-5l6-speed-manual-combination/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 11:00:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=906097 Our biggest complaint surrounding the 2014 Mazda3 was the lack of a stick shift option in the 2.5L, 184-horsepower 4-cylinder engine. We felt that the 155-horsepower 2.0L engine was just too limp for the car’s otherwise excellent chassis, but the lack of a manual with the big motor was a disappointment. No longer. A Mazda […]

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Our biggest complaint surrounding the 2014 Mazda3 was the lack of a stick shift option in the 2.5L, 184-horsepower 4-cylinder engine. We felt that the 155-horsepower 2.0L engine was just too limp for the car’s otherwise excellent chassis, but the lack of a manual with the big motor was a disappointment. No longer.

A Mazda source tells us that 2015 Mazda3′s will be available with both the big motor and the 6-speed manual. While this is good news for manual fans, there’s one big issue: the Skyactiv 6AT box is really good. I even think it’s the better of the two gearboxes. But I’d still pick the manual for myself, even if it’s not what I’d recommend to everyone else.

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Canada Gets Another Exclusive Product http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/canada-gets-another-exclusive-product/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/canada-gets-another-exclusive-product/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 04:45:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=906225 Fans of the Mazda5 may not be able to buy one in the United States anymore, but Canadian buyers will continue to be able to purchase Mazda’s microvan for the foreseeable future. A Mazda source told us that the Mazda5 will soldier on in Canada, which also gets the Canada-exclusive Kia Rondo and Chevrolet Orlando. […]

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Fans of the Mazda5 may not be able to buy one in the United States anymore, but Canadian buyers will continue to be able to purchase Mazda’s microvan for the foreseeable future.

A Mazda source told us that the Mazda5 will soldier on in Canada, which also gets the Canada-exclusive Kia Rondo and Chevrolet Orlando. Apparently, volumes (though declining) are sufficient to keep importing the small minivan – for now. The biggest challenge is the sub-$20,000 Dodge Caravan, though Mazda is apparently able to maintain market leadership in the sub-segment of buyers who desire a smaller van that is not a Caravan. In space-constrained ubran centers, this can be an advantage, though many Canadians prefer the Caravan for one simple reason: it is the cheapest way to haul two kids and their hockey bags.

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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 […]

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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.

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Junkyard Find: 1988 Mercury Tracer Hatchback http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/junkyard-find-1988-mercury-tracer-hatchback/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/junkyard-find-1988-mercury-tracer-hatchback/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 13:00:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=905001 Here’s a rare one! We’re familiar with the 1990s Mercury Tracer that was a Mercury-badged Ford Escort (which was itself a Ford-badged Mazda), but the 1987-89 Tracer was a rebadged and left-hand-drive Ford Laser, a crypto-snazzy Australian version of the Mazda 323. They sold in very small quantities in the United States, and so it […]

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09 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinHere’s a rare one! We’re familiar with the 1990s Mercury Tracer that was a Mercury-badged Ford Escort (which was itself a Ford-badged Mazda), but the 1987-89 Tracer was a rebadged and left-hand-drive Ford Laser, a crypto-snazzy Australian version of the Mazda 323. They sold in very small quantities in the United States, and so it took me a moment to identify this example that I spotted last week in a Denver self-service wrecking yard. As an excellent example of “rare ≠ valuable,” it seemed worthy of this series.
19 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNot even 65,000 miles on the clock. Perhaps it sat in a garage for most of its life, barely emerging onto the street.
14 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIt was running in 2006, though, because there’s a Colorado State Parks pass from that year on the windshield.
04 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinVaguely sporty-looking yet late-80s generic.
16 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Mazda B engine, used in everything from Kia Rios to Mazda Miatas.

Just the car for a night of wrestling!

01 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Piston Slap: The Fallacy of Miata Ride Comfort? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/piston-slap-fallacy-miata-ride-comfort/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/piston-slap-fallacy-miata-ride-comfort/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 12:53:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=903449   TTAC Commentator johnny ro writes: Hi Sajeev, So I like my new 2010 Miata Touring (second car and half time daily driver), and picked it because it looked good on the side of the road by my house, low miles (19k), priced OK(mid 14′s), I had the dough saved up for a bike and […]

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photo courtesy: www.flyinmiata.com

TTAC Commentator johnny ro writes:

Hi Sajeev,

So I like my new 2010 Miata Touring (second car and half time daily driver), and picked it because it looked good on the side of the road by my house, low miles (19k), priced OK(mid 14′s), I had the dough saved up for a bike and I am happy with the current Vstrom, and last but not least it is an automatic. The OEM suspension seems firm to me but obviously not race ready. Roads in Northeast are usually not-so-new ranging down to horrible. Miata people say its mushy and floaty, those who want to autocross or race.

It’s body is stiffer than my 1999 was. The 1999 benefited from chassis stiffeners- new frame rails, X-brace underneath, frog arms under the front fenders, door bars. Still a small noisy uncomfortable car for more than an hour. The 2010 is a bit more comfortable. For the 2006-2014 there are also aftermarket body stiffeners and plenty of suspension upgrades all meant to improve track performance.

What I really want is a GT, not a race car. I am not interested in more power.

Question for the best and brightest, should I bother stiffening the body on an automatic Miata?

What suspension would make it more civilized without less comfort?

Am I better off buying a true GT? What GT for $14k.

Sajeev answers:

When someone complains about a stock one, the words “Miata Ride Comfort” make no sense together. Instead do an LSX-FTW swap so you’ll rarely have the time to focus on the punishing ride. And no, I’m only partially kidding.

To wit, a friend once asked if their Miata wouldn’t punish one’s lower back with the upgraded leather slip covers from a Grand Touring model: what a load of trash! Leather seats aren’t magically wrapped around Fleetwood Brougham thrones, or even CamCord thrones. Time to suck it up and buy a more comfortable car.

“What I really want is a GT, not a race car.”

Oh wait, you already admitted that.  Why? Chassis stiffeners cannot cut the impact harshness from a pothole, they help the suspension/steering/braking systems work as intended in spirited driving on imperfect roads.  Which totally isn’t the same thing.

And if there is a softer-than-stock suspension (not likely) it won’t help enough. Considering roadster levels of suspension travel, seat cushion padding, short wheelbase, light weight (to some extent), low-ish profile tires, a quite-modest sprinkling of NVH reducing materials…see where I’m going with this?

Go find a pre-engineered GT car!  A Mazda 3 or 6 sedan is a logical and practical step backward, but perhaps there are too many doors.  Maybe a Mazda 2? Maybe a somewhat used Mustang? Not refined enough.  A fairly used 3-series?  If you know a good indie-BMW mechanic and don’t mind paying them.  A garage-queen C5 Corvette with Magnaride and conventional (not run-flat) tires?  Entirely possible.

 

 

Or just suck it up and maraud your way to love…

 

 

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(photo courtesy: www.empireautos11.com)

…Panther Love…

…SON!

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

 

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The Mazda 5 Is Dead: Here’s Why http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/mazda-5-dead-heres/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/mazda-5-dead-heres/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:58:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=900834 There are two ways of understanding why it was Mazda USA decided to extinguish the Mazda 5 from their lineup beginning with the 2015 model year. First, we could look at the root causes. Then we could check out the symptoms. The root causes are numerous, but it’s worth keeping in mind that for thousands […]

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Mazda5 front quarter 2There are two ways of understanding why it was Mazda USA decided to extinguish the Mazda 5 from their lineup beginning with the 2015 model year. First, we could look at the root causes. Then we could check out the symptoms.

The root causes are numerous, but it’s worth keeping in mind that for thousands of buyers, the reasons many would point to as cause for ignoring the 5 been overmatched by reasons to purchase a 5.

Compared with conventional minivans, it’s obviously small, but that’s exactly why many people have turned to the Mazda: it’s not a maxi-van. Fortunately, it doesn’t drive like one either, and it’s even available with a manual transmission. Yet it is far closer to being underpowered than it is to being overpowered. Compared with discounted Grand Caravans, it’s not necessarily more affordable for a growing family who simply needs more seating capacity. Speaking of which, it only seats six in North America, not seven or eight.

From the beginning of its tenure, the reasons many buyers would have for veering away from the Mazda 5 have combined to create sales figures which suggested the 5 wouldn’t remain in America for long. As Derek mentioned on Monday, only 22,021 were sold in the 5’s best year, 2008. Its share in the minivan market that year? 3.4%.

Kia sold 28,645 Rondos in 2008, and the Rondo was basically gone from the U.S. market in 2010, with 47 lingering sales to collect in calendar year 2011.

Mazda’s share of the minivan market rose to 4.1% in 2009 as the segment plunged 30% and 5 sales dropped by just 16%. In 2010, 5 volume slid 15% year-over-year as the top four big vans (Town & Country, Odyssey, Grand Caravan, and Sienna) surged forward at a combined 17% clip.

Mazda’s share of the category slid to 3.3%. 2011 saw Mazda 5 sales jump 22% to 19,155 units, its second-best year on record. The 5’s slice of the minivan pie climbed to 3.9%.

5 sales then plunged 24% to just 14,640 units in 2012, as Mazda claimed just 2.6% of the segment. Last year, a 5% decrease in 5 sales (and a 4% decrease in total minivan sales) meant 5 sales slid to 13,884 units, but its market share basically stayed level.

Mazda 5 U.S. sales chartThrough the first seven months of 2014, Mazda 5 sales are down 13% to 8762 units, and it has once again claimed 2.6% of the minivan segment.

Volume-wise, the 5 has not been a hugely important piece of the Mazda puzzle in the United States, accounting for slightly less than one out of every 20 Mazda sales. Mazda USA has sold nearly seven CX-5s for every 5 sold during the last seven months. The 5 generated 8.3% of Mazda’s volume in 2008.

The MPV, on the other hand, averaged nearly 30,000 sales even toward the end of its reign between 2002 and 2004. Another 17,634 were sold in 2005 and 11,600 in 2006, years in which Mazda sold 4761 and 17,109 5s, respectively. 13.3% of the Mazdas sold in America in 2002 were MPVs.

The 5 clearly wasn’t a direct replacement for the already-small MPV when it landed in the United States nine years ago. It has grown old during a period in which many expected Americans would be turned off by larger gas guzzlers and the anticipation of high fuel prices. By and large, however, fuel prices have not intimidated new car buyers, and buyers have turned to increasingly efficient crossovers in large numbers.

Moreover, the 5 is now a sliding-doors front-wheel-driver with EPA ratings of 22 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. That’s a problem, as it’s competing with utility vehicles like the all-wheel-drive Nissan Rogue (rated at 25/32) and Mazda’s own all-wheel-drive CX-5, which is rated at 24/30 in its least efficient format.

Had the 5 panned out, a feat which would have required more significant design updates and improved efficiency, we would now be praising Mazda for thinking outside the box. Instead, Mazda didn’t hit the nail on the head, something we could say about the brand overall, too, at least when it comes to their sales performance in the United States.

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Mazda5 Dead For 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/mazda5-dead-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/mazda5-dead-2015/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 22:25:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=899410 Mazda’s small minivan will disappear for 2015, as compact crossover sales eat into the shrinking market share of the Mazda5. According to Automotive News, the Mazda5 will be replaced by both the upcoming Mazda CX-3 small crossover, while the CX-5 and three-row CX-9 will complement its size and people-carrying capabilities. Despite its cult following, sales of the […]

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Mazda’s small minivan will disappear for 2015, as compact crossover sales eat into the shrinking market share of the Mazda5.

According to Automotive News, the Mazda5 will be replaced by both the upcoming Mazda CX-3 small crossover, while the CX-5 and three-row CX-9 will complement its size and people-carrying capabilities.

Despite its cult following, sales of the 5 have been marginal, with just under 14,000 units sold in 2013. In its best year, Mazda sold just 22,000 examples. While other Mazda products have been given new, more efficient Skyactiv engines and lightweight technology, the 5 has languished with an antiquated powertrain and little in the way of updates since its 2010 redesign.

Although the CX-5 won’t be able to seat 6 or have sliding doors, it will likely continue with the Mazda5′s main quirk: a manual transmission.

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Will The Next-Generation Mazda MX-5 Finally Have A Coupe Variant? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/will-next-generation-mazda-mx-5-finally-coupe-variant/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/will-next-generation-mazda-mx-5-finally-coupe-variant/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 15:26:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=899186 In the final year of the second-generation NB Miata’s life, Mazda offered a limited edition “Roadster Coupe” hardtop. Offered for sale in Japan only, the Coupe carried a hefty pricetag for what was essentially some bespoke bodywork and a stiffer chassis – but no extra power. Even so, Miata enthusiasts have long lusted after the E-Type-esque […]

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In the final year of the second-generation NB Miata’s life, Mazda offered a limited edition “Roadster Coupe” hardtop. Offered for sale in Japan only, the Coupe carried a hefty pricetag for what was essentially some bespoke bodywork and a stiffer chassis – but no extra power. Even so, Miata enthusiasts have long lusted after the E-Type-esque hardtop Miatas. They might finally get their wish.

The news of a Miata coupe is something that appears constantly in the automotive media rumormill, but our information comes from a reliable source. Ryan Beene, who, until recently, covered Mazda for Automotive News (and is now their Washington correspondent), is reporting that “Mazda will release a hardtop MX-5 that will have a unique, fastback-style silhouette.” Having known Beene for a number of years, I can say that his information is to be trusted more than the typical buff book “anonymous sources” accompanied by some fanciful colored pencil sketch or computer rendering.

Beene is also claiming that the new car will have a 2.0L Skyactiv motor and a curb weight close to the original 1989 Miata’s 2100 lbs. The new softtop will go on sale in the summer of 2015, while the coupe should debut a year later. Although we’ve long heard rumors about an MX-5 hardtop, the economics of offering such a car finally make sense. The MX-5′s bespoke platform is expensive, and adding a coupe means even more volume, and a previously untapped market. Not everyone wants a convertible, but a coupe MX-5 would give Mazda a rival to the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ, to to mention a new pool of customers who may have wanted an MX-5, but not an open top car.

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Chart Of The Day: Subaru Has Risen, Mazda Not So Much http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/chart-day-subaru-risen-mazda-much/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/chart-day-subaru-risen-mazda-much/#comments Sat, 23 Aug 2014 12:54:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=893834 The more some things stay the same, the more other things change. Or so the saying doesn’t go. Mazda’s U.S. market share hasn’t been much more than level since a pre-recession surge, if you can call it that, to 1.99% in 2008. A brand known as something of the poor man’s BMW should be selling […]

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Mazda Subaru U.S. sales chartThe more some things stay the same, the more other things change. Or so the saying doesn’t go.

Mazda’s U.S. market share hasn’t been much more than level since a pre-recession surge, if you can call it that, to 1.99% in 2008. A brand known as something of the poor man’s BMW should be selling a large volume of cars in America, but BMW, with its expansive model range, sells nearly as many vehicles.

Subaru, on the other hand, has risen from niche status to a mainstream status in the span of a few short years. The WRX/STi and BRZ do contribute – 7.1% of the brand’s 2014 volume through the end of July – but Subaru has developed a real knack for knowing what U.S. buyers want. Consider the XV Crosstrek, an Impreza-based tall rider which, as it happens, easily outsells the Mazda 6.

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Piston Slap: Blogging about Engine Bogging http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/piston-slap-blogger-bogging-via-engine-load/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/piston-slap-blogger-bogging-via-engine-load/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:02:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=895034   Pat writes: Hi Sajeev, I have a question about driving style that I’d like to pose to you and the B&B. Part of my highway commute is a steady 2 mile grade. With a running start of 75 mph, my 2007 Mazda B2300 slows to about 62 mph by the top of the hill […]

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(photo courtesy: surftherenow.com)

Pat writes:

Hi Sajeev,

I have a question about driving style that I’d like to pose to you and the B&B. Part of my highway commute is a steady 2 mile grade. With a running start of 75 mph, my 2007 Mazda B2300 slows to about 62 mph by the top of the hill when I keep it in 5th gear, with the engine turning about 2000 rpm. I can maintain 70+ if I drop into 4th and floor it, but I’m a cheapskate at heart. My question is, is it really more efficient to lug up the hill in top gear, or am I just kidding myself and doing irreparable damage to my engine?

As an aside, I recently traveled to Vietnam and I noticed that all the cab and minibus drivers upshifted extremely quickly. Typically they were in 4th gear by about 15-20 mph, and really lugging the engine (I rode mostly in Toyotas). Besides the obvious lack of quick acceleration, any downsides to this kind of driving style? How much gas could be saved?

Thanks!

Sajeev answers:

How funny: I noticed the same problem in India.  Be it Maruti, Toyota, Honda or Hindustan Ambassador, you’d hear a horrible “chug” of engine bogging on a regular basis.  It keeps stressed out drivers from “unnecessary” down/up shifting in dense urban conditions, if that was the point.

Unless we’re talkin’ about a friction-challenged road starting from a standstill, never intentionally engage in engine bogging!  Each engine/transmission/body combo handles loads differently, there’s no magic boggy-RPM number: the unique sound of engine bog is all you need to know. Depending on the severity of the bog’s shake, this increases clutch wear, damages motor mounts and maybe even stresses the weakest link in your reciprocating parts (crank+rods+pistons).

In your case: bogging up a 2 mile grade kills fuel economy.  Being that low on the torque curve combined with massive throttle inputs means you’re burning fuel with little return on investment.  Clutch wear?  Probably not. But accelerating near your torque peak (3750 revs) gets you up the hill with the most efficiency (least throttle input) so you can spend more time “cruising” on flatter terrain at lower rpms, sooner. More to the point, 3rd or 4th gear is your friend, my friend son!

Bonus!  A Piston Slap Nugget of Wisdom:

Perhaps your (presumably stock) Mazda needs the SCT tune (low-octane) and modest intake/exhaust plumbing modifications of my Ranger. Its your sister-ship, ya know.  The volume of low-end torque below 3000rpm increased dramatically to the point that 2nd gear with steep parking garage grades was doable, and almost worth the extra throttle input. Almost.

 

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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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 […]

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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.

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2015 Mazda MX-5 Spied http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/2015-mazda-mx-5-spied/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/2015-mazda-mx-5-spied/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 13:38:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=888737 A Japanese motorist has spotted what appears to be the next-generation Mazda MX-5 while out testing in Japan. The next-generation car has a rear deck reminiscent of the first-generation BMW Z4, as well as the second-gen NB Miata, along with the flared arches of the current MX-5. TTAC will be attending the launch of the fourth-generation […]

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A Japanese motorist has spotted what appears to be the next-generation Mazda MX-5 while out testing in Japan.

The next-generation car has a rear deck reminiscent of the first-generation BMW Z4, as well as the second-gen NB Miata, along with the flared arches of the current MX-5. TTAC will be attending the launch of the fourth-generation car next month, but until then, this is all we’ve got.

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Piston Slap: A Rather Thirsty Escort? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/piston-slap-a-rather-thirsty-escort/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/piston-slap-a-rather-thirsty-escort/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 12:01:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=873833 TTAC Commentator Weltron writes: Hi Sajeev! The car I am writing about today is my winter beater, which is a 1999 Ford Escort SE sedan which says it has a tick over 155,000 miles. (Pictured above) The problem I’m having with it is it it getting dreadful gas mileage. My average tank is about 19 […]

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TTAC Commentator Weltron writes:

Hi Sajeev!

The car I am writing about today is my winter beater, which is a 1999 Ford Escort SE sedan which says it has a tick over 155,000 miles. (Pictured above) The problem I’m having with it is it it getting dreadful gas mileage. My average tank is about 19 miles to the gallon (in comparison that is what my twin turbo straight six Volvo gets around town). Over the winter I replaced both of the o2 sensors and got a marginal improvement (about .4 mpg).

And here’s the kicker: the dumb thing runs perfectly. No error codes or anything. Idles smooth and everything (well as far as Escort refinement goes). When I go on the highway (which is fairly often) I can see upward of 21… If I’m lucky.

Help please! I’m debating on whether to sell it or not due to this gas mileage problem for something bigger (thinking an Oldsmobile Eighty Eight/LSS or if I’m feeling lucky … an Aurora if I do end up replacing the Escort.) Thank you in advance for your help.

P.S. Here’s a list of what has been replaced/cleaned since the fall.

Mass air flow sensor cleaned
New air filter
New spark plugs/ plug wires
New o2 sensors (both upstream and downstream)
New muffler
New tires

Sajeev answers:

It’s funny how well-maintained vehicles occasionally have an obvious problem that’s impossible to diagnose.  But going to the beautiful, enjoyable yet expensive and complicated Northstar powered Oldsmobile is the wrong move!

You’ve done the basics, kudos to you.  That makes our job easier. Considering your Volvo drives in the same manner (presumably) there’s certainly a minor problem outside of driver error. And I wouldn’t be so adamant if it didn’t happen to me:

Try changing the fuel filter first, then get new/reconditioned fuel injectors.

That’s it.  I know you’ve slooooowly been losing power and efficiency.  Perhaps you notice a mysterious fuel smell?  The injectors are no longer turning on/shutting off correctly. And when you get ‘em installed, ZOMG SON, note the instant acceleration improvement and the later MPG lift.

So go ahead and keep it, even if the cylinder head might be a problem in the future.

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice. 

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High Praise Or Hyperbole? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/high-praise-or-hyperbole/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/high-praise-or-hyperbole/#comments Sat, 19 Jul 2014 17:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=869562 Unlike the American motoring press, the Brits have never been as enthusiastic about Mazda. Even though countless journalists have extolled the virtues of the Mazda3, the Golf and Focus always seem to take the top spot in the C-segment evaluations. But the Mazda2 might be a…wait for it…game changer. With one of the first road […]

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Unlike the American motoring press, the Brits have never been as enthusiastic about Mazda. Even though countless journalists have extolled the virtues of the Mazda3, the Golf and Focus always seem to take the top spot in the C-segment evaluations. But the Mazda2 might be a…wait for it…game changer.

With one of the first road tests of the upcoming Mazda2, AutoExpress has declared

“Mazda has put a lot of effort into lifting the 2’s dynamics, design and quality levels to bring it in line with Europe’s class-leaders. With a totally new stylish look, new engines, sporty handling and improved trim levels, Mazda has placed it in the same playing field as the VW Polo and even the Audi A1.

Even as an unabashed Mazda fanboy, I have to say that comparisons to an Audi are a bit lofty. I may love their products, but I’m not under any illusions regarding their shortcomings. Even so, I haven’t been looking forward to driving a subcompact in a long time. Well, unless you count the Fiesta ST.

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2015 Mazda2 Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/2015-mazda2-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/2015-mazda2-revealed/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 16:22:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=867002 Carscoops got their hands on the first photos of the all-new 2015 Mazda2, which is expected to get its official debut at September’s Paris Auto Show. For North America, expect to see a 1.5L Skyactiv 4-cylinder engine making 100 horsepower. World markets will likely get a 1.5L diesel making 104 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of […]

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Carscoops got their hands on the first photos of the all-new 2015 Mazda2, which is expected to get its official debut at September’s Paris Auto Show.

For North America, expect to see a 1.5L Skyactiv 4-cylinder engine making 100 horsepower. World markets will likely get a 1.5L diesel making 104 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. No word on what this one weighs, but the last Mazda2 weighs just 2,300 lbs. This on should be a lightweight as well.

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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 […]

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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.

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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 […]

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Crapwagon Outtake: White Barchetta http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/crapwagon-outtaake-white-barchetta/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/crapwagon-outtaake-white-barchetta/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 18:41:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=858217 What a difference a decade makes. My own 2003 Miata is, by modern standards, a pure, elemental sports car. Lightweight, with a cable actuated throttle, a 5-speed manual and no ABS. But turn the clock back to 1993, just ten years prior, and you could still buy this. From Bring A Trailer and Miata.net, we have this […]

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What a difference a decade makes. My own 2003 Miata is, by modern standards, a pure, elemental sports car. Lightweight, with a cable actuated throttle, a 5-speed manual and no ABS. But turn the clock back to 1993, just ten years prior, and you could still buy this.

From Bring A Trailer and Miata.net, we have this ’93 NA Miata. Pure White, steel wheels, one owner, just under 45,000 miles. It looks to be an A-Package car, sans A/C, power windows or locks, the opposite of my old ‘97 C-Package and my 2003. Both are quantitatively better cars that feel gutsier and more robust than the early 1.6L cars.

But the small-bore versions just feel so pure, so elemental, so worthy of the hyperbolic praise heaped upon them by every motoring journalist and their internet mouthpieces. The 1600cc mill does rev more freely, there’s an ethereal lightness to them (thanks to no ABS, additional bracing or any sort of crashworthiness) and that NA styling with the steel wheels will stand the test of time, even when the fixed-headlight NBs start to look dated. This is a pur sang Miata, a forever car that you can enjoy long after the government is tracking your every mile and we live in a Red Barchetta world.

Buy it, enjoy it, drive it every day. Who needs SkyActiv when the sky is two clips of the soft top away?

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata To Debut September 3rd At Laguna Seca http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/2016-mazda-mx-5-miata-to-debut-september-3rd-at-laguna-seca/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/2016-mazda-mx-5-miata-to-debut-september-3rd-at-laguna-seca/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 12:09:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=858089 Well, let the speculation rest. The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata will not debut in Chicago, but at Laguna Seca. Mazda made the announcement early Thursday, with the news that the new MX-5, known as the “ND”, will debut on September 3rd in Monterey, California. Events will also take place in Japan and Spain, with the […]

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Well, let the speculation rest. The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata will not debut in Chicago, but at Laguna Seca.

Mazda made the announcement early Thursday, with the news that the new MX-5, known as the “ND”, will debut on September 3rd in Monterey, California. Events will also take place in Japan and Spain, with the ND on display at the “Miatas at Mazda Raceway” event from September 5th-7th.

Mazda debuted the Miata’s Skyactiv chassis at this year’s New York Auto Show, but many thought that a surprise debut in Chicago would mark the car’s 25th anniversary after it bowed in Chicago in 1989. But it was not to be.

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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 […]

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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.

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New Or Used? : A Mitzvah For The Mazda http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/new-or-used-a-mitzvah-for-the-mazda/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/new-or-used-a-mitzvah-for-the-mazda/#comments Wed, 11 Jun 2014 00:11:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=840674 I have a 10 year old Mazda Protege which I have loved ever since new. There is just one small problem. Rust. This car rusts like Dolly Parton sings. There is rust on the frame. Rust on the rear wheel wells which I have steadfastly removed ever single year. Rust on various parts of the […]

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I have a 10 year old Mazda Protege which I have loved ever since new.

There is just one small problem.

Rust. This car rusts like Dolly Parton sings. There is rust on the frame. Rust on the rear wheel wells which I have steadfastly removed ever single year. Rust on various parts of the powertrain. All the wheel bearings have been replaced, twice, and after yet another near dire prediction of expensive rust related maintenance, I’ve decided to sell the Protege.

I put it only at around $5000 and it finally managed to sell at the $4100. Right around where you said it would when I emailed you a few weeks ago.

Except now, I have a bit of a problem. I promised the car, but the guy I promised it to had a bit of a problem getting his finances in order. A little over a week ago we agreed to put off the final sale of the Protege until Friday.

So I decided to just do some detailed inspection of the rear of the vehicle a couple of days ago and I found my decade old nightmare. A huge swash of rust on the rear of the frame that has been untreated since new.

I decided to get that entire area treated and rustproofed. Total cost was around $400.

I then let the fellow know about the treatment and asked if he would split the bill with me. He gave me a firm and unfriendly no as the answer. I was a bit pissed off because, yeah, I didn’t have a green light from him. But at the same time, he hasn’t given me the green light either now for quite a while.

Part of me (a big one) wants to drive it to Asheville, give it a last go on Tale of the Dragon, then sell it down there.

What do you think?

Steve Says:

This is why all of my holding of vehicles come with non-refundable deposits.

You want a car? Great! Two weeks. $500 deposit. No exceptions.

This is what you should have done in the first place because it discourages future window shopping and keeps the buyer focused on his obligations in the deal. Nickelshiters stop nickel and dimeing you when they have enough skin in the game for there to be a major downside to their flakiness.

As for the repair work, stuff like that you don’t do as a favor until the buyer is on board with it. Life is short. If you were afraid that this guy was going to bite the big one if he got in a rear impact, then you were obligated by a higher authority to do the right thing.

You did half the right thing, and the funny thing is you did the tougher half. You paid for a somewhat expensive repair that you were under no obligation to do. That fellow though owes you nothing but gratitude. You should have put him in the loop. Even if that meant eventually losing the deal on the car.

What I would do is honor the trade. The financial hit sucks, but you know what? You are a person with integrity and honor, and that is something that money can never bestow upon you.

So honor the deal and if he doesn’t have the money by Friday do the second most honorable thing and offer to split the repair costs on Saturday. If he doesn’t bite, take it to Asheville but don’t sell it. I’m begging you. I already see enough rolling rustbuckets at the auctions from you damn Yankees.

Author’s Note: Steve has a short memory that comes and goes with his once thick New Jersey accent. You can always reach him directly at steve.lang@thetruthaboutcars.com.

 

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