Mazda CEO Explains Strategy While Simultaneously Breaking the Hearts of Rotary Fanboys Everywhere

Mazda has big aspirations for the future. However, its immediate plans don’t appear to include a successor to the RX-8, despite Mazda’s continued development on its trademark rotary engine and other conflicting information.

Instead, CEO Masamichi Kogai says the company is going to focus on its push upmarket while diversifying powertrains and cementing itself as the sporting choice over its rivals.

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Mazda's New Ad Campaign Uses Ben Collins and a Dog to Suggest Consumers Are Idiots

Mazda, which has seen its previously strong sales slip in Israel, feels the brand has developed a bum rap. Its once-exciting cars have become unworthy of praise in the Jewish republic — claims the company finds flagrantly objectionable.

So, rather than take the perceived abuse lying down, the automaker developed the “Prepare to be Amazed” campaign in response. Its essence isn’t that Mazda begs to differ with naysayers, but that the general public is simply wrong in its assumptions.

It’s the advertising equivalent of telling off the school bully while putting on a pair of sunglasses and moonwalking home.

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2017 Mazda 3 5-Door Grand Touring Review - It's The One To Have, Not The One You'll Buy

American consumers acquire more than 200,000 new compact cars every month. Only 4 percent of those cars are Mazda 3s.

Compact car buyers are far more likely to drive away from a new car dealer in a Corolla, Civic, Sentra, Elantra, or Cruze; more likely to choose a Focus, Jetta, or Forte, too.

While U.S. sales of compact cars are down 4 percent this year, Mazda 3 volume is down 11 percent.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the more popular compacts. The 2017 Mazda 3 is better than those cars. And this particular 2017 Mazda 3, a hatchback in top Grand Touring trim with the 2.5-liter engine upgrade and — oh my goodness, a manual transmission — is better than other Mazda 3s.

But you remain unconvinced.

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2017 Mazda CX-5 Diesel Confirmed - 310 Lb-ft of Torque in an Equinox Fighter Not Named TDI

Chevrolet won’t be the only automaker attempting to woo former Volkswagen TDI owners with a diesel-powered compact crossover. Mazda North America confirmed this afternoon the soon-coming availability of a 2.2-liter turbocharged diesel four-cylinder in the thoroughly refreshed 2017 Mazda CX-5.

Thought to be a sure bet before major setbacks seemed to become insurmountable impediments, we reported earlier this week that the reveal of a new CX-5 would include a diesel engine. Then, in press releases from both Mazda USA and Mazda Canada last night, the 2.2-liter Skyactiv-D was included in the list of otherwise carryover powertrains offered.

Today, at a press conference not 24 hours after a design-oriented reveal of the 2017 CX-5, Mazda made it clear. Consider it confirmed, validated, and verified. Mazda’s best-selling model is about to gain 68 percent more torque.

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2017 Mazda CX-5 Revealed In Los Angeles - It's Been A Good Five Years

Nearly five years after the first Mazda CX-5 became an instantaneous success for Mazda North America, the automaker has revamped its best seller. Revealed on the eve of the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2017 Mazda CX-5 should have little trouble capitalizing on the momentum created by the oft-praised crossover.

In 36 of the last 45 months, year-over-year CX-5 volume has increased, a striking achievement given the Mazda brand’s struggles to earn mainstream market share in the United States. Mazda brand sales are down 8 percent in the U.S. this year.

But the CX-5 is another story; the bright light at a brand where the midsize car is ignored, the biggest and smallest crossovers are niche products, the compact is fast fading, the subcompact and minivan have both been extinguished, and the most famous product is the brand’s least common product.

Tonight’s 2017 Mazda CX-5 reveal is hugely important to Mazda, as nearly four-in-ten sales in Mazda’s U.S. showrooms are generated by the brand’s surprisingly fun to drive CR-V fighter.

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Mazda CX-5 Diesel to Appear in U.S. Next Year: Report

Mazda is remaining tight-lipped, but a new report claims the automaker will debut a diesel-powered CX-5 crossover in the U.S. next year, followed by a oil-burning Mazda 6.

If true, it means Mazda’s years-long effort to bring its overseas powerplants to North America were not in vain.

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As Mazda Talks With Toyota About Electrification, Is Its U.S. Diesel Dream in Peril?

Mazda loves its Skyactiv engine technology, as the high-compression fuel-sippers eliminate the automaker’s need for pricey hybrids or battery electric vehicles.

Boasting an increasingly rare all-gas U.S. fleet, Mazda has said it can handle increasingly stringent fuel economy requirements with improved second-generation Skyactiv engines, including their diesel variants.

It now looks like that plan won’t be enough.

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The Hipster Marque? Mazda Is Selling an Identity Along With Its Cars

Mazda is like that artisan pizza place or a craft brewery your coolest friends all like. They make a familiar product, but there is definitely something different about it. While you can’t always place your finger on it, that unexplainable “x” factor affords them the hint of pretentiousness that comes along with doing things differently.

And like any hip outlet selling quirky artisanal goods, they are likely going to start charging you more for it.

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Mazda Flashes Us a Little Leg With Its Redesigned 2017 CX-5

Everyone assumed that the next incarnation of the Mazda CX-5 wouldn’t make an appearance until next year, so it was a bit of a surprise to see Mazda showing off carefully lit photos of its next-generation compact crossover today.

It’s definitely not an unwelcome surprise, as this 2017 model has one hell of a good-looking profile.

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Ready to Sail: Here's Your Japanese Class of 1992 Eligible for Import

Since the 1980s, draconian federal importation laws have meant enthusiasts in the United States must wait a full 25 years before some of their favorite brand’s models are legal on these shores. And every year, groups of enthusiasts take to the internet to contemplate what cars will be available for importation with the turn of the new year. The arrival of each new calendar year then becomes a celebration of the past, a revisit of forsaken models, a festival of other-market obscurity.

The Land of the Rising Sun is becoming more than just a source for tuners looking for their next drift car. That’s right, Japanese cars are now collectible.

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2017 Mazda MX-5 RF: Folding Fastback Fun Starts at $32,390

Mazda has kicked off presale orders for its 2017 MX-5 RF, the “retractable fastback” that gives would-be convertible buyers an extra feature to help win their spouse’s support.

Introduced to salivating journalists at the New York Auto Show, the model starts at $32,390 (including a $835 destination charge) in Club trim — a $2,955 increase over a 2016 MX-5 Club.

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Vellum Venom: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata (ND)

I had the distinct non-privilege of sampling an ND Miata at a Mazda event for the general public, which was also covered by one of TTAC’s sister publications. A gaze at the hood bulges at (slow) auto journo track speeds netted a surprise: there was an urgency to get this cab-backward profile on the Vellum.

It’s no different than being a design student; visions quickly sketched on vellum (lower case) were crucial. Today’s urgency isn’t for my GPA, but for Vellum Venom’s readers (all 51 of you) and for my soul. It’s been too long.

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Even Mazda Is Now Selling More Crossovers Than Cars, But Overall Mazda Sales Are Still Down

Over the last two months, Mazda, that great tiny bastion of four-cylinder engines and SkyActiv and adding lightness, has sold more crossovers than cars in the United States.

Yes, that Mazda. The Mazda that had to rebadge Fords to bring its first two SUVs to market. The Mazda that, only four years ago, produced two-thirds of its U.S. sales with passenger cars.

Unfortunately, the gains now produced by Mazda’s CX crossover division aren’t enough to counteract the plunging sales of Mazda’s three remaining cars. As a result, Mazda’s U.S. market share is down to just 1.7 percent through 2016’s first eight months.

The good news for Mazda? Company bosses saw this coming. As part of a long-term strategy, Mazda is sticking to its guns, unwilling to overreact to disappointing short-term results with short-term fixes.

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Australian Driver's Kitchenware Joyride Doesn't Pan Out

Anything that happens in Australia is already sort of funny, because we all remember the Simpsons episode where the Aussie locals play knifey-spoony and Homer salutes the toilet.

Well, from the land of Midnight Oil, Nicole Kidman and the defunct Ford Falcon Ute comes this story, thanks to Jalopnik, the South Australia Police, and a man who wouldn’t let a missing steering wheel end his motoring dreams.

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Guest Review: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Grand Touring Automatic

Please welcome TTAC reader Mike Allen. He recently took delivery of an automatic-transmission MX-5 and drove it through California in search of enlightenment!

The fourth-generation Miata is no stranger to these pages, having been reviewed by Tim Cain and Alex Dykes in the past year. But these reviews, like most of those you’ll find out there on the Internet, are based on short drives of manual-transmission models.

For many auto enthusiasts, the idea of buying a Miata with an automatic transmission verges on a Pelagian level of heresy. Yet for those of us who are condemned to the purgatory of Los Angeles traffic, even the most damnable heresy eventually becomes palatable. That’s why my loaded-up, Grand-Touring-spec MX-5 has just two pedals.

As you’ll see below, that doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of your consideration. Shortly after taking delivery last month, I took it on a 900-mile trip to the heart of inland California and found that out for myself.

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Cross-Border Shopping? Mazda Canada Forges On With Same Ol' Mazda5 For 2017

Two years after reporting on its U.S. death, TTAC can now report the Mazda5 will live on in current form for at least another model year in Canada.

The 2017 Mazda5 is not yet featured on Mazda’s Canadian media site, but when asked by TTAC last week whether the one true remaining North American “mini”van would hold its place in Mazda Canada’s lineup, we received an affirmative response.

“We are continuing to offer the Mazda5 here in the Canadian market,” Mazda Canada’s director of public relations, Sandra Lemaitre, told us via email last Friday. “The 2017 model year Mazda5 began production in July, so it should be in dealer showrooms shortly. It will be a carryover product with no major changes.”

This is news that will excite seven Canadians, and perhaps nine Americans who are considering crossing the border for a USD-equivalent $18,555 manual-transmission mini-MPV.

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Coincidence? 13 Months Of Mazda MX-5 Miata Sales Growth Stops As Fiat 124 Spider Arrives

The fourth-generation ND Mazda MX-5 Miata is undoubtedly, indisputably, undeniably the best addition you could make to your garage.

Some people disagree.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported 480 U.S. sales of the Fiat 124 Spider in July 2016. The Spider is a thoroughly transformed version of Mazda’s fourth Miata: different body, distinct suspension tuning, unique powerplant.

With the 124 Spider’s arrival in the United States, 13 months of Mazda MX-5 Miata sales growth came to a screeching halt.

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2017 Mazda3 Promises a Better Drive, as If That's What the 3 Needs and Consumers Want

Mazda sales representatives across the United States finally have the golden ticket for all of those eventual Honda Civic buyers who walked out the door before even test driving a Mazda3.

“When the driver maintains a constant steering angle, GVC immediately recovers engine drive torque, transferring load to the rear wheels to enhance vehicle stability,” Bill will tell his next up, quoting Mazda USA’s press release. Says Joe to the young couple expecting their first child: “The extremely subtle amount of deceleration force added by GVC normally amounts to 0.01 G or less.” Tom, with a patronizing over-the-glasses glance at the fixed-income senior citizens across the desk, says, “GVC demonstrates its effect consistently over a wide range of driving situations, regardless of the driver’s level of skill.”

GVC, or G-Vectoring Control, is the next step in Mazda’s Skyactiv-branded technology. G-Vectoring control debuts on the refreshed 2017 versions of the Mazda6, a chronically unpopular midsize sedan, and the increasingly uncommon Mazda3, sales of which have tumbled by nearly a fifth since the car’s 2012 peak.

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Ace of Base: Mazda3 I Sport

Base model. What does that image conjure to mind? Vinyl seats? Tinny AM radio? A low rent penalty box on wheels? A few years ago, you’d be right on the money. Driving misery was available for voluntary purchase at the showrooms of just about every major car maker.

Now, though … it’s tougher to find, but there are entry-level vehicles out there that, in their cheapest guise, won’t make you cringe with each pull of the driver’s door handle. These base models? They’ve aced it. Here’s a good example.

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What Would a Mazda3-based Dodge Dart Successor Look Like?

Last week, our own Tim Cain broke down exactly why the Dart was destined for the dustbin. Steph asked in April if the Dart would outlast the Obama administration, a question answered last week with a resounding “no” from Auburn Hills. And before that, I asked you what company could build a replacement for the Dart, while offering up my own guesses. One car kept rising to the top of the suggestion list: the Mazda3.

But, what would a Mazda3-based Dodge Dart replacement look like? We wanted to know. And since none of us at TTAC are particularly gifted when it comes to pixel manipulation, we commissioned a pair of renders from the talented Theophilus Chin of Chris Doane Automotive to find out.

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Mazda Still Plans to Launch Diesels in the U.S.

Volkswagen’s emissions scandal gave oil burners a bad name, but Mazda isn’t ditching its plans for a diesel roll-out in North America.

The automaker has an internal timeline for a stateside launch of Skyactiv diesels that will meet stringent U.S. pollution regulations, Automotive News reports.

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Next-Generation Mazda MX-5 Won't Be Smaller, Just Lighter

Sick of trying to motivate your Mazda MX-5 Miata’s prodigious tonnage? Thinking of giving that porker away to a friend? Help is on the way.

The next generation of automotive journalism’s favorite ride will shed weight, thanks to the use of carbon fiber, Autocar reports. That could mean smaller engines for all markets.

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2016 Mazda3 Wins Comparison Test, All The Losers Win Bigly In The Real World

Enthusiast praise for the Mazda3 began before the current-generation compact Mazda arrived in late 2013. Previous iterations benefited from hugely positive reviews. “We’re going to love the 3 once it arrives in America,” Automobile wrote in December 2003. Credit for dynamic excellence was the norm a generation later. “Steering is direct and the suspension is firm enough for spirited driving and equally competent at soaking up bumps,” said AutoGuide in early 2009. I haven’t hesitated to get in on the action, writing in my second review of the latest compact Mazda, “The Mazda3 is still the best compact car you can buy.”

It’s therefore not surprising to see that in a five-way compact car comparison for the magazine’s July edition, Car and Driver named the 2016 Mazda3 i Grand Touring the winner of the test. Car and Driver handed the Mazda 203 points, 44-percent more than the fifth-ranked 2016 Nissan Sentra SL achieved.

Industry observers also won’t be surprised to learn that Car and Driver’s fifth-ranked Nissan Sentra produced 139-percent more first-half sales than the Mazda, while the other three losers all roundly outsold the Mazda, as well.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review - It's Fun, and Really Fuel Efficient

Bonus. It’s the money you didn’t expect to receive from your employer at the end of the fiscal year, the mussel bar you didn’t know existed at the new Yelp-hyped strip mall restaurant your significant other convinced you to try, the extra hour of sleep you grabbed exiting daylight saving time last autumn.

There are vehicular bonuses, as well. The Jeep Wrangler succeeds at what it was built to do: to handle genuinely tough off-road situations. But it’s also a convertible.

Our long-term Honda Odyssey seats eight in surprising comfort, just as it ought to. But the Odyssey also handles really well.

After growing acquainted with all kinds of odd duckling electric cars, the Tesla Model S didn’t merely expand our expectations for electric range and performance, it looked really good while doing so.

After a blissful week of sunshine during which I drove 260 miles with a variety of passengers on mostly coastal routes, never attempting for a moment to do anything but drive the car harder than we would any other test car, it turns out our Mazda Canada-supplied 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata travelled 34 miles per gallon. Bonus.

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Mazda Partners With Isuzu for Pickups, Ditches Ford, Continues to Avoid North America

Mazda is closing the door on its relationship with Ford and opting to partner with Isuzu for its next-generation pickup trucks.

The automaker announced a new agreement today that will see Isuzu build its next pickup model, bound for everywhere but North America. The two companies previously collaborated on a pickup solely for the Japanese market.

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More Powerful, Turbocharged Mazda6 Likely, No Speed3

Our own Timothy Cain was smitten after spending a week with the midsize Mazda6. It’s a hard vehicle to hate. With its sexy, sculpted sheetmetal, it’s one of those cars you turn back to look at after you park it.

But the Mazda6, even with its willing chassis and sporting demeanor, is still missing many ingredients, one of them power. Call it the Miata Effect, or simply realize that Mazda doesn’t have its own V6 to stuff under the Mazda6’s long hood. Mazda’s midsize sedan isn’t nearly close to the most powerful option in the segment.

That may change though thanks to the Mazda CX-9 and its 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

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We're Driving A 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature, Which Is Very Expensive, And Very Good

I want you to sit down for this.

The 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature we’re driving this week costs $45,215.

Mazda USA’s $45,215 sticker includes the destination fee and $300 for Machine Grey Metallic.

Yes, that’s 34-percent more than the next-most-expensive Mazda.

No, there’s not a panoramic sunroof at this price point; no ventilated seats, either. On paper, the new CX-9 produces only 227 horsepower from its 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-four when filled with regular fuel. Cargo space behind the third row? Negligible. Third row seating? Technically, yes, there is a third row for the headless and legless among us, like many of its rivals. The eight-inch Mazda Connect infotainment unit is intuitive but not the swiftest operator.

And other than that, the all-new second-generation Mazda CX-9 is pretty much, well … is perfect too strong a word?

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Mazda3 Diesel Death Down Under Puts Another Nail in North American Diesel Coffin

A diesel version of the Mazda3 is dead in Australia, reports CarAdvice, leaving just the gasoline-powered version of Mazda’s compact on the market.

The removal of the diesel model comes ahead of a mid-cycle refresh that will bring Mazda’s hatchback and sedan inline visually with the refreshed Mazda6 and CX-5, and the new CX-9.

A number of circumstances played into Mazda’s decision to discontinue the compression-ignition option.

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The 2016 Mazda 6 Is Still Too Loud, Unrefined, And Slow, But I Just Took The Long Way Home

Stop. Wait a second before you get in. Study the Mazda 6’s curves and tell me this isn’t the best-looking car in its class.

Alright, now hop in, depress the starter button, and listen to that sweet honey of a 2.5-liter inline-four purr. Ah, see, I tricked you into associating a gorgeous exterior (and interior) with other qualities you seek in a new car, and you up and let your imagination run away with itself.

Purr? In the 2016 Mazda 6, it’s more like a groan, a bellyaching protest, a teenager hiding under the covers after you remind him that science class begins in 17 minutes.

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2016 Mazda CX-9 First Drive Review - Three Rows of Zoom-Zoom

When Mazda initially launched the CX-9, it aimed the crossover firmly at American buyers — 80 percent of CX-9 production came to the U.S., and exactly 0 percent stayed in Japan. It was an American under the sheetmetal, too, built on an older platform shared with Ford.

For 2016, Mazda completely redesigned its large, three-row crossover with an eye on improving dynamics, efficiency and giving the brand a near-luxury alternative. Yep, Mazda believes its new Signature trim — featuring such adornments as heads-up display, Nappa leather, and real wood trim — is an alternative to the Acura MDX.

Mazda hasn’t gone completely upscale, however. Most of the CX-9 lineup aims squarely at the Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, and Chevrolet Traverse.

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Mazda MX-5 Miata Is TTAC's 2016 Best Automobile Today (And Here Are the Other Nine Winners)

After three weeks of nominations, votes from our writers, and another round of votes from you, the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is TTAC’s Best Automobile Today.

Is that really a surprise?

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Mazda MX-5 Miata Officially Answer to Everything With RF (Removable Fastback) Model

Mazda just blew the top off, then stowed it away neatly in its targa trunk.

Tonight, on the eve of the New York International Auto Show, Mazda showed off its latest creation: the MX-5 RF, which stands for Retractable Fastback. According to eagle-eyed TTAC contributor Chris Tonn, who was able to get a little closer to the car than myself, the removable roof panel won’t negatively affect trunk space any more than the normal convertible hard top.

If you were waiting for a reason to buy a Miata, this is it.

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This Is The Mazda MX-5 RF (Retractable Fastback) Miata
This is it! Mazda has broken their own embargo on the MX-5 RF (retractable roof).
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LIVE: Watch Mazda's Pre-NYIAS Reveal Here at 7:25 PM ET

What’s Mazda going to show tonight in New York City? So far, the Japanese purveyor of droptop fun has been mum on details, but all hints point to a hardtop version of the fourth-generation MX-5 Miata.

Will it be a targa (a la Honda Civic del Sol) with a removable panel that can be stored in the trunk? Or will Mazda bring back a power retractable hardtop model — or PRHT for short — to make the roadster more accessible to skinny-armed boomers who don’t have the physical fortitude to manipulate polycarbonate roof panels? We don’t know right now — but we will know at 7:25 p.m. ET.

Hit the jump to watch the live stream!

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Is Mazda Going to Tell the Miata to Put Its Top Back On?

Mazda is teasing a new model reveal for next week’s New York Auto Show, and it could be a MX-5 Miata with more shade.

The invitation to the model’s world premiere later this month asks participants to help Mazda “blow the lid off.” Hmm, let’s think about that one for a minute …

The previous generation MX-5 Miata was available in power retractable hardtop form, but that option died in 2015 when the fourth-generation launched in soft-top guise only.

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Ask Bark: Which Beater Should She Bet On?

New-to-TTAC reader Kobe writes:

Hi Bark,

I’ve only begun to read TTAC and your email responses are a great read, so I figured I’d give sending you a question a shot.

Two of my wife’s friends are looking for reliable, used cars. The parameters I’ve been given were $4,000 or less (as she will need to save a little for maintenance repairs I figure), a hatchback (preferably four-door), automatic, front- or all-wheel drive, and decent gas mileage. Her friend has lived around NYC most of her life, so although she has her driving license, she has rarely driven.

Now, I went about scrolling through all the makes and models that are listed on Autotrader and came up with this possible list:

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Who Will Build Sergio's Next Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200?

FCA’s sweater-in-chief Sergio Marchionne has a plan to turn around the debt-laden and ailing automaker: stop building cars that lose money. That sounds like common sense, so long as oil prices stay low and the demand for trucks, SUVs and crossovers remains high.

But that plan introduces a new set of problems, chief among them the fact that ditching the car market leaves FCA exceptionally exposed to future volatility in oil prices. Crude prices affect prices at the pump, which affects the demand for certain types of vehicles. Sergio is betting oil prices will stay low by focusing on vehicles with ever-increasing price tags and ever-growing gas tanks.

Still, there will always be some demand for small cars. It was true in 1950 and it is true today. So what will Mr. Sweater do to meet that demand? Simple: he’ll buy those vehicles from another automaker and badge engineer them the old-fashioned way.

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TTAC News Round-up: Mller May Be On The Hot Seat, Crossover Racing, and Mazda's CX-4

Porsche-Piech family is standing behind their man — which totally isn’t the kiss of death, right?

That, Toyota’s completely nuts and it’s awesome and Mazda’s CX-4 breaks cover … after the break!

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Longtime Mazda NA CEO O'Sullivan Retiring, Moro Stepping In

Mazda North American Operations CEO Jim O’Sullivan on Monday announced that he will retire at the end of the year and will be replaced by Mazda global sales chief Masahiro Moro. O’Sullivan has led Mazda for more than a decade, out from under Ford ownership and into a small, independent — but growing — U.S. automaker.

O’Sullivan took over in 2003 and helped guide the company during its split from Ford five years later. He also led Mazda through the recession and helped raise money for its facility in Mexico, which opened last year.

Moro is a longtime Mazda employee who first joined the automaker in 1983, according to the company. Most recently, Moro was responsible for global sales and marketing and has been vice president for marketing in Europe. Moro also served as director for Mazda in Australia between 2012 and 2013.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review - An Original Reborn (Video)

If there is one constant in the automotive world, it is that every redesigned vehicle gets bigger, more powerful, heavier and more complex. Bucking that trend is Mazda’s latest MX-5, one of the smallest and lightest cars sold in the United States.

Since the launch of the Miata in 1989, Mazda’s tiny roadster has been a beacon of light to those who prefer a “pure” driving experience. The MX-5’s core mission of being an affordable, lightweight, two-seat convertible has hardly changed. More impressive: The 2016 MX-5 is about the same size as the original Miata, and the new roadster is only 182 pounds heavier despite producing 50-percent more power and being 30-percent more fuel efficient. The price tag has also been kept in check. The 2016 model still costs about the same as a mid-sized sedan.

Making the MX-5 even more special is that it stands alone in America. Sure, Alfa is now selling their sexy and expensive 4C here, BMW still has a Z4 roadster, and Scion and Subaru are selling their two-door coupé — but none of these are like the MX-5 and that’s a good thing for Mazda.

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Crapwagon Outtake: 1992 Mazda MX-3 GS

Today brings Round Two in the “Obscure Project Car That Probably Should Be a Parts Car” series this week. Commenter dwford mentioned the Mazda MX-3 in reply to Monday’s Isuzu, and it reminded me that I haven’t seen one for quite a while as they were prone to rust and rice-ification.

Leave it to Mazda to bring another oddball engine to market in a low-volume sports car. What other company would build and sell a 130 horsepower, 1.8-liter V-6, especially when a four-cylinder engine with similar power was readily available? I thank the iconoclast engineers in Hiroshima for greenlighting the unique “K8-DE” powerplant.

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Oh, So The Mazda Koeru Might Be a Completely New Car

Settling the debate between whether Mazda’s Koeru concept from Frankfurt was a new CX-5 or CX-9 (or CX-7?), CEO Masamichi Kogai told Automotive News that the answer may be “none of the above,” apparently.

On Monday, Kogai said that the Koeru could get the green light as a sporty crossover, sold alongside the CX-5 as a wagon-esque crossover aimed “to generate more driving pleasure,” Kogai told Automotive News.

Media reports on Tuesday likened the lower, fastback, five-door Mazda wagon to a possible Subaru Outback competitor, which completely forgets what an Outback looks like today.

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LA 2015: New 2017 Mazda CX-9 Is Literally on Lockdown

You’ll excuse us if the new 2017 Mazda CX-9 photos we took lack a little substance. Mazda’s newest crossover was on lockdown by the automaker in Los Angeles on Tuesday, allegedly because competing engineers were a little to eager to snap pictures underneath the new girl’s sheet metal.

Whether we’re allowed to take pictures of it now or later, Mazda’s newest crossover (presumably) gets a whole host of the automaker’s latest and greatest including its new 2.5-liter, turbocharged SKYACTIV four cylinder that makes 250 horsepower* and 310 pound-feet of torque.

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LA 2015: New 2017 Mazda CX-9 Leaks Ahead of Reveal

Our friends over at AutoGuide have wonderful leaked photos of the new Mazda CX-9 that will be announced Wednesday.

The photos show a sleeker CX-9 than the current model, although not nearly as dynamic as the concept sketch released more than a month ago. A lower belt line and bigger windows should help the three-row SUV be a little brighter inside. We still can’t get much of a look at the car’s grille, but the headlights are clearly much sharper and the bumper has a whole lot going on there.

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Failure to Launch: Mazda Canada Decides to Pass on Mazda2, Will Focus on Crossovers

After officially giving the Mazda2 its North America reveal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in January, Mazda Canada announced, nearly 10 months later, it will not sell the subcompact hatchback in the country.

“Following a thorough evaluation of the B-car segment, Mazda Canada has decided not to launch the new generation Mazda2 in Canada,” Mazda Canada said in a statement released Monday.

Instead, the company will focus on its CX lineup, including the CX-3, CX-5 and new, upcoming CX-9 to be revealed for the first time this week in Los Angeles.

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Mazda Goes All Hollywood for Next-gen CX-9 Premiere

Mazda announced Wednesday that it would unveil its next-generation CX-9 in Los Angeles later this month.

The three-row crossover made its debut in 2007 and hasn’t changed much since. Mazda’s seven-seater still sits atop the Ford CD3 platform used by previous generations of the Mazda6/Ford Fusion and Ford Edge. It also sports the same powertrain as the previous-generation Edge.

Mazda released a teaser image of the CX-9 on Monday that shows what the crossover would look like if the world had Photoshop filters turned on all the time.

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Let There Be Light: Mazda Shows Specialty MX5s at SEMA Show

Mazda will show two different concepts of its lightweight convertible next month at the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas.

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Tokyo Motor Show 2015: Mazda's RX Concept is Less And More

Well, what we mean is less information is more frustrating. Or less exterior styling is more attractive. Or the less we know, the more we want to know. You get the gist.

Unveiled in Tokyo alongside its legendary 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport, the RX-Vision “represents a vision of the future that Mazda hopes to one day make into reality,” according to the automaker.

Mazda was pretty mum on the details, including how it plans to update its next-generation rotary engine, dubbed Skyactiv-R, to comply with modern fuel economy standards. Will it be a range extender for hydrogen power? Will it be boosted? Will it blend? These are all important questions, people.

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I Was Wrong: Mazda's Concept in Tokyo is Rotary After All

“We’ve all but given up on rotary powered engines being fuel-efficient and commercially viable so calling this an RX concept would be a long throw.”

Speaking to Autocar on Tuesday, Mazda’s chief research and development officer Kiyoshi Fujiwara said that the company’s sportscar concept coming to the Tokyo Motor Show this week would in fact be a rotary-powered RX concept. (I can’t help but feel like he just called me out.)

The new engine, which has been dubbed Skyactiv-R (because of course it is), would come “some time in the future,” which would mean he’s coming for me soon.

Pack a lunch, Fujiwara. You and I will be dancing all day.

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Mazda3 Stop Sale Ordered Due to Gas Leak, Fire Risk

Mazda stopped selling and delivering 2015 and 2016 Mazda3s built between May 21 and Aug. 24, the automaker announced Tuesday. A faulty fuel shut-off value may lead to fuel being pumped into the charcoal emissions canister, which could lead to leakage, engine stalls and possible fire.

The stop sale and recall affects 14,270 vehicles in the U.S. and 136 vehicles in Puerto Rico.

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Mazda Teases Sports Car Ahead of Tokyo Reveal

Mazda on Wednesday released a teaser image for a sports car it will show off at the Tokyo Motor Show on Oct. 28.

The automaker divulged few details about the car, other than to say it would “almost condense Mazda’s entire history of sports car development into a single model,” which means nothing in itself. What may be more significant is that the car will be shown alongside a 1967 Cosmo Sport, which was rotary powered. Or maybe that doesn’t matter at all.

We’ve all but given up on rotary powered engines being fuel-efficient and commercially viable so calling this an RX concept would be a long throw.

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Frankfurt 2015: Mazda Shows Off Koeru Concept, Won't Need To Kill MX-5 To Build It

Mazda is on fire with its designs as of late, and the newest entry to their concept stable is this — the Koeru — and it’s likely not the next CX-5 or CX-9.

Welcome back, CX-7.

The Ford Edge and Nissan Murano have proven once again that third-row seating isn’t needed in order to sell a midsize SUV, but you better have the style and substance to make up the deficit. The Koeru, for all intents and purposes, looks like it will do just that.

And while I am not sure what Koeru means exactly, I’m guessing it definitely doesn’t mean “ killing off our sports car so we can build a crossover” in Japanese.

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Mazda6, Miata Interior Designer Will Lead Mazda Design in US

Julien Montousse, the man who designed the interiors of the new Miata and Mazda6 for Mazda, and the last-generation Camaro for General Motors, will lead the automaker’s California design team, Mazda announced Tuesday.

Montousse takes over for Derek Jenkins, who left the company in July for a “stealth project” according to Automotive News, who cited Jenkins’ LinkedIn page.

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As Other Automakers Abandon Russia, Mazda Sees Opportunity With Engine Plant

As the price of oil and gas sinks to below $50/barrell, so does Russia’s economy. The former Soviet state, highly dependant on oil and gas revenues for growth, is expected to experience economic shrinkage between 3.4 and 6 percent this year. That isn’t good if you’re doing business in rubles and some automakers are beating a hasty retreat.

Not Mazda.

Like Ford and Hyundai-Kia, Mazda is sticking it out in Russia with their manufacturing partner Sollers (which is also the manufacturing partner of Ford since 2011). The two have just signed a Memorandum of Understanding to begin assessing a new engine plant in the country.

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2017 Fiat 124 Spider Set for November Reveal in Los Angeles

Those really keen on the Mazda MX-5, but undeterred by reliability and resale issues are in luck. The reborn Fiat 124 Spider, built upon the fourth-generation MX-5, will be revealed in November at the Los Angeles Auto Show as expected, reports The Detroit Bureau.

Citing a source within the company, the reborn 124 Spider nameplate will be the home of two flavors — normal and Abarth — with the latter receiving the same 1.75-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine as the Alfa Romeo 4C.

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BREAKING: Finicky Mazda Remote Start App Has Stopped Working, Power Outage Blamed

Mazda’s remote start app, which the automaker rolled out last month, has been suspended until Sept. 2 while the automaker restores its servers, the automaker said in an email Thursday to owners.

… we regret to inform you that, due to a system outage at our supplier’s data center, the MMS website and smartphone application are currently unavailable. We anticipate full system recovery on September 2, 2015.

The email notice stated the service was crippled by a “power outage that affected the data servers.”

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2016 Mazda CX-3 Review - Nomenclature, Be Damned

2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring AWD (U.S.)/GT AWD (Canada)

2.0-liter SKYACTIV DOHC I-4, direct injection, dual S-VT (146 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm; 146 lbs-ft of torque @ 2,800 rpm)

6-speed SKYACTIV-Drive automatic w/ Sport mode and paddle shifters

27 city/32 highway/29 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

30 mpg on the camping-gear-laden test cycle, 80 percent highway (Observed, MPG)

Tested Options: i-ACTIVSENSE Safety Package (U.S.)/Technology Package (Canada), i-ACTIV all-wheel drive (U.S., AWD is standard on GT trim in Canada)

Base Price:
$20,840* (U.S.)/$22,680* (Canada)
As Tested Price:
$29,040* (U.S.)/$32,490* (Canada)

* All prices include $880 destination fee (U.S.) or $1,995 destination fee, PDI and A/C tax (Canada).

For as long as I can remember, my parents always had two vehicles while I was growing up. The first one I can vividly remember was the precursor to GM’s dreaded Cavalier and Cobalt, a 1987 Chevrolet Chevette, with an interior as roomy as any compact you can buy today. The second conveyance in our driveway was a 1992 Suzuki Sidekick, Jay Green in color, and rugged as my father needed for his job traversing Cape Breton Island’s vast spaghetti network of logging roads.

In the early 1990s, the Chevette ended with a bang. As I laid on a bed at my grandmother’s apartment, attempting as much as a young child would to get to sleep (translation: not trying at all), I was startled by tire squealing, a loud bang, silence, then more tire squealing. The Chevette had been dispatched by a freshly licensed 16-year-old driving a Hyundai Pony and fueled by Vitamin O. Write-off total: approximately $500 — for both cars.

The Chevette, now off to the scrapyard, was replaced by a Pontiac Firefly five-door, known for its economical three-cylinder engine outputting double-digit horsepower whilst solidly achieving double-digit miles per gallon halfway to the centripulcate. As a daily runabout, it was solid, economical, and — with its wagon-esque virtues — incredibly versatile.

Back then, my parents were about the same age I am now. They were the last of the Baby Boomers and in the 1990s faced what many Millennials face today. My parents were done with school and working on budding careers and a growing family inside their newly acquired home. There are some key differences between them and me however: I have one extra dog (for a total of two), lack children and I don’t own a home.

It’s in this context that my girlfriend and I headed out on one of my family’s favorite pastimes from when I was a child — a weekend camping trip — in the millennial-focused 2016 Mazda CX-3.

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Mazda Ends Mazda5 Because There Are More Crossovers to Make

The miniature Mazda minivan — aka the Mazda5 — won’t be brought to the United States after this year, according to the automaker (via Autoblog). The small, boxy family hauler dwindled out in the U.S. (but was never less functional) because we’ll buy anything that looks like a crossover.

In unrelated news: Mazda will be showing off its new crossover concept in Frankfurt this year, dubbed the Koeru, according to Carscoops.

Thank goodness, the world could use another crossover.

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Mazda Replaces First Crashed MX-5 Miata for Unlucky Buyer

Feel bad for the guy whose brand-new car gets smashed less than a mile away from the dealership? We do. Apparently, so does Mazda.

Jalopnik has a great story about a new 2016 Mazda Miata owner whose car met an all-too-soon end less than a mile away from the dealership. The ends were smashed, the driver and passenger were bruised (but luckily not seriously) and one of the first new Miatas fell victim to an F-150.

You’ll never guess what Mazda did next.

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Mazda Says 2016 CX-3 Will Start Under $20,000 (Kinda)

The new mini crossover from Mazda will start at $19,960 (not including $880 destination) when it goes on sale after next month, the automaker reported Thursday.

That puts the CX-3 in leagues with the Chevrolet Trax, Nissan Juke, Honda HR-V and Jeep Renegade as sub-$20,000 crossovers in an increasingly crowded and competitive segment.

Like the rest of its competition, it’s not hard to hike the CX-3’s final price up in a hurry.

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  • MelanieRichardson GOOD
  • El scotto @jwee; Sir, a great many of us believe that Musk is somewhere (pretty high) on the spectrum and move on.I work on the fringes of IT. Most of my presentations get picked over extensively and intensely at meetings. I'm smart enough to know I'm not that smart and willingly take advice from the IT crew. I bring them Duck Doughnuts too. We also keep a box of Crayolas in the meeting room.At one meeting an IT guy got way into the details of my presentation, the meeting went long as we discussed my target audience. Same IT guy insisted it was a disaster and would fail miserable and that I was stupid. Yeah, F-boms get dropped at our meetings. I finally had enough and asked if he was such an expert, did he want to stand up in front of 30 senior executives and give the presentation? His response was a flat "NO". He got the box of Crayolas. For you non-military types that means shut up and color. Musk is the same as that IT guy, lots of gyrations but not much on follow-through. Someone just needs to hand him a box of Crayolas.
  • FreedMike The FJ Cruiser would be a better comeback candidate. The gang back at Toyota HQ must be looking at all those Broncos flying off Ford lots and kicking themselves.
  • Tassos 2015 was only 7 years ago. $58k is still a whole lot of $ to pay for a vehicle. FOrtunately one can buy a flagship vehicle with great active and passive safety for half this amount, if one does the SMART thing and buys a pre-owned luxury flagship vehicle. they have historically been SCREAMING BARGAINS. A breadvan on stilts SUV, wether the more compact Macan or the more bloated Cayenne will never pass as a Flagship Vehicle. No matter how well it drives or how reliable it suprisingly is. It still is a breadvan on stilts.
  • Sean Ohsee Bring back the 100 series and its I6 diesel.