Review: 2011 Mazda3 Sport GT Take Two

Here’s an open secret: the Mazda3 is the auto-journo’s cop-out. “Hey,” inquires the prospective punter, “I’m actually kinda/sorta in the market. What do you recommend?” Nine times out of ten, the sporty little ‘3 is gonna get a plug. Tenth guy wants a truck.

Now around here, obviously that’s not the case. Ask the TTAC boys what you should buy and Jack Baruth is going to punch you in the face and sleep with your wife, Sajeev Mehta will get a far-away look in his eyes thinking of all the non-running personal-luxury-coupe crap-cans he could add to his stable for the price of a new car, Bertel Schmitt’s going to give you a fascinating but interminable lecture on the nuances of some improbable menage a trois between Nissan, Geely and Fisher-Price, and me? Well, I’m new around here. Again.

Which is why I’m going to extoll me a little Zoom-Zoom.

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Review: 2011 MazdaSpeed3 Take Two

The regular Mazda3 is already one of the best-handling choices in the small car market and you can get it with either a revvy little two-litre engine or a torquier 2.5L mill with 167 horses. For a front-wheel-drive compact, 167 ponies should be plenty. I mean, what kind of a lunatic would you have to be to want more power than that?

Wait a minute. I’m a lunatic!

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Capsule Review: Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D Mule

The Sea-to-Sky highway in British Columbia, Canada, carves a winding route from the gorgeous – and occasionally riotous – city of Vancouver to the world-class ski resort of Whistler. Its looping curves were rebuilt to make it a high-speed corridor for tourists and athletes during the last Winter Olympics, and as a result, it’s probably one of the top five roads in this country. Mind you, it’s also a favourite hang-out for the local constabulary.

So here I am then, at the wheel of a priceless prototype, sitting on the wrong side of the car next to an emeritus journalist, on a blind on-ramp to one of the most highly-patrolled roads in Canada. What’s called for here is a little decorum, a careful merge, some light throttle application, a few gentle gear-changes and so on. Anything else would be at-worst dangerous and at-best unseemly.

By a curious co-incidence, “unseemly” is my middle name. So I floor it.

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Review: 2011 Mazda2 Take Two

Once issued a challenge to write a novel in just six words, Ernest Hemingway famously produced, “For sale: baby shoes, never used.” Well that’s a bit depressing. No wonder he shot himself. It’s rumoured that Hemingway considered this snippet his best work. Get ready to eat your heart out Papa Bear, ’cause I can sum up the Mazda2 in one syllable: “Wheeee!”

Eh? Hmm, seems that’s not good enough for our Editor. But wait, there’s more!

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Review: 2012 Mazda5

In the United States, unlike elsewhere in the world, there aren’t many choices for those who need seating for more than five people but who don’t want to give up the maneuverability of a compact car. Kia gave the segment a go, but withdrew the Rondo from the U.S. market a couple of years ago. Chevrolet has opted to not even test the waters with the Orlando. So Mazda currently has the segment to itself. But the Ford C-Max arrives in less than a year. Does the revised 2012 Mazda5 have what it takes to fend off the challenger?

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Review: 2011 Mazda CX-7 ISport

With the 2007 model year introduction of the CX-7, Mazda arrived late to the compact crossover party. And when you arrive late, you’d better bring something special. To this end, the CX-7 combined swoopy styling and a standard turbocharged engine, making it arguably the sportiest offering in the segment. After an initial burst, during which everyone who really wanted one bought one, sales have been modest. In a bid to broaden the CX-7s appeal, Mazda added a non-turbocharged four as part of a 2010 refresh. But if you take away one of the few things that made the CX-7 special, is there any reason to buy one?

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Review: 2010 Mazda CX-9

My youngest child, of three, turns eight next month. A few years ago, when it became clear that regularly working until 3 AM and then dealing with the children in the morning was not good for anyone’s sanity, we added an au pair. So there are six people in the house. Anyone with sense would have gotten a three-row something-or-other at least eight years ago. And probably when the first child was still in utero. Fool that I am, a decade on I’m still waiting for one to sweep me off my feet. I tend to have a thing for Mazdas. Mazda makes the three-row CX-9. So, why not the CX-9? In test drives back in 2007 and 2008, we didn’t quite hit it off. Perhaps we just needed more time together? Ever hopeful, I spent a week with the 2010.

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Review: 2011 Mazda 3 S Grand Touring

As they say in Hebrew, im ta’am v’rai’ach ain l’hit’vakai’ach, with matters of taste you can’t argue, and in general I agree with Jack Baruth’s principle that folks who know nothing about design shouldn’t say much beyond “like it” or “don’t like it”. Still, it’s impossible to review current Mazdas without at least mentioning their, ahem, cheerful styling. And after spending a week with the Mazda 3 S Grand Touring five door (hereafter, the M3SGT), I’m afraid to say that styling was the major drawback. Of course, that also means that everything else about the MS3GT was pretty darn good.

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Review: 2011 Mazda2

I’ve been known to complain every now and then that cars in general have grown too heavy and, partly as a consequence, boring to drive. Hardly any engage the driver like the 2003 Mazda Protege5 in my driveway does. Even the burgeoning crop of B-segment cars, including the much-lauded Honda Fit, has disappointed in this regard. And so we come to the latest contender, the Mazda2, at 2,306 pounds the lightest 2011 car you can buy with a back seat.

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Review: 2010 MazdaSpeed3

Most cars today avoid doing anything terribly well so as to avoid doing anything terribly badly. Then there are Mazdas. I love my Protege5. The agile chassis is a joy around town, BUT refinement and rust prevention were clearly not on the engineers’ to-do list. I love the RX-8 even more. Outstanding handling, surprising utility for a sports car, BUT the rotary is torque free and can drink a Corvette under the table. And then we have the MazdaSpeed3. You already know what I’m going to say about the MazdaSpeed3. But I’m going to say it anyway.

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Review: 2011 Mazda2 (European Spec)

For a reviewer, getting handed a car with delivery miles on the odometer is an instant promotion to tribal shaman. You’re given a quick pat on the back before being shoved into a hut with the village’s prettiest virgin. Needless to say, this privilege comes with the sacred duty of keeping the virgin in tip-top shape, otherwise your term as high-muck-a-much will be pretty short-lived. Unfortunately for my political aspirations, the Mazda2 loves being ridden hard. It squeals through corners, snarling like a dog in heat. There’s a lot more fun to be had here than the tiny 185/55R15 Dunlop Sports suggest.

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Review: Mazda 6 S Grand Touring

The Mazda 6 is an enigma. It’s a fine automobile, at least the equal of any car in its segment, as close to a driver’s car as you’ll find in a midsize family sedan. Comfortable, not bad looking, nicely appointed, good fit and finish, great performance, decent economy. There is no question that the Mazda 6 stacks up well in phylum Camcordata yet it sits no higher than 10th place in the family sedan sales race, averaging about 2,400 units a month in the US since the all new 2010 model got up to speed last summer. The midsize segment in North America is the automotive big leagues. The 6 should be fighting for first place, not mired deep in the second division. Product may be everything, but sometimes it’s not enough.

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Review: 2010 Mazda3s Sport
The Mazda3’s performance has always kept it a step ahead of the other economy cars on the market. However, as Mazda’s worked to differentiate the…
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Review: 2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring
I’ll come right out and say it: It’s my parents’ fault. You see, my mom’s just a couple of inches over five feet tall and my dad&rsqu…
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Review: 1999 Mazda Miata 10th Anniversary Edition
The 1960s was the golden age for convertibles: Lotus Elans, MG Midgets, Austin Healey Sprites, Triumph TR6s, Chevy Corvettes and others. By the mid-70s, mark…
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Comparison Test/Review: First Place: 2009 Mazda 6i
Comparison Test/Review: First Place: 2009 Mazda 6i
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2009 Mazda RX-8 (R3 Sport Package)
2009 Mazda RX-8 R3 Review
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2008 Kia Rondo EX Vs. 2009 Mazda Mazda5 Grand Touring
Almost a quarter-century ago, Chrysler rocked the automotive scene by putting a two-box body on the K-car platform, calling it a minivan and inventing the so…
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2009 Mazda6 Review
Back in 1987, Mazda wanted a big piece of America’s midsize pie. So the Zoom Zoom brand requisitioned an idle plant from the Ford empire. For two decad…
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2008 Mazda6i Review
We hear reports that Mazda is fueling its growth by stocking American rental companies with product. Normally, this sales strategy is a sure way to run a bra…
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Mazda CX-9 Review
I’ve spent countless hours rolling down serpentine highways through the deserts and mountains of the West’s big sky country. Hundreds of times my…
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Mazda Mazda3 Review
Opportunity doesn’t always knock; sometimes it breaks down the door with a crash. When my daily driver became the caboose in a rush hour conga line gon…
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Mazdaspeed 3 Review
I remember the day my Dad brought home a brand new ’66 Barracuda. While such an auspicious automotive occasion would make any Sting Ray-riding nine-yea…
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Mazda B4000 Review
I'm good with names. Meet me at a party. Five hours and seven beers later, I'll cruise up and say, "Hey Benjamin, how goes it?" That’s assuming A) your…
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Mazda MX-5 Miata Power Retractable Hardtop Review
Why is it so hard for carmakers to get the little things right? Most of these guys have been building cars for over a century. Yet they put the pedals in the…
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Mazda Speed6 Review
For a certified car freak living in the City of Angels, the drive to Las Vegas is a special treat. Sure, LA is only a traffic jam or three away from the kind…
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Mazda CX-7 Review
If any mainstream brand can build an SUV that handles like a sports car, it’s Mazda. The Japanese automaker has a proven track record of developing veh…
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2006 Mazda 5 Review
Procreating pistonheads must give up many things: impromptu sex, driving nowhere in particular, sleep. Unfortunately, twisty tackling and stick shifting are…
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Mazda MX5 Review
The new Mazda MX5 is the sports car I always wanted. It's a small, sexy, sure-footed thrill machine that easily and completely outwits all those huge, over-e…
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Mazda RX8 Review
Fancy a game of "spot the triangle"? The RX8 wants to play. I spotted a triangle between the exhausts, in the front spoiler, embedded in the bonnet, under th…
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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.