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Green Car Finalists Revealed

Focusing in on connected and Earth-friendly powertrain technologies.

by on Mar.07, 2019

The Tesla Model 3 is one of the vehicles up for the Connected Car award this year.

With automakers facing increasingly stringent mileage and emissions standards, automakers are rapidly ramping up production of more and more environmentally friendly products, from breakthrough gas engines like Mazda’s new SkyActiv-X to all-electric offerings such as the new Audi e-tron SUV.

Sorting out which products and technologies deserve notice can be challenging, but Green Car Journal has been honoring the best of the best with its decade-old Green Car Awards, recently adding several new categories to the list. And it announced today finalists in two of those categories, with winners to be revealed early next month at the annual auto show in Washington, D.C.

Breaking News!

The two awards focus on the technological side of the green car market, both in terms of connectivity and powertrains. Here’s a look at the finalists.

(Live from Geneva! Click Here for our complete auto show coverage.)

Finalists for 2019 Connected Green Car of the Year include: (more…)

Mazda Takes Cover Off New Small Crossover

New CUV is latest in portfolio makeover.

by on Mar.05, 2019

Akira Marumoto, Mazda’s Representative Director, President and CEO, reveals the new CX-30 in Geneva.

Mazda revealed the CX-30 in Geneva, the small crossover it teased last month, saying the new “core model” will be rolled out globally throughout the rest of the year.

The name of the small CUV might be slightly different in the U.S. when it finally arrives in dealerships as the earlier glimpse of the vehicle was called the CX-3. Since in America, Mazda’s alpha-numeric line-up uses just single numbers, such as CX-9 or Mazda6, it’s likely it’ll lose the zero at the end.

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Unsurprisingly, it sticks to the Kodo design language that now dominates Mazda’s product portfolio, and Mazda officials said the design team hoped to create a car that would help owners and their families “make new and stimulating discoveries within their daily lives.”

“We designed the CX-30 to be an essential partner in the customer’s life,” said Akira Marumoto, Mazda’s Representative Director, President and CEO. Adding, “it will be made at key global plants so we can deliver Mazda’s renowned driving pleasure and matured Kodo design to customers all over the world.

(Live from Geneva! Click Here for our complete show coverage.)

“Moving forward, our new products and technologies will ensure customers continue to see the value in owning a Mazda car. We aim to be recognized as a brand that forms the strongest of bonds with each customer.”

The small crossover is designed to be big on the inside with room for four adults, making it a full-service utility vehicle. The automaker also took time to give the second-gen model some engine upgrades improving acceleration. The overall ride and handling has been improved as well.

(Click Here for TDB’s first drive in the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata.)

The new crossover is a mild hybrid and will be “the first production car to feature Mazda’s innovative SPCCI technology,” the company confirms, a reference to what is more often referred to as the SkyActiv-X engine.

For those not familiar with the “X,” it will become the first production powertrain that can run in homogeneous charge compression mode. Essentially, it uses extremely high compression rates, like a diesel, but runs on gasoline.

(Compact Mazda CUV to break cover in Geneva. Click Here for the story.)

Other automakers have been trying to figure out how to make HCCI work effectively and been stymied. Mazda’s approach is to add a spark plug to ensure the highly compressed fuel-air mixture always ignites at the right time. That’s why it calls its technology SPCCI, or Spark Plug Controlled Compression Ignition. The automaker claims it still can get diesel-like fuel economy, as well as surprisingly good performance, out of the engine.

Mazda Marks Miata’s 30th With Party, Special Edition

Carrot-colored 30th Anniversary Edition will start at $35,915.

by on Feb.08, 2019

Mazda Motors North America President Masahiro Moro introduces the 30th anniversary limited-edition Mazda MX-5 Miata in Chicago.

February in Chicago isn’t normally what you’d call convertible season, but on a cold and blustery morning almost 30 years ago to the day, Mazda took ragtop fans and, indeed, the rest of the auto industry, by surprise with the debut of the original Miata roadster.

While never a major seller, the pint-sized two-seater also known as the MX-5 captured the hearts – and checkbooks – of those who wanted something that put the emphasis on pure driving fun, inspiring a wave of imitations from Mazda’s Japanese, German and U.S. rivals.

Product News!

On another cold and blustery day in the Windy City, Mazda pulled the wraps off a special, commemorative edition of the fourth-generation Miata Thursday. And to mark the occasion, it brought to its Chicago Auto Show news conference not only some of the roadster’s most loyal fans, but some of the folks who helped create the little car. (more…)

Compact Mazda CUV to Break Cover in Geneva

CX-3? CX-4? We do know it will get a breakthrough engine.

by on Feb.05, 2019

Mazda is preparing to show off a new crossover at the Geneva Motor Show, but if its a CX-3 or CX-4 is anyone's guess.

Mazda has released a very well-camouflaged teaser image of a “new compact SUV” coming to the Geneva Motor Show a month from now.

Problem is, the accompanying text opens up more questions than it answers, including the most basic: will it go by the name Mazda CX-3, replacing the current small crossover, or be dubbed the CX-4? There seems to be a fairly big split among industry-watchers as to which will prove to be correct.

News You Can Trust!

But it does appear that we have an answer to two other questions. For one thing, the new crossover will be “the first production car to feature Mazda’s innovative SPCCI technology,” the company confirms, a reference to what is more often referred to as the SkyActiv-X engine. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata

A big experience in a small package.

by on Dec.20, 2018

The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata provides an exciting driving experience in a small package.

Sporty two-seaters, despite the glamour and romance that has trailed behind them over the years, have sort of been left behind as car buyers rush into trucks and sport-utility vehicles.

But some two-seaters, such as the Mazda MX-5 Miata, are still out on the road, still fun to drive and continuing to evolve with the addition of new technology.

Reviews to Trust!

Even in a blustery Michigan December, the MX-5 reveals its power, spirit and great driving dynamics that effortlessly handle everything from crosswinds to lumpy pavement and tightly curving freeway ramps.  (more…)

Asian Car Brands: Least Expensive to Repair and Most Reliable

Mazda leads in lowest repair costs for a brand.

by on Dec.13, 2018

Mazda is the automotive brand that is likely to cost the least to repair, averaging less than $300.

With automakers everywhere throwing big red ribbons on top of their cars, trucks and utes telling us ‘tis the season to get a new vehicle, perhaps its best to know which of these new vehicles, or at least the brands, will cost you the least to repair.

That would be Mazda and Kia, according to CarMD, which recently released its annual analysis of 2018 Vehicle Health Index Make and Model Reliability Rankings.

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Mazda’s cost an average of $286 to repair while Kia’s jump to $320. Following those are Dodge, Hyundai and Chrysler. (more…)

10 Best of the LA Auto Show

Cars, trucks, crossover and concepts worth a second look.

by on Dec.03, 2018

The long-awaited Jeep Gladiator pickup made for one of the splashiest debuts at the LA Auto Show.

We’ve been to some dud auto shows over the last year. The Paris Motor Show, which kicked off the 2019 model-year, couldn’t even fill up a half day on the media calendar, and the Detroit Auto Show didn’t stretch much further. But this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show delivered some sweet surprises with its mix of cars, trucks, crossovers and concepts.

As we’ve come to expect from the Tinseltown extravaganza, there were plenty of green machines making their first appearance at the Los Angeles Convention Center, but these weren’t the sort of slow and stodgy sedans and quirky hatchbacks of years past, covering a broad swath of territory including electrified SUVs, pickups and sports cars. And there were plenty of promising products that fell into more conventional categories.

Auto Show News!

Here’s an alphabetical look at 10 of our favorite debuts at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show:

(more…)

Mazda Shows Off “Matured” Design for New Mazda3

New iterations feature an evolution of Kodo design.

by on Nov.29, 2018

The new Mazda3 sedan features a "matured" version of the brand's Kodo design language.

No fireworks were necessary for Mazda Motor Corp.’s debut of the new Mazda3 as the Japanese automaker introduced a refined, “matured” version of the brand’s entry-level sedan and hatchback in Los Angeles.

The automaker’s “matured Kodo design language” was on full display. The company’s been using the design philosophy for its exteriors for years now. It’s aim is to present clean and contemporary looks that aren’t quick to go out of style.

Product News!

“While the overall form presents a simple, single motion, subtle undulations bring the design to life through shifting light and reflections that glide over the body surface. The result is a richer and more powerful expression of vitality than previous Kodo models,” according to the automaker. (more…)

Former Auto Designer Elected to Michigan Senate

"Build that wall" chant by middle schoolers pushed her into politics.

by on Nov.08, 2018

Former auto designer Mallory McMorrow is now Michigan state senator-elect Mallory McMorrow.

In a first, a car designer is going to the Michigan State Senate in Michigan come January.

“Everybody thinks I’m a lawyer,” said Mallory McMorrow, but her experience as an automotive designer proved useful in striking up conversation as she campaigned across her state Senate District that includes a large portion of suburban Oakland County, just north of Detroit, against a seemingly entrenched incumbent whose father had also served in Congress for 16 years.

Insight!

McMorrow studied industrial and car design at Notre Dame University, and in 2007 she won a design contest that led to a six-month internship while working on high profile projects such as a concept Mazda3. However, she admits, somewhat wistfully, her stint at Mazda was cut short by the Great Recession.   (more…)

First Drive: 2018 Mazda6 Signature

Company continues its pairing of sportiness and comfort in this sedan.

by on Nov.06, 2018

Mazda is staying the midsize sedan game and its latest iteration of the Mazda6 is one of the better options.

Sedans have fallen out of favor with motorists in the United States sales tallies suggest. Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobile N.V. indicate, with the exception of muscle cars, they are prepared to exit the segment, perhaps for good.

But the midsize sedan segment remains one of the largest in the business; accounting for sales of more than an estimated 1.5 million units and drawing interest from key manufacturers such Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and Mazda, specifically with its Mazda6.

Reviews You Can Use!

Mazda has made a substantial effort to re-engineer its midsized sedan for 2018 and while its predecessor was awfully good, the 2018 Mazda6 with its retuned suspension, quieter cabin and revamped connectivity, has been made even better. (more…)