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, 31 Oct 2014 14:42:01 +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 Mazda Planning Product Onslaught For Los Angeles Auto Show http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/mazda-planning-product-onslaught-los-angeles-auto-show/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/mazda-planning-product-onslaught-los-angeles-auto-show/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:51:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=937106 Mazda will debut an all-new crossover, and facelifted versions of two of its most popular models at next month’s Los Angeles Auto Show. The CX-3 crossover, shown above, will be unveiled, alongside revised versions of the larger CX-5 crossover and the Mazda6 sedan. The CX-3 will be based on the Mazda2’s underpinnings, and compete with […]

The post Mazda Planning Product Onslaught For Los Angeles Auto Show appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Mazda-CX-3-Teaser-Sketch-001

Mazda will debut an all-new crossover, and facelifted versions of two of its most popular models at next month’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

The CX-3 crossover, shown above, will be unveiled, alongside revised versions of the larger CX-5 crossover and the Mazda6 sedan. The CX-3 will be based on the Mazda2’s underpinnings, and compete with the Nissan Juke, Honda HR-V and other small crossovers.

The CX-3 is expected to get a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, but will likely only be offered with all-wheel drive. The CX-5 and Mazda6 will get styling updates both inside and out, as well as a new infotainment system currently used on the Mazda3.

The post Mazda Planning Product Onslaught For Los Angeles Auto Show appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/mazda-planning-product-onslaught-los-angeles-auto-show/feed/ 35
Subaru Legacy and Mazda 6: Low Volume Midsize Cars Making A Small Difference http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/subaru-legacy-mazda-6-low-volume-midsize-cars-making-small-difference/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/subaru-legacy-mazda-6-low-volume-midsize-cars-making-small-difference/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 12:36:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=935482 America’s 35th president, John F. Kennedy, said, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” Automobile manufacturing is not public policy. (Actually it is, basically all the time.) But virtually every automaker tries to make a difference in the midsize car sector, yet are the differences each manufacturer makes worthy of a mention […]

The post Subaru Legacy and Mazda 6: Low Volume Midsize Cars Making A Small Difference appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015 Subaru LEgacyAmerica’s 35th president, John F. Kennedy, said, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”

Automobile manufacturing is not public policy. (Actually it is, basically all the time.) But virtually every automaker tries to make a difference in the midsize car sector, yet are the differences each manufacturer makes worthy of a mention here?

2014, like most years, is a time of great change for the segment. We’ve been steadily approaching a premature refresh of the Camry, America’s best-selling car. Chrysler Group replaced its Sebring-based 200 and Dodge Avenger with an Italian-based (can we call it that?) 2015 200. Hyundai’s avant-garde sixth-generation Sonata was replaced by a more conservative 2015 model.

Also recently launched was the sixth-generation Subaru Legacy. Subaru USA reported their best-ever Legacy sales month in September, when 6198 were sold.

Crossing the 6K threshold is no mean feat for a car which averaged fewer than 3800 monthly sales in 2012 and 2013.

With real volume coming from the company’s midsize car (plus improvements from the Outback, XV Crosstrek, and Forester) Subaru yet again reported record brand-wide sales: September 2014 was Subaru’s best-ever September. Sales have increased in 34 consecutive months.

Meanwhile, Mazda reported the 6’s sixth consecutive year-over-year monthly improvement as September sales shot up to 4263 units. 6 sales have now topped 4000 units in five consecutive months after crested the 4K mark only seven times in the previous 28 months.

2014 Mazda 6Measured by percentage gains, the 6 was America’s second-fastest-growing midsize nameplate in September, surging 35% as Legacy sales jumped 118%.

Perhaps neither car made a huge difference in the overall scheme of things – they accounted for just 0.8% of the new vehicles sold in the United States last month – but their impact on the midsize sector was notable. In September 2013, they generated just 3.5% of America’s midsize car volume; that figure rose to 5.9% in September 2014. With 10,461 sales between the pair, they combined to produce market share similar to the Chrysler 200 (10,995 September sales) and Kia Optima (10,908 September sales).

Nevertheless, the 31% year-over-year improvement from the Honda Accord, America’s best-selling car in both August and September, translated to 7780 extra sales compared with September 2013. In other words, Honda added more sales to an already high September 2013 Accord total than Subaru or Mazda’s midsize total. The Accord’s market share, on its own, increased by 3.7 percentage points to 18.5%.

America’s four best-selling midsize cars so far this year (Camry, Accord, Altima, Fusion) combine to sell 60% more often than the next eight-best-selling midsize cars (Sonata, Malibu, Optima, 200, Passat, Avenger, 6, Legacy).

This doesn’t translate to bad news for the two smaller Japanese automakers, not at all. Subaru will likely sell more than 50,000 Legacy sedans this year, a total not achieved by the Legacy nameplate since its sales figures were Outback-inclusive. Mazda has already sold more 6s through the first nine months of 2014 than in all of 2009, 2010, 2011, or 2012 and will likely produce the greatest year-end 6 volume since 2007, when 57,575 6s were sold.

Clearly, lower volume intermediate cars are having an impact as they utilize their unique strengths to attract attention in a stagnating segment. And yet even in September, a most difference-making of months, the Legacy and 6’s achievements pale in comparison to the Accord’s surge, like filibustering senators who aren’t blessed with veto pens in their desk drawers.

The post Subaru Legacy and Mazda 6: Low Volume Midsize Cars Making A Small Difference appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/subaru-legacy-mazda-6-low-volume-midsize-cars-making-small-difference/feed/ 22
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
QOTD: Another Member Of The Brown Wagon Club? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/qotd-another-member-brown-wagon-club/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/qotd-another-member-brown-wagon-club/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:32:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=933906 While helping my grandmother hunt for a new car, I tried to steer her towards a Mazda3 Sport. She didn’t take to the “game changer” (which is the tagline for the car’s marketing campaign, not an attempt to cash in on my catch phrase), but I did notice a similar example on the lot. This […]

The post QOTD: Another Member Of The Brown Wagon Club? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
53eaff0204dfe.image

While helping my grandmother hunt for a new car, I tried to steer her towards a Mazda3 Sport. She didn’t take to the “game changer” (which is the tagline for the car’s marketing campaign, not an attempt to cash in on my catch phrase), but I did notice a similar example on the lot.

This color, called “Titanium Flash”, looks more like brown to me. As far as I’m concerned, the line between station wagon, hatchback and CUV has been sufficiently blurred that this can qualify as a member of the mythical brown wagon species – and you can get it in a manual as well. I’ll defer to the B&B on this one, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s time to count every possible example to help shore up ranks.

The post QOTD: Another Member Of The Brown Wagon Club? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/qotd-another-member-brown-wagon-club/feed/ 51
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
Junkyard Find: 1985 Mazda GLC Hatchback http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/junkyard-find-1985-mazda-glc-hatchback/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/junkyard-find-1985-mazda-glc-hatchback/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 13:00:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=927193 When the Mazda Familia first came to North America, it had rear-wheel-drive, its chassis was very similar to that of an RX-7, and it was called the GLC, for “great little car.” By 1981, the GLC had switched to front-wheel-drive, and later in the decade it became known as the 323. In this series, we’ve […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1985 Mazda GLC Hatchback appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
07 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWhen the Mazda Familia first came to North America, it had rear-wheel-drive, its chassis was very similar to that of an RX-7, and it was called the GLC, for “great little car.” By 1981, the GLC had switched to front-wheel-drive, and later in the decade it became known as the 323. In this series, we’ve seen this ’80 hatch, this ultra-rare ’81 sedan, this ’83 sedan, this ’84 hatchback, and now today’s interestingly decorated ’84. We’ve also seen what’s probably the most original GLC in the country, courtesy of Mazda HQ in California.
13 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe hood is painted with a big star and there are “turbo turtles” on the sides. If this is a popular-culture reference, it’s one I’ve missed.
05 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe 1.5 liter E5 engine was standard equipment in the ’85 GLC.
01 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAll in all, a fairly generic mid-80s econo-hatch.

The sedan version was pitched as a high-performance economy car.

In Japan, M. Takanaka did the music for Familia ads.

01 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

The post Junkyard Find: 1985 Mazda GLC Hatchback appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/junkyard-find-1985-mazda-glc-hatchback/feed/ 41
September 2014 Sales: CX-5 Tops Mazda USA Sales Charts http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/september-2014-sales-cx-5-tops-mazda-usa-sales-charts/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/september-2014-sales-cx-5-tops-mazda-usa-sales-charts/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 12:21:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=927474 In September 2014, for the third time ever and the third time this year, the Mazda CX-5 outsold the Mazda 3 in the United States. The difference was minimal: just 238 units in September compared with a CX-5-favouring 2067 units in February and 1319 in March. Year-to-date, the 3 leads the CX-5 by just 2069 […]

The post September 2014 Sales: CX-5 Tops Mazda USA Sales Charts appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2014 Mazda CX-5 greyIn September 2014, for the third time ever and the third time this year, the Mazda CX-5 outsold the Mazda 3 in the United States.

The difference was minimal: just 238 units in September compared with a CX-5-favouring 2067 units in February and 1319 in March. Year-to-date, the 3 leads the CX-5 by just 2069 units.

Together, they account for 65.8% of Mazda USA’s volume over the course of the last nine months, up slightly from 64.5% at this point a year ago.

While the U.S. sales gap between the two cars is narrow, the CX-5 and 3 are travelling in opposite directions on the same highway. After hitting record highs in 2012, sales of the 3 declined 15% in 2013. Through the first nine months of 2014, year-over-year volume 3 sales are down 2% in 2014. Q3 sales slid 3%.

It’s not as though America’s auto industry is regaining strength through compact cars – sales in the category are only slightly better than level this year and rose less than 1% in September – but the 3 is underperforming compared with key rivals. As accepted as the 3 is by the automotive press, its true rivals on volume terms aren’t big-name players like the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, and Chevrolet Cruze but rather lower-tier cars like the Volkswagen Jetta (down 7% to 115,055 this year), Subaru Impreza (up 7% to 64,329), and Dodge Dart (down 8% to 60,763). 3 sales are down 2% to 80,259 over the last nine months.

The CX-5, on the other hand, is growing at an above-average pace in the small crossover battle led by the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, and Toyota RAV4. Combined sales of that trio are up 9% this year while CX-5 sales are up 29%. Keep in mind, the surging RAV4 (up 26% in 2014) sells more than twice as often as the CX-5; the stagnant Escape sells nearly three times more often, and the CR-V sells more than three times as often.

But the CX-5 is central to Mazda’s expansion. The brand is a truly low-volume player in the United States. We’ve examined its market share at TTAC in the past, which is akin to the share of the market owned by BMW. But Mazda USA volume is up 9% in 2014, a faster rate of growth than that which has been achieved by the overall industry.

2014 Mazda 3It’s not down to the 3. The unique-among-minivans 5 is surely not responsible for growing the brand. 2 sales are up 40% this year, a gain of 3628 units. 6 sales are up 29%, equal to a 9328-unit improvement. (Mazda says the 6 set a record for September sales last month, but they didn’t mean an all-time record. 6 sales in September 2005 were 1% higher; 6 sales in September 2004 were 26% higher. The 6 currently owns slightly more than 2% of America’s midsize market.) The CX-9 has aged, and sales are down 31% this year. As we approach its replacement, MX-5 sales are down 20%, year-over-year, after falling 66% between 2006 and 2013.

If the 3 can’t perk up, the responsibility pressed down on the CX-5’s shoulders will only gain weight. CX-5 volume has grown by 17,522 units to 78,190 in 2014. Only once in 20 monthly tries have CX-5 sales decreased on a year-over-year basis, and that drop was valued at just 5% in the market’s lowest-volume month this year, January.

Exclude the small crossover from Mazda’s lineup and 2014 YTD sales are up just 1.8%, rather than 9.3%. Remove the CX-5 from the equation in September, when it topped the Mazda sales charts, and sales would have decreased 1.9% rather than increasing 6.7%.

The post September 2014 Sales: CX-5 Tops Mazda USA Sales Charts appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/september-2014-sales-cx-5-tops-mazda-usa-sales-charts/feed/ 29
Mazda Announces MX-5 Displacement, Drags Out Details Even Longer http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/mazda-announces-mx-5-displacement-drags-details-even-longer/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/mazda-announces-mx-5-displacement-drags-details-even-longer/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 15:11:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=923729 Not content with merely showing off the design of the next Mazda MX-5, Mazda has announced that European versions of the MX-5 will get a 1.5L Skyactiv engine, while North American versions will get a 2.0L motor. In North American trim, the 2.0L makes 155 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque, but Mazda claims that “all […]

The post Mazda Announces MX-5 Displacement, Drags Out Details Even Longer appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
IMG_8057-450x337

Not content with merely showing off the design of the next Mazda MX-5, Mazda has announced that European versions of the MX-5 will get a 1.5L Skyactiv engine, while North American versions will get a 2.0L motor.

In North American trim, the 2.0L makes 155 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque, but Mazda claims that “all available drivetrains have been specifically tuned for the all-new MX-5.” Here’s hoping that they’ll match the current car’s 167 horsepower (it makes 140 lb-ft). Paired with the rumored 2200 lb curb weight, it should be plenty quick.

The post Mazda Announces MX-5 Displacement, Drags Out Details Even Longer appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/mazda-announces-mx-5-displacement-drags-details-even-longer/feed/ 58
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
Bark’s Bites: Let’s Play TTAC Fantasy Garage! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/barks-bites-lets-play-ttac-fantasy-garage/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/barks-bites-lets-play-ttac-fantasy-garage/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 13:00:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=915874 All across America, every Sunday (and Monday…and Thursday, I guess), men and women glue their eyes to television screens to watch the National Football League’s latest public relations gaffe teams and players duel on the gridiron. However, the popularity of these games often has nothing to do with the teams playing or the cities/states they […]

The post Bark’s Bites: Let’s Play TTAC Fantasy Garage! appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
funny-fantasy-football-meme-61

All across America, every Sunday (and Monday…and Thursday, I guess), men and women glue their eyes to television screens to watch the National Football League’s latest public relations gaffe teams and players duel on the gridiron. However, the popularity of these games often has nothing to do with the teams playing or the cities/states they represent.

It’s all about Fantasy Football, man! That’s right, people who’ve never played or coached a single down of competitive football in their lives can live vicariously through the players that they picked for their weekly lineups. In fact, people often are faced with the dilemma of rooting against their favorite teams so that they can get fantasy points.

So what if we could take the game that is responsible for the highest rated show on television and make it all about what we care about—cars? Of COURSE we can!

The way many fantasy leagues work is that they have a dollar amount assigned to each player, and teams can only spend up to the pre-determined “salary cap” for their league. For example, you might really want Peyton Manning, but your team salary cap is $100M and Manning would count $25M, so it might behoove you to choose Russell Wilson, who only counts $600K against the cap.

So let’s play Fantasy Garage! The average price of a new car in the United States is $32K, so we’ll use that as our number for figuring out our salary cap—nine classifications x $32K=$288,000. Use MSRP, not market pricing. We’ll use market segment classifications, and you’ll need to pick a car for each classification without going over the cap to create the “best” garage you can. You must pick a car that can be bought new for the 2014 or 2015 model years.

The classifications are (examples in parentheses):

Two-seater sports car (MX-5, Boxster, F-Type, Z4, Corvette)

Four-seater sports/pony car (Camaro, Mustang, Challenger)

Subcompact (B segment—Fiesta, Fit, Sonic, Versa)

Compact (C segment—Cruze, Focus, Civic, Sentra, 2 series)

Mid-size (D segment—Accord, Camry, Altima, 3 series)

Full-size (E segment—300, Taurus, Impala, A6)

Small CUV/SUV (CX-5, Escape, X3, Equinox)

Mid-size CUV/SUV (Grand Cherokee, Explorer, Highlander, Q7)

Pickup Truck (all sizes—Canyon, Silverado, F-150, RAM 1500, Tundra, Titan)

Here’s my version—see if you can beat me (it’s all subjective but I’m the final judge).

Two-seater: 2015 Mazda MX-5 sport ($24,765)

Four-seater: 2015 Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack ($35,420)

Sub-compact: 2015 Ford Fiesta ST w/Recaro package ($23,235)

Compact: 2015 VW Golf GTI Autobahn ($30,415)

Mid-size: 2015 BMW 435i ($49,950)—or the 335i variety if you insist on playing by the rules.

Full-size: 2015 Chevrolet Impala 2LT ($31,110)

Small SUV/CUV: 2015 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD ($26,215)

Midsize SUV/CUV: 2014 Ford Flex SEL AWD ($32,495)

Pickup Truck: 2015 GMC Canyon SLE All-Terrain Package ($33,195)

Did it! My Salary Cap number is $286,800, giving me $1200 of room to spare in case my Fiesta transmission blows.

All right, now it’s your turn—quibble with my picks and make your own. Remember, pick one car for every category, and you cannot go over $288,000. Go!

The post Bark’s Bites: Let’s Play TTAC Fantasy Garage! appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/barks-bites-lets-play-ttac-fantasy-garage/feed/ 95
Mazda 6 Diesel Delayed Due To Need For After-Treatment http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/mazda-6-diesel-delayed-due-need-aftertreatment/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/mazda-6-diesel-delayed-due-need-aftertreatment/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:43:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=911226 The Mazda6 diesel, long awaited as the first major competitor to the Volkswagen Passat TDI, is being delayed due to difficulties meeting emissions standards without the need for after-treatment. TTAC has learned that Mazda is changing their strategy to incorporate an after-treatment, to help meet both emissions and performance benchmarks. According to our source, the after-treatment […]

The post Mazda 6 Diesel Delayed Due To Need For After-Treatment appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
450x337xphoto-31-450x337.jpg.pagespeed.ic.KUFvwTIKfO

The Mazda6 diesel, long awaited as the first major competitor to the Volkswagen Passat TDI, is being delayed due to difficulties meeting emissions standards without the need for after-treatment. TTAC has learned that Mazda is changing their strategy to incorporate an after-treatment, to help meet both emissions and performance benchmarks.

According to our source, the after-treatment free Skyactiv-D diesel engine was unable to meet stringent US diesel emissions standards. When engineers finally produced a compliant package, the power output was reportedly considered too low to meet consumer expectations, leading to a major re-think of the diesel program.

The solution will apparently be an unspecified after-treatment, with the first diesel car slated to debut in one year’s time. While the Mazda6 is the first candidate for a diesel engine, our source said that its success could mean diesel variants of other vehicles like the Mazda3 and CX-5.

Mazda’s diesel engines previously came under scrutiny for reliability issues in Australia, which led to speculation that the diesel’s delay in our market was due to this issue. Perhaps these issues (of which there is no true solution) will be ironed out as well when the diesel arrives in North America.

The post Mazda 6 Diesel Delayed Due To Need For After-Treatment appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/mazda-6-diesel-delayed-due-need-aftertreatment/feed/ 90
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. […]

The post Mazda MX-5 Turbo Video Was Just A Teaser appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
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.

The post Mazda MX-5 Turbo Video Was Just A Teaser appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/mazda-mx-5-turbo-video-just-teaser/feed/ 7
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 […]

The post Super Piston Slap: Thrifty Texans Trump Tailgate Theft? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
 

Tailgate-theft-lock-it

(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.

photo 2

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?

 

 

The post Super Piston Slap: Thrifty Texans Trump Tailgate Theft? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/super-piston-slap-thrifty-texans-trump-tailgate-theft/feed/ 55
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 […]

The post 2016 Mazda MX-5 Packing Tons Of Tech appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
 

IMG_8063

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.

The post 2016 Mazda MX-5 Packing Tons Of Tech appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2016-mazda-mx-5-packing-tons-tech/feed/ 104
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. […]

The post 2016 Mazda MX-5 Live Shots, Technical Details appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
IMG_8057

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.

IMG_8043 IMG_8045 IMG_8049 IMG_8050 IMG_8051 IMG_8052 IMG_8053 IMG_8054 IMG_8055 IMG_8056 IMG_8057 IMG_8058 IMG_8060 IMG_8061 IMG_8062 IMG_8063 IMG_8064 IMG_8065 IMG_8066 IMG_8067 IMG_8068 IMG_8069 IMG_8070 IMG_8071 IMG_8072 IMG_8073 IMG_8074 IMG_8075

The post 2016 Mazda MX-5 Live Shots, Technical Details appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2016-mazda-mx-5-live-shots-technical-details/feed/ 78
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 […]

The post 2015 Mazda3 To Get 2.5L/6-Speed Manual Combination appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
450x300x2014-Mazda3-4D-i-GT-72-450x300.jpg.pagespeed.ic.Tti0vE7dR4

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.

The post 2015 Mazda3 To Get 2.5L/6-Speed Manual Combination appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2015-mazda3-get-2-5l6-speed-manual-combination/feed/ 38
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. […]

The post Canada Gets Another Exclusive Product appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
280px-2012_Mazda5_Sport_--_03-09-2011

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.

The post Canada Gets Another Exclusive Product appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/canada-gets-another-exclusive-product/feed/ 17
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/ 97
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 […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1988 Mercury Tracer Hatchback appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
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

The post Junkyard Find: 1988 Mercury Tracer Hatchback appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/junkyard-find-1988-mercury-tracer-hatchback/feed/ 79
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 […]

The post Piston Slap: The Fallacy of Miata Ride Comfort? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
 

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…

 

 

80e940196e_640

(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.

 

The post Piston Slap: The Fallacy of Miata Ride Comfort? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/piston-slap-fallacy-miata-ride-comfort/feed/ 52
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 […]

The post The Mazda 5 Is Dead: Here’s Why appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
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.

The post The Mazda 5 Is Dead: Here’s Why appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/mazda-5-dead-heres/feed/ 59
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 […]

The post Mazda5 Dead For 2015 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
1024px-2012_Mazda5_Sport_--_02-28-2011

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.

The post Mazda5 Dead For 2015 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/mazda5-dead-2015/feed/ 125
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 […]

The post Will The Next-Generation Mazda MX-5 Finally Have A Coupe Variant? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
18yjapp0060z7jpg

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.

The post Will The Next-Generation Mazda MX-5 Finally Have A Coupe Variant? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/will-next-generation-mazda-mx-5-finally-coupe-variant/feed/ 53
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 […]

The post Chart Of The Day: Subaru Has Risen, Mazda Not So Much appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
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.

The post Chart Of The Day: Subaru Has Risen, Mazda Not So Much appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/chart-day-subaru-risen-mazda-much/feed/ 130