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Mazda Takes Cover Off New Small Crossover

New CUV is latest in portfolio makeover.

by Michael Strong 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 Paul A. Eisenstein 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.

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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 Paul A. Eisenstein 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.

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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 Joseph Szczesny 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.

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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…)

Mazda Shows Off “Matured” Design for New Mazda3

New iterations feature an evolution of Kodo design.

by Michael Strong 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.

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“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…)

First Drive: 2018 Mazda6 Signature

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

by Joseph Szczesny 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.

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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…)

No More What If: Mazda Bringing Out a Faster Miata

Engineers squeeze out a 17% power increase.

by Michael Strong on Jun.20, 2018

The 2019 Mazda Miata gets a bunch of new safety tech, but more importantly: a 17% boost in power.

The Mazda Miata has always been a “but what if…” car.

The “what if?” What if it had more power? It’s a roadster and that generally means that the car is more about the experience of driving rather than how far back are you being pressed into your seat when you push the go pedal to the floor.

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Well, Mazda’s heard enough “what ifs” apparently since it it’s now upping the power in the latest iteration of the MX-5, known casually as the Miata. Mazda’s engineers enriched Miata’s SkyActiv-G 2.0-liter engine with the goals of improved response, performance, feel and efficiency.  (more…)

Mazda’s Head of N.American Ops Will Be its Next CEO

Promotion of Akira Marumoto comes at critical time of change for #5 Japanese automaker.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on May.11, 2018

Akira Marumoto, a 38-year Mazda veteran, will become the company's new president and CEO.

Mazda Motor Corp.’s president and CEO will step down next month and will be replaced by the executive currently overseeing its biggest market, the Americas, and North America, in particular.

The transition, which will see current Vice President Akira Marumoto take the helm, comes at a critical time for Japan’s fifth-largest automaker. After having its long-time partner, Ford Motor Co., sever ties, Mazda has been searching for new allies and over the last 12 months has announced several projects with industry giant Toyota that will see it share in a new, U.S. assembly plant. Mazda is also pushing to develop costly new powertrain technologies at a time when most markets are demanding significant improvements in fuel economy and emissions.

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“Given the rapid changes occurring in the auto industry at the moment it’s often asked whether a small company like us will be OK,” the 60-year-old Marumoto told reporters in Japan on Friday, cautioning that, “before we even consider this we need to show our strengths, and what makes us different if we want to grow our brand.”

(more…)

First Drive: 2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring

A cut above other small cars on the market.

by Joseph Szczesny on Apr.12, 2018

The new 2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring edition is one of the top performing in the small car segment.

Given the hubbub around sport-utility vehicles these days and the relatively low price of gasoline, it is quite easy for small cars to get lost – or at least overlooked – in conversations about new cars.

However, small cars still command a significant following among motorists who are watching their budgets, drive long distances where fuel economy becomes paramount or live in places where parking is tight and at a premium.

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This adds up to a lot of people looking at a fleet of cars that’s a bit neglected these days by some car makers but there are companies, like Mazda for instance, that see them as an opportunity. (more…)

Ford, Mazda Expand ‘Do Not Drive’ Takata Recall

Automakers broaden small pickup recall after additional testing.

by Michael Strong on Feb.12, 2018

Owners of certain 2006 Ford Rangers are being told to park their trucks immediately as part of a recall to repair faulty Takata airbags.

This story has been updated with additional information.

Ford and Mazda issued a warning to about 35,000 Ranger and B-Series small pickups to stop driving the trucks immediately due to potential problems with Takata-made airbags. The action is essentially an extension of a smaller recall Ford issued last month.

In January, Ford issued the same order for 2,900 Ranger pickups for the 2006 model year because of the faulty inflators from Takata. The company became aware of a second death that occurred in a truck from the same “production run” of vehicles causing Ford to send out the urgent warning to owners.

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Mazda Motor Corp. followed suit for about 1,800 2006 Mazda B-series trucks that were built by Ford after it had issued a warning for 160 trucks last month. NHTSA said the vehicles pose “an immediate risk to safety” and asked owners to immediately schedule a free repair. (more…)