By on April 25, 2017

mazda cx-5

Mazda’s North American Operations has named Dino Bernacchi as its chief marketing officer, a position created specifically to aid the automaker in establishing itself as a premium brand.

The manufacturer has taken steps to ditch its economical heritage for nearly a year as it pushes upmarket. Model redesigns have followed a cohesive, sleek trend while the company zeroes in on a future “premium, pricey model” to secure its new identity.

Until then, image is everything for Mazda. The brand doesn’t seem interested in swapping over to a luxury-focused lineup or changing its production philosophy. While Mazda had what was arguably the most aesthetically appealing booth at the New York auto show (even if Porsche and Volvo had the better snacks), most of its vehicles still start below $25,000. 

Bernacchi’s job will be to help shift the brand toward a more exclusive image, perhaps rationalizing a bump in price. According to Mazda, his duties begin with analyzing customer interactions from the “earliest discovery phase,” all the way through purchasing and ownership. Mazda will use that data to build superior brand perception, likely through marketing and not through a slew of expensive new models.

Mazda doesn’t want to rock the boat too much, but it’s noticed its demographic has grown in prosperity in recent years and its buyers now expect more. The challenge will be in making buyers believe the current product is suddenly worth paying more. Bernacchi should have no trouble with this, as he was previously employed as the marketing director for Harley-Davidson.

“As customer tastes and expectations change, and Mazda moves itself to a new, more premium, position in the industry, it is critical that Mazda be laser-focused in our approach to how we tell our proud brand story at every touchpoint in the customer’s journey with us,” Mazda North American Operations CEO Masahiro Moro said in the official announcement. “Dino’s leadership experience in doing exactly that in the past is why he is perfectly suited for this role at Mazda.”

[Image: Mazda]

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72 Comments on “Mazda Appoints Chief Marketing Officer in Upmarket Push...”


  • avatar
    kvndoom

    So sell cars that most feel are inferior to Honyotaru, mark up the price and hope customers think it’s suddenly superior to Honyotaru because it costs more.

    Recipe for success.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Didn’t they already try this in the early 90s?

    And selling premium cars with dump truck 4-cylinders might work for a brand with the cachet of Mercedes, but I don’t see it succeeding for Mazda. If they won’t add cylinders or displacement they’ll need a good hybrid or Volvoesque twin-charged complicatron or at least a 4-cylinder better than Honda/VW.

    Also the current premium market lives on leasing, so they need to figure that sh*t out.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Ya gotta lose that suck-face or fuggedaboutit.

  • avatar
    chaparral

    A 15-year anticorrosion warranty will do more to improve sales and market position than anything else the marketing department can do.

    If the 2.5T from the CX-9 fits in the CX-3, 3, CX-5, and 6, I could see those cars stretching into the near-luxury price bracket.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    “at every touchpoint in the customer’s journey with us”

    My boot wants to journey up your touchpoints, mayo man.

  • avatar
    joc6812

    Dino: I like Mazda cars and have owned a few. I’ve lived in many places around the US. Everywhere I’ve lived the Mazda dealer had 1) the most run-down, dreariest and least amenity-filled facility, 2) the sleaziest, least professional/knowledgeable sales staff, and 3) the worst local feedback ratings on the whole Mazda “experience.”
    If you’re moving the brand up market, I suggest you take a long look at the existing dealer network.

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      My local Mazda dealer just upgraded from the back-lot building to the street-frontage newish constructed building that previously housed the Fiat franchise that was kicked to the curb. Mazda previously occupied the service/pre-owned building of the Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram/Fiat/Mazda store. I haven’t been in it, but the curb appeal and visibility is a huge upgrade.

    • 0 avatar
      spookiness

      Concur completely with joc6812. Have owned 4. The last one bought involved every sleazy auto sales stereo type. Swarmy salesperson, finance person, drawn out process, waiting forever in dingy dealership, trying to push the car they want to sell instead of making the effort to get you what you want. I really wanted the car so I put up with the experience- and this dealer was better than another dealer I’d bought from. Normal people don’t tolerate the b.s. and just get a Corolla.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        +1 One of Mazda’s biggest obstacles is the dealer network. Doesn’t matter how good the car is if you can’t buy one without going through a grease-trap. Mazda dealers are far less numerous than competitors and are not known for good experiences. What this means is a potential customer can be stuck with 1 lousy Mazda dealers while Toyota/Honda/Ford/Chevy/etc have 2-3 within reasonable distance.

    • 0 avatar
      Shockrave Flash Has Crashed

      This is so very true.

  • avatar
    John R

    “The manufacturer has taken steps to ditch its economical heritage…”

    Me:[Looks at the only engine available in the Mazda6]

    Also, me: “Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha….”

  • avatar
    cheezman88

    Honestly I kinda suspected this. It seems they’ve been working hard to refine their cars and they’ve been becoming increasingly more luxurious. I’m all for it. It seems like they’re trying to push themselves to near-luxury brand level like Buick and Acura. But if they also want to keep their economical roots, they’d have to offer everything they have now but also include higher trim lines like what they do with the Signature trim for the CX-9. I just bought a Mazda 3 myself, it’d be nice if they had a trim that took it out of economy car roots. Like More powerful engine, higher quality shocks/tires, replace all the hard touch plastics in the car with stitched leather, more sound deadening.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      “..replace all the hard touch plastics in the car with stitched leather, …”

      Do people still care about that stuff? How many cars with Napa Nubuck leather and Danish (Italian being too 80s…) designed “soft touch” surfaces, do people really have in them, before that whole spiel turns into nothing more than the housing bubble generation’s version of Landau roofs and aftermarket 22s?

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Mazda as a premium brand? A desperate move which seems to say “we have never been able to sell at mainstream volumes in the USA, so lets try going for higher margins.” Not going to work.

    Remember the Mazda Millenia? How about the “929”?

    Didn’t think so …..

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      I remember both of them. Not that I ever was in a position to own one. I piloted my sister’s 1983 GLC around for a while, and loved that little white box (4 speed, white hatch, blue vinyl interior riding on big ol’ 13 inch steelies).

      Fast forward and a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of renting a brand-spankin’ new Mazda6. Really, really liked the car. A lot. But Honda and Toyota seem to have a deathlock on “family sedan” and as that market it already contracting, not sure what else Mazda could do to break the strangle-hold. Maybe folks don’t want zoom-zoom. Perhaps a bit more upscale is in order (and, of course…more CUV/SUV).

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      We had a 929. Nice car. Did everything we asked of it but it had a small trunk given its size.

      We also had a VR6 Jetta at the time and it’s trunk was much larger and it had fold down rear seats (which I don’t believe the Mazda had).

      IMO, if Mazda wants to go upmarket, it’s gonna need more powerful engines. The desing, both interior and exterior, is there. Work on the engines and reducing NVH.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I remember square 929. It was great car. It even had auto swinging HVAC vents.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    Hmmmm, going after a market that’s already crowded, has higher customer expectations (NVH, dealer experience, performance), has fewer consumers able to afford them, and is highly focused on brand cachet. That makes sense, should be easy.

    Doesn’t Mazda remember giving up on a separate luxury brand for the Millenia? Even Acura lost the plot after some spotty success. It isn’t easy.

    I like Mazdas a lot, but I think other comments here have hit the nail on the head. Their dealer network is pretty sparse and, in most cases, doesn’t elicit thoughts of a luxury experience. In my case, the nearest Mazda dealer is hours away. The local guy had the brand dualed with a Ford dealership but figured he would make more money making the Mazda showroom in more used car desks. Sad.

  • avatar
    a8train

    My wife and I have owned nothing but Mazdas (collectively) since 2000. When it came to replace her CX-5 with something bigger we were really disappointed. IMO, you can’t just displace an entire class of loyal buyers and be successful. We bought Mazda because they fit the bill: economical, reliable, fun to drive, and the ability to [sort of] buy them in a configuration we wanted at a price that was affordable to us. (turbo, manuals, sedans, CUV and etc).

    We had a brand new 2017 CX-9 for few days that the dealer loaned us and returned it pretty disappointed. For the price it really lacked refinement… the fit and finish was good and so were the amenities but at the end of the day it was about the NVH and the the involvement with the driving- that and the value was not there. There are a TON of choices in that price bracket.

    We ended up buying a Nissan Pathfinder appliance. Power is right, price was right, features / options were right for the price and it was much more refined and quiet on the highway (this shares the same platform as the Infiniti QX60). I dont like the idea of it but its great for the purpose it serves.

    Been a Mazda free household for 6 months now.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    Mazda seems to be hitting a wall against increasing volume, and looking enviously at Subaru. Subaru can charge higher prices because of awd and crossovers, which most people don’t really need, but are willing to fork over the cash for. Sporty driving cars on the other hand, only people at much higher transaction prices seem to care about that feature.

    With Nissan selling subprime cvt garbage, and VW in crisis, Toyota and Honda more boring than ever, I do see a market opening for a premium-ish sporty brand.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Amati’s back, baby!

  • avatar
    Der_Kommissar

    There’s an opening, but they have to start building quieter cars with less NVH while still being sporty to make that happen. You can sell NVH as “sporty” when the MSRP is below $25k. It’s harder above that line. If you load down the current gen 3 with more insulation you’ll loose the handling and acceleration that the 2.5 is capable of. It’s going to take a new platform to capture and keep near-lux buyers.

    • 0 avatar
      Nedmundo

      I agree. I didn’t mind the NVH in our 2006 Mazda5 microvan because it cost only $17k and was basically an economy car with a high roof. Despite its low price and humble roots, it drove beautifully, with excellent balance. It served its intended function better than any vehicle I’ve owned.

      But when I needed to replace a SAAB sedan and checked out the Mazda 6 (in 2009), the horrible NVH was a deal breaker. Yes, the car had spectacular handling for the segment, but the road noise was brutal, and the engine lacked power and refinement. It didn’t have a chance, and I ended up with an Acura TSX for not much more than a comparably equipped Mazda. Its steering is vastly inferior to the Mazda’s, but it’s better in every other respect. (I also considered a Mazdaspeed 3, which had poor NVH, but that’s less of an issue in that segment.)

      With less NVH and better engines, and a continued focus on excellent handling, I think Mazda could easily compete against Acura and others. I’d definitely be interested.

      Of course, none of these criticisms apply to the Miata.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Yup, my almost-new Mazda5 is.like riding around inside a 55 gallon drum.

      It’s definitely a weak point.

      Also, the interior isn’t wearing well despite the hard plastic. I don’t mind hard plastic, but I thought part of the deal with it was that it was indestructible. But I’m pretty sure I gouged my glovebox with my laptop bag, which just should not happen.

      But, I like the car overall. The price is right, and its day-to-day usability is really well thought out. It has everything I need, and nothing I don’t.

      I’d love to buy an electric Mazda5 with better NVH and a more durable interior. But, I’ll probably just end up waiting for Tesla to build it.

  • avatar
    deanst

    No mention yet of Mazda’s great success with Amati?

    Mazda needs to get in bed with FCA – slap some sexy sheet metal and an Italian name on a reliable Mazda platform, add some attention to NVH and more powerful engines, and (as the kids say) you’d be golden.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    People are getting worked up at the fact that the 2.5T will fit into smaller Mazdas, but…that engine was designed the way it was specifically in response to Mazda’s research that shows that SUV owners rarely rev their engines past 4500 rpm, and it shows – cribbed from C&D:

    “The throttle response is excellent, even from idle, with boost that builds instantly, likely due to the clever Dynamic Pressure Turbo system. But if you drive the CX-9 as we do—part throttle and no redlining makes Jack a dull boy—the power tapers off noticeably. It doesn’t fall away with the abruptness of a turbo-diesel, but there’s a big drop in enthusiasm beyond 4500 rpm.”

    You want an engine like that in a Speed3? Yeah – me neither. In the old Speed3 with the 2.3T, power fell off a cliff between 5500 and 6k…this one would do it a thousand rpm sooner.

  • avatar
    zip89123

    Funny. Premium vehicles with 20 year old engines? How about bringing the V6 back?

  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    It seems to be working for Ford with higher average transaction prices, but unless Mazda improves the dealer experience, offers optional more powerful engines (esp in the 6), and builds their own financing company to get better lease options, then I see this as a no go.

  • avatar
    Rocket

    The cars continue to look more and more premium, but underneath it’s the same old story: noisy cabins and unrefined powertrains. The automotive media praises the brand because they don’t have to live with the cars. ‘Fun’ is great for a 3-day comparison test, but loses its luster over the course of several years. The CX-5 appears to be improved, but it’s far from “premium”. It will be a long time before the CX-5 will be cross-shopped with the Q5, GLC, NX or even the RDX.

    I’m encouraged that Mazda seems to realize they need to address the product, but I have yet to read anything about a plan to update their lackluster dealer network. Hopefully that’s second on Dino’s list.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      ” it’s far from “premium”. ”

      Mazda products are exhilarating to drive in the twisties but they are “far from premium” with their noisy cabins, noisy engines and skittishness over washboard road decks.

      Hey, I’ve owned a couple of Mazda products and they were fine to give to the kids for school and college but to bet one’s sole family transportation on a Mazda product?

      Naw, that’s where Toyota, Honda, and now Subaru, have the market cornered.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      BS. I enjoy every curve I take, every day in my Mazda3. And I drove Civic when I purchased Mazda3 in 2010. In fact, they were like twins. Same noise, same trunk, same room. Only Civic’s interior was poor man’s housing. And not much fun to drive to boot. so, it is 2db louder? – oh, ok. Turn on your radio then! I was just looking for feasibility to get Civic Sport with manual. You know what it has? – 2-speed wipers. Base mazda3 has variable intermittent wipers. When you go through useful content, honda gives it to you when you pay >25K for Civic. This is Maxima territory, see discounts? In 2010 I would have to pay $21K for civic if I needed blue tooth. I paid $16K for ‘3 iTouring and it had blue tooth.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        it isn’t just about dBs, it’s the quality of the sound. you need to also account for the frequency content of the sound to even begin to predict how annoying someone will perceive it. 80 dBA of broad-spectrum noise will be far, far less annoying than 80 dBA of a groaning, whining, or chirping sound.

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    All these complaints about their engines.

    I love the 2.5. Does it have some audible coarseness to it? Sure, almost diesel like. However, it sounded light years better than the wheezy turbo from the same model year Escape. Step on the gas in the Escape, and while it has more torque a little lower than the CX-5, there was turbo lag and the engine noise was terrible. The Rogue was wheezy too as the CVT allows the thing to wheeze and drone. At highway speeds in the CX-5 the wind noise overshadows the noise from the engine, which could use some improving. The only car that had a quieter engine was the CR-V.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Those are the worst of the segment engine wise so that’s not surprising. The Sportage SX, Tuscon 1.6T, CR-V 1.5T and the coming Tiguan all curb stomp this engine and come in crossovers similarly equipped and priced. The 2.5 is mediocre at best in every segment it competes in, and to be frank Mazda’s mainstream dynamics are nowhere near good enough to overcome those soggy SKYACTIV lumps. Unless this guy’s job title includes turbocharging everything down to the CX-3 this is a suicide mission.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        I’d personally take the the 2.5 over any micro turbo. It’s gruff, but that’s it. It’s not non linear and annoying to drive precisely, the way the turbo clumsoramas are.

        With a slushbox, I can see the turbos being preferable, since you’re then just trading one form of clumsiness for another. But with a proper transmission, NA engines are just soo much crisper and more rewarding. And the Mazdas are very good engines too. With proper street tuned powerbands, smooth fueling across the range etc. They’re still 4s built for efficiency more than singular driving pleasure, but for what they are, they are good driver’s car engines.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Again all micro turbo engines are not created equal. Ford’s 1.5/1.6T is probably the worst engine in the segment. VW’s 1.4T is better, but still very lumpy and inconsistent in its power delivery. The Honda 1.5T, Hyundai/Kia 1.6T, and the grand puba VWAG 1.8T are all better than the Mazda 2.5 by an escalating margin up the list. So just like with NA engines much of it comes down to design and execution.

          For me, for a daily driver at least, performance is more important than engagement. Obviously if I can have both I’ll get both like I have with my motorcycle. But I just got an auto G37 to replace my manual Civic 1.8…. the Civic is my choice when I just want to rip it up around the neighborhood, but for the daily slog the G stomps it. There is also the issue of shift quality which is why I got the 7AT over the awful Nissan 6MT which I hated in my 350Z. Anyways all the 2.5 Mazda 6MTs are slower than my Civic, which is already too slow for me, particularly during A/C season. Something like a CR-V 1.5T would at least be livable. If Mazda wants to charge more they absolutely have to bring the noise with regards to straight line speed.

          • 0 avatar
            Daniel J

            “VW’s 1.4T is better, but still very lumpy and inconsistent in its power delivery. The Honda 1.5T, Hyundai/Kia 1.6T, and the grand puba VWAG 1.8T ”

            I haven’t driven the Honda 1.5T, however, I felt their NA engine was pretty smooth. Hyundai is having too many engine troubles with its 2.4 already. I’ll give the 1.6T a few years before I’d consider it.

            In early 2015, when we test drove every small CUV, the CX-5 was the clear winner to us. I test drove a 2017 Mazda 6, and the 2.5 in it sounds a little better and I think performs a little better.

    • 0 avatar
      Rocket

      But none of the competitors you listed are premium. How does it compare to something like an X3? Or even the RDX or MKC? Not favorably, and that means they have a lot of work to do.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      I have a ’17 Escape 2.0T. The last thing I’d ever call it is wheezy. And it is quiet under throttle so I’m not sure what you mean.

      • 0 avatar
        Daniel J

        I’m talking comparable engines with the 2.5 NA skyactive. We test drove the 1.5T. I would think the 2.0T would be an improvement both under idle and under boost compared to the 1.5T.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    The Mazda dealer in my exurb was just bladed for a strip mall. Aesthetically it was a hole and made the sleazy Kia dealership down the road look upscale. It’s probably good for the brand that it is gone, but it also means they (and VW) are the only major manufacturer without a dealer in an area of 100,000 people.

    This is apparently the design flavor of the new dealerships:

    https://tinyurl.com/k7cs4qu

    “Upscale” is partially about branding and image and that isn’t going to cut it. Mazda reminds me a lot of VW in the American marketplace. They have some draw for enthusiasts, some real systematic problems that prevent wider marketplace traction, and seemingly no idea on how they want to brand themselves.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Please, elaborate on “systematic” problems

      • 0 avatar
        chaparral

        R. U. S. T.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Ok. I live where they salt. My ’98 Protege had rusty suspension but it worked. I didn’t replace a single piece of suspension. I replaced 1 piece of exhaust due to rust. Muffler survived great in 16.5 years. Rear wheel wells started to rust at 13 years. I patched them myself. the rust literally cost me $170.

          On the newer models, I see rusty hose clamps and bolts that before were rust proof. I currently have ’10 and ’11. I don’t see any horrible rust issues. I see, same exhaust piece as on ’98 will be rusted out eventually, I think. But nothing major, really.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Public perception
        Dealer network
        Brand invisibility
        Marketing ineffectiveness
        Inability to compete on price
        Modest budgets to take on big players in R&D and advertising
        Fans who defend them on forums but won’t spring for a new model to keep the company afloat!

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Public perception – yea. ford years screw things up
          Dealer network – yea, not good enough
          Brand invisibility – in my area Mazdas everywhere
          Marketing ineffectiveness – can’t judge
          Inability to compete on price – small company can’t compete with Toyondas. Mazda has smallest incentives per car and they are profitable
          Modest budgets to take on big players in R&D and advertising – ok
          Fans who defend them on forums but won’t spring for a new model to keep the company afloat! – personally, I purchased 3 of them; although I don’t defend. I go drive and when I see them driving better that others I buy, even if it costs me more. although in my case, I am always pay less because mazda is “Ace of Base” – packs more useful features low, so you don’t have to buy sunroof to get blue tooth

  • avatar
    eManual

    Being recently retired, I would gladly purchase a Mazda 6 with a Manual Transmission if it had upgraded cloth seats in a color other than black, preferably tan/ivory. Likewise, the outside color has to be something other than black or silver, like gold, red, or blue. Also, a hatch version with the above would be a replacement for my (former) blue outside / blue inside 1987 Dodge Lancer. The Lancer had a 2.5L engine with less than 2/3 the HP of the present Mazda 6, so extra HP over the Skyactive is not a requirement. Noise and ride quality are still important, however.

    • 0 avatar
      notsure

      I like the 6 but being retired myself I’d have to factor in the cost of visiting a chiropractor on a weekly basis from getting in and out of the car.
      Too damn low

    • 0 avatar
      Shockrave Flash Has Crashed

      The lack of interesting colors kept us out of a CX5 when my wife crashed her Mazda 6. When the sales guy drove that silver one out of the back lot, I could feel us loosing her.

  • avatar
    jfbar167

    For this (grand plan) to work, they need to directly address a few current issues (based on my recent Mazda6 experience).

    > Turbo the damn motor.
    > Put a “little” more heft into the body (I know, Skyactive and such),
    but the doors and trunk sound cheap and tinny when closing.
    > Update (ALL, not just GT trims). the 80’s (Casio) looking
    multifunction/gas/ODO gauge.
    > “Upgrade” the AC so it actually cools effectively. Kinda important for
    us in warmer climates.

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel J

      First I’ve heard of AC issues. Our CX-5 keeps us plenty cool in 95 degree/105 heat index Alabama heat.

      I’ll agree on the doors, but this seems to be the case across many manufacturers.

      Turbo’ing the motor? Well, they did that for the CX-9. I’m sure eventually it will trickle to the Mazda 6. Personally, I’m more for for larger displacement NA engines. Maybe a 3.0 Skyactive.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    From C/D’s first drive of the new CX-5: “Mazda … added a rash of new sound-attenuating measures: extra seals for the doors and additional absorption material to quiet the cabin at speed and reduce impact noise over bumps, both among our quibbles with the old CX-5. The underbody paneling was expanded to cover more of the chassis and now is made of a sound-insulating feltlike material. Elements of the cargo-area trim similarly underwent a switch from hard plastic to carpeted pieces to reduce noise reverberation throughout the interior, and the windshield is thicker. We could outline every last highly detail-oriented measure Mazda took to silence the smallest noises (there are many), but we’ll just give the result: The car seems notably quieter. To be fair, the previous CX-5 set the bar low enough in this regard that the model now is merely in line with the segment average. (We’ll know more precisely when we measure noise levels ourselves.)”

    Sure, my wife’s CX-5 groans when you mash the gas and is loud on the highway, but it felt a solid cut above the RAV-4 et al. that we also test-drove based on the interior trim, and was much more fun to drive to boot. If Mazda has actually sorted out their noise problem and made their interiors even nicer, maybe people will notice.

    But yeah, they need to burn their dealer network to the ground first, because _man_.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      #1. Last week drove ’17 cx5, top of the line. Amazing. I just wish they added normal analog temp and fuel gauges.

      #2. was driving-by one Mazda dealer, walked in, “do you have ’17?” -“just sold one we had”. “What about ’16?” – “’16 is not the same, it is totally different car…” Basically, he blew me and my companion (buyer) away, literally. He didn’t offer to check ’16, etc. On the way back hit my local dealer, they had everything. And they were busy. Salesman gave me a car to test self because he had 2 others, one testing , one signing. Mother load…

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Upmarket indeed. I can think of several cases in which I’d rather buy a Mazda than one of its luxury-branded counterparts.

  • avatar
    notsure

    People commenting about the shoddy sleazy Mazda dealers haven’t been to one in years.As a matter of fact when I bought my first Mazda in 2005 it wasn’t the case then either.Today I’m on my third a 2013 CX 5 with the weak (They say ) 2.0 engine which is actually a Mazda designed engine and much smoother engine than the Ford designed 2.5. so if I was going to stick a turbo on something it would be the 2.0. As for going upscale all they really have to do is install an espresso machine and hire a barista. That will brings the snobs in.

  • avatar
    Yellowneck

    Well, this is one way to sustain 1.8% market share, which Mazda does best!

  • avatar

    I shopped both Mazda6 GT and Ford Fusion Titanium and Ford looked and felt as a more premium car – smoother, quieter, faster, more solid handling and more premium design. Even despised Camry feels more premium than Mazda. It brings me back to Mazda Xedos – did not sell because it was a fake luxury vehicle. Forget about it. Make cheap zoom-zoom cars with substandard engine and noisy cabin for those who do not care about it and sell it for competitive price.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    Maybe Mazda should introduce an Avenir, Denali, Maybach-like sub-brand. They could call it “Amati.”

  • avatar
    REVitHigh

    So far so good for Mazda. Their dealer networks need to change but their product is getting much better than what it once was. Their natural competition is just getting more mundane by the minute.

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