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Archive for the ‘Mazda’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Mazda MX-5 by BBR Motorsport

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is considered one of the most popular sports cars in the business, regardless of segment. The Miata’s popularity has lasted for almost three decades and the recent release of the fourth-generation MX-5 shows that its status in the business is showing no signs of abating. In fact, the MX-5 is so popular that British tuner BBR has made a good business out of developing and building aftermarket programs for the Japanese sports car since its inception in 1989. Fast forward to 2017 and BBR is at it again with a new kit for the MX-5 that helps the roadster attain power levels in the neighborhood of 248 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque.

Before those figures get lost in the scope of BBR’s tuning kit, consider that the tuner actually presented a similar program for the MX-5 not too long ago. Yep, back in September 2016, the British tuner unveiled two programs for the roadster: the Super 200 and the Super 200+. That “+” meant it peaked with an output of 214 ponies and 183 pound-feet of twist. It certainly didn’t take BBR long to outdo what it did only seven months ago, but the best thing about this new kit is that it may not be the last one that BBR has up its sleeve as far as the MX-5 Miata is concerned. This program does, after all, come with a “Stage 1” level so expect higher stages to come in the coming months.

PostHeaderIcon Here’s How the Mazda Miata’s Retractable Hardtop Works

So the Mazda MX-5 Miata RF is here – hallelujah! This is the hard-top model Miata loyalists have been wanting for four generations now. The RF, or Retractable Fastback, combines the closed-roof quietness and all-year functionality mixed directly with an open-air driving experience on warmer days. But how did Mazda squeeze a folding hard-top into the impossibly small Miata?

The answer: very smartly. In fact, the mechanical bits and electric motors that operate the top, along with the actual aluminum top section and rear glass, all fold neatly into the space already reserved for the conventional soft top. That’s impressive.

What’s more, the Miata RF only compromises 0.1 cubic feet of trunk space over the soft-top model. And no, your luggage runs zero risk of getting smashed by the retracting mechanicals. The trunk is completely separate from the top’s storage compartment. Of course, don’t expect to haul home a bulk purchase of mega-roll toilet paper; the trunk only has 4.6 cubic feet of space.

Operating the top only takes about 13 seconds. A dash-mounted toggle switch does the deed. The car just has to be rolling below six mph. Want to see it in action? Keep reading for the full step-by-step process.

Continue reading for a video of the Miata RF’s Targa top.

PostHeaderIcon Buyer's Guide: Mazda 3 vs Honda Civic Hatchback

SUVs have the world by storm, getting a second wind after the high-priced fuel crisis of years past, and ultimately forcing automakers to rethink their whole strategy. But, SUVS aren’t the only popular models on the market, as hatchbacks are still a big-ticket item as well. There are so many to choose from – models like the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, and even the Mini Cooper have found their way into the hearts of many, but there are two other players in this game that are worth your consideration, and those are the Honda Civic Hatchback and the Mazda3. Both offer aggressive styling, decent power output, and the ability to haul a decent amount of cargo or a few friends with ease.

The Honda Civic has been around for a long time, being introduced back in 1972. It was originally offered in a number of configurations, including three- and five-door hatchback form. The Civic itself has survived well over the years with the tenth-gen model being introduced for 2016. The Mazda3, on the other hand, is relatively a baby in comparison, being introduced just back in 2003. It saw its third generational shift for the 2014 model year and went through a minor revision for the 2017 model year. With Mazda’s latest design language and range of SkyActiv engines, the Mazda 3 is always ready to do battle with the other great hatchbacks in the world, but today we’re going to compare it directly to the Civic Hatchback and help you decide which one you should buy when it comes time to pull the trigger on your next big purchase.

With that said, let’s dive on in and take a good look at each one. Both come to the party with a lot to offer, so we’ve got our work cut out for us. Join me down the page, and we’ll get started.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda MX-5 RF Custom Style

The Mazda MX-5 Miata has earned its place in automotive history as arguably the most successful compact sports car in the industry. It’s never had insane amounts of power, but its combination of size, performance, and versatility has turned into an all-time great. The model is over 25 years old and has seen four generations worth of changes; that longevity is another one of its most notable claims to fame. This year though, Mazda did something to the MX-5 that it hasn’t done in the model’s long and proud history. It reconfigured the sports car with a targa roof, christening it as the MX-5 Miata RF, and giving it an extra jolt life that it probably didn’t need on its way to becoming an all-timer. Not content with just introducing the MX-5 RF, Mazda is taking it to another level with the introduction of a special edition version of the Miata RF, called the RF Custom Style.

Scheduled to make its debut at the 2017 Tokyo Auto Salon in early Januaryk, the MX-5 RF Custom Style is the first special edition treatment given to the new Miata variant. We all know that Mazda’s not bashful about giving the MX-5 special edition varieties – the just-announced MX-5 Arctic Edition is proof of that – so it’s not a surprise that it’s giving some of that love to the MX-5 RF.

In true Mazda fashion, the exclusive features of the Miara RF Custom Style aren’t just cosmetic by nature. It’s not just about making the car look racier than it already is. It’s about enhancing the performance credentials of the rear-wheel-drive, compact sports roadster and make it even more hellacious to drive on the track. It’s true that the RF variant of the Miata is heavier than the standard version on account of the retractable roof panel and the lift-up flying buttresses. Mazda didn’t specifically mention it, but there’s a good chance that added aerodynamic components on the RF Custom Style is Mazda’s way of addressing the extra weight and improve the car’s performance to “standard” Miata levels.

There’s no way of confirming that at this point because the automaker did not release the performance figures of the MX-5 RF Custom Style. The puzzle pieces fit though and in the absence of anything concrete, it’s worth establishing that there’s really more to the MX-5 Miata RF Custom Style than meets the (naked) eye.

The numbers should be impressive, but there is a always a downside when it comes to special edition MX-5s. More often than not, they don’t make their way to the US market and unless Mazda specifically says otherwise, don’t expect the MX-5 Miata RF Custom Style to find its way here too.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Mazda MX-5 Miata Custom RF Style.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda MX-5 Arctic Edition

Special edition versions of the Mazda MX-5 Miata aren’t exactly a rare breed. In the sports coupe’s life span, we’ve seen one unique iteration after another, each more unique than the other. The current-generation MX-5 isn’t immune to this lavish treatment as Mazda has prepared SE versions like the Recaro Limited Edition, the Icon Special Edition, and the just-announced Arctic Edition. Each one of them had one thing in common: they were all MX-5 Miatas at heart.

The MX-5 Miata Arctic Edition follows in a long line of special edition Miatas. It’s got a special body color that matches the mood of the season it’s celebrating. It also has complementary trim accents and an interior that’s dressed to the nines. And let’s not forget about the cool name. “Arctic Edition” looks and sounds like a boss, which is probably why Mazda decided to use it again after first bestowing the name to, you guessed it, the MX-5 Miata 12 years ago.

The automaker has scheduled a February 2017 release for the special edition model, with only 400 units set to be made available. It’s not a big number by any means, but it suits the Arctic Edition well because all 400 units are likely to be scooped up faster than it takes Santa to make his own snow angel.

The only downside to all of this is that the Arctic Edition will be exclusively sold in the U.K. market, which means us folks here across the Atlantic are once again out of luck.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Mazda MX-5 Miata Arctic Edition.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda Says No To Rotary Engine and Larger Sports Car

Mazda is famous for many things, but the rotary-engined sports cars are the company’s most iconic creations to date. So, it’s by no means surprising that enthusiasts have been clamoring for a successor to the RX-8 ever since the four-door coupe was discontinued in 2012. However, despite recent rumors that the Japanese automaker is working on a rotary sports car, it seems that Mazda doesn’t have any actual plans to build a production model.

Speaking to Automotive News, Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai broke heartbreaking news for rotary fans, saying that Mazda isn’t yet ready to produce an engine that would meet future emissions regulations.

“We ended production of the RX-8 with the rotary engine. But if we were to restart production of the rotary engine again, we need to make sure it wouldn’t be just short-lived. We need it to meet future emissions regulations. We are still conducting our r&d activity to overcome any issues we have with emissions and fuel efficiency,” he said, adding that a range-extender rotary is more likely to arrive first.

“Considering regulations such as the zero-emissions vehicle mandate, electrification is a technology we need to introduce in the near future. The range extender would be the first,” he added.

Unfortunately, the bad news doesn’t stop here, as Kogai also told the outlet that a larger sports car that would slot above the MX-5 is out of the question right now. Kogai’s firm “No” comes as a blow to the head following reports claiming that the gorgeous RX-Vision Concept is scheduled to arrive sometime in 2019 with the RX-7 moniker. Needless to say, it could still happen in the future, but Kogai made it clear that such a car isn’t even on the drawing table. It may take a while…

Rotary aside, the CEO also confirmed that Mazda is working on a new generation of SkyActiv technologies that will find its way into production cars by March 2019. The Japanese carmaker also wants to move upmarket and distinguish itself from the other mainstream brands from the country. This overhaul will begin with the next-generation Mazda6, Mazda3, and CX-3, which are set to get “major updates.”

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda RT24-P

After a few seasons of racing gasoline-powered prototypes in North America, Mazda switched to a diesel engine based on the 2.2-liter SkyActiv-D unit found in its production cars. That didn’t go very well, so the automaker returned to the 2.0-liter gasoline four-pot in 2016, when it continued with the same Lola chassis. With IMSA Prototype class rules revised for 2017, Mazda ditched the old Lola underpinnings in favor of a Riley chassis and redesigned the bodywork of its race car. With rules now more permissive as far as designs go, Mazda came up with a race car that uses many of the Kodo styling cues seen on the company’s production cars.

The new race car will compete in the new DPi class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The category replaces last year’s Prototype class and introduces revised regulations to the series. The new Riley chassis was designed and built by Multimatic, while the engine was carried over from last year’s race car.

“This is a huge moment for Mazda Motorsports and the entire Mazda family,” said John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports North America. “To have a car which features Mazda design language at the top level of our motorsports program is meaningful for us as a brand. We believe we have the right team, the right drivers and the right chassis to win races and championships.”

Mazda Motorsports will tackle the 2017 season with two vehicles. Car No. 55 will be driven by Jonathan Bomarito and Tristan Nunez, while car No. 77 will be piloted by Joel Miller and Tom Long. The season will commence in Daytona on January 28, while the final race will take place in Georgia on October 7.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda RT24-P.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda MX-5 RF Set To Arrive Two Months Earlier Than Scheduled

Mazda is in a giving mood this Thanksgiving and fans of the Mazda MX-5 Miata RF should be indebted to the company after it announced that the special edition MX-5 would arrive in the U.S. two months earlier than anticipated. Initially scheduled to hit dealerships on February 2017, the first wave of shipments are now expected to arrive in Tacoma, Washington by the first week of December, according to Mazda spokesman Jacob Brown.

Brown explained that a production shift in the company’s factory in Japan expedited the production of these models. Instead of waiting for the initial timetable, Mazda apparently decided to ship the cars to the U.S. earlier than expected. All told, a total of more than 500 MX-5 Miatas are expected to arrive in Tacoma in the coming days. Most of the models that will be arriving are Launch Edition models, but there are a handful of MX-5 Miata RFs that are also included, including some that are going to be delivered to customers in Canada.

There’s no timetable yet on when the cars will be delivered to their owners, but with the cars already in the US, it is expected to also happen much sooner than the initial schedule. That said, at least one owner has already taken delivery of his MX-5 RF. That owner is noted Miata collector David Putter, who received the keys to his Miata RF at the Los Angeles Auto Show after Mazda personally air-freighted his car all the way from Japan to Huntington Beach Mazda, making Putter the first ever paying customer to take delivery of the newest MX-5 Miata.

Soon enough, more owners will be handed the keys to their targa-style Miata RFs, which separates itself from all other MX-5 Miatas in existence because of its retractable roof panel and rear window. It still carries the same powertrain as all standard soft-top Miatas — a 2.0-liter inline-four engine that produces 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque — but its unique configuration is definitely unmistakable, and those who bought one can now enjoy being the proud owners of the new Miata RF much sooner than they expected.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda CX-5

When it was introduced for the 2013 model year, Mazda had high hopes for the CX-5. But, the model has been a major disappointment with sales in 2014 not even hitting the 100,000 mark while models from competitors, like the Honda CR-V, for example, saw much higher numbers to the tune of 350,000 examples sold. The CX-5 was facelifted in 2016, but it still failed to meet expectations, despite having a fair amount of muscle under the hood. Consider the CX-5 isn’t exactly a slouch, it must be the design that turns customers away, so Mazda got to work. It didn’t take long for Mazda to complete the second-gen model, and it made its debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show sporting an awesome new body color, G-Vectoring Control, a revamped body shell, slightly wider stance, and the addition of Mazda’s SKYACTIV, 2.2-liter diesel engine as an option for U.S. buyers.

The hardest thing Mazda really has to overcome is how overcrowded the compact SUV segment really is. Big names like CR-V, Escape, Equinox, and Rav 4 all resonate through the minds of those looking for the best ride in this segment, and that doesn’t help a newer model like the CX-5 – being around just a few years – establish a good hold in the market. But Mazda isn’t giving up yet, and the new design that makes front clip inherently longer than the outgoing model should help the CX-5 garner the attention of those really wanting a sporty compact SUV. On top of that, there’s lots of cool technology like Mazda’s G-Vectoring control, i-ACTIVESENSE safety features, and there’s even a two-step reclining mechanism built into the rear seats.

But, there’s a lot more to talk about when it comes to the 2018 Mazda CX-5, so let’s dive on in a take a good look at what it brings to the table and how it compares to the rather stiff competition in this segment.

PostHeaderIcon It Only Took a Week for all 1,000 MX-5 Miata RF Launch Editions to Sell Out

The new Mazda MX-5 RF, essentially a targa version of the current Miata, is a big hit in the U.S., where the initial allocation of 1,000 Launch Edition units sold out in just a week. According to the Japanese brand, “more than 500 loyal customers” put down deposits to buy the RF when the Launch Edition was first offered on September 26. When ordering opened to the general public on October 3, the remaining cars sold out in only 13 hours.

“The 2017 MX-5 RF Launch Edition preorder program was created to reward loyal Mazda customers with exclusive access to some of the first MX-5 RF models to be sold in the U.S., as well as to ramp up anticipation for what was arguably the star of the 2016 New York International Auto Show,” said Robert Davis, senior VP of U.S. Operations. “By every measure, this program was a success, and we’re excited to be that much closer to getting these cars into the garages of customers from all over the U.S.”

Customers who have purchased the RF Launch Edition will take delivery of their cars beginning early 2017. Once all Launch Editions are built, Mazda will begin production of the standard MX-5 RF in Club and Grand Touring trims.

As a brief reminder, the RF Launch Edition is equipped with three exclusive features for the 2017, including Auburn Nappa leather seating, a hand-painted black roof, and special badging. All 1,000 examples will be painted Machine Gray Metallic and shipped with a serialized Tourneau MX5 RF Launch Edition watch. The Launch Edition was the most expensive RF model, fetching $33,850 before options with a manual transmission and $34,925 with the automatic gearbox. For reference, the base model retails from $31,555 for the 2017 model year. Mazda says that 67 percent of customers opted for manual transmissions. It’s important to note that the manual gearbox also gives buyers access to a Brembo/BBS Package that includes a front shock-tower brace, side sill body extensions, lightweight BBS 17-inch wheels, and Brembo front brakes with wider pads.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda3

The Mazda3 has been generating solid sales for the Japanese automaker ever since it was introduced in 2003, but it was the third-generation model, launched in 2013, that established the nameplate as a strong competitor in the compact market. Selling more units than ever, the third-gen car received a mild update in 2016, but Mazda is already working on the next-generation model. Not much is known about the fourth-generation version, but Mazda’s North American design director, Julien Montousse, has recently unveiled that its design will borrow styling cues from the gorgeous Mazda RX-Vision concept.

Believed to preview the next-generation Mazda RX-7, the RX-Vision concept is also expected to inspire several vehicles in the company’s lineup in the future. The Mazda3 will become the first model to make use of the concept’s sporty lines and we just created a rendering of how the hatchback model may look like. The new Mazda3 won’t see the light of day until at least 2018, but having seen the company’s evolution in recent years, it’s not too difficult to predict what the next compact will bring to the table. As a result, we also put together a speculative review to go with our new rendering.

Keep reading for all the info and make sure you stay tuned for updates. We’ll be back to update this piece as soon as the first test cars hit public roads.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Mazda3.

PostHeaderIcon Next-Gen Mazda3 to Take DNA from Mazda RX-Vision Concept

When Mazda unveiled the RX-Vision at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, car enthusiasts all over the world began dreaming about a next-generation RX-7 that would include many of the concept’s spectacular styling cues. And, with Mazda having already confirmed that a rotary-engined RX-7 is indeed underway, a production-ready version of the RX-Vision is still a few years away. More recently though, the Japanese automaker revealed that the concept will inspire more vehicles from the company’s lineup, the first of which will be the next-generation Mazda3.

That’s the word from Mazda’s newly-appointed North American design director, Julien Montousse. Speaking to CarBuzz, which asked him whether the RX-Vision will become more than just a design study, Montousse confirmed that the some of its styling cues will find their way on future products.

“The RX-Vision is a breakthrough in Mazda design. We wanted to expand and capture more sophistication and the wow factor. This is the next evolutionary step for our Kodo design language. We wanted to generate an emotional reaction from the public. This design direction will inspire the future Mazda lineup, such as the next Mazda3,” he said.

This is definitely great news as the RX-Vision is quite the gorgeous concept, even if the next Mazda3 won’t be as sleek and sporty. So, what are we to expect from this mash-up? Among the first things that Mazda will probably transfer from the RX-Vision onto the Mazda3 will be the larger front grille and the slim headlamps with thin LED inserts carved into the body. The compact could also get the blacked-out trim, most likely on its more expensive models, and a sportier roofline. I don’t see the concept’s taillights making it on the Mazda3, but the rear end should also get slimmer light units to go with the sportier design.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda RX-9 Tipped For 2020 Launch

Either dreams do come true or Mazda has been manipulating us all along. Four months after the automaker’s global director and senior managing executive officer Yuji Nakemine doused rumors of an RX sports car, a new report from Japan’s Holiday Auto magazine indicates that the long-awaited sports car successor to the RX-7 and RX-8 is actually going to be built.

According to the magazine, the model will be called the RX-9 and it will be launched on January 2020 as one of the highlights of the Japanese automaker’s upcoming 100th anniversary. The full details surrounding the new sports car have yet to be revealed, but some interesting nuggets of information have been mentioned, none more important that Mazda’s plan to use a new 1.6-liter twin-rotary engine that may or may not come with turbocharging and compression ignition. It is believed that the powertrain will be able to produce around 400 horsepower. A previous rumor indicated that the powertrain will actually come in a hybrid setup to allow electric turbocharging. That said, the new report from Holiday Auto made no mention of that specific configuration.

The magazine did say that Mazda is looking at a weight of no more than 1,300 kilos (2,204 pounds) for the RX-9. The objective, it appears, is to keep the weight as low as possible to improve the car’s aerodynamics and maximize the potential of the new rotary engine. Such a setup would make the RX-9 a potent performance coupe that can live up to the expectations of being one of the highlights of the company’s centenary celebrations.

A concept version has been touted to make an appearance at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show with the final production model scheduled to appear two years later at the same show.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda6

Introduced in early 2002, the Mazda6 traces its roots back to 1987, when the 626 was enlarged from a compact to a midsize sedan. Although sporty and somewhat luxurious, the first-generation Mazda6 wasn’t the gorgeous sedan we’re all familiar with today. It took Mazda about 10 years to refine the sedan, which entered a new era in 2012, when the third-generation model rolled out. Designed around the company’s KODO-Soul of Motion styling language, the Mazda6 arrived on U.S. soil with a 2.5-liter, Skyactiv-G unit under its hood, one of three engines offered with the sedan. Unveiled at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, the U.S.-spec Mazda6 received its first facelift exactly two years later, during the same event.

Although it continues with the same 2.5-liter, the revised Mazda6 boasts a bolder front fascia with new headlamps and an updated interior with a new dashboard and better fit and finish. Read on to find out more about the changes that will keep this sedan fresh for a couple more years.

Updated 08/23/2016: Mazda announced prices for the 2017 Mazda6 which will pe put on sale nationwide this September. Check the “Prices” section for the full details.

Click past the jump to read more about Mazda6.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda Miata "Indy" ND V-8

The word “Miata” means different things to different people. To Mazda, it stands for complete success, since the MX-5 has always been one of the best-selling two-seaters ever made. To those of us who love to do the impossible, the word Miata immediately invokes visions of any crazy mod we can conceptualize without having an aneurysm. The Miata has long been a favorite go-to for harnessing lots of power in a little package, but the guys over at Flyin’ Miata are taking things to a whole new level with the fourth-generation model.

Just released for the 2016 model year, there really haven’t been too many intense builds of the ND Miata – until now. Apparently, the ND you see here was sitting on a lift with no heart to speak of, when the guys at Flyin’ Miata decided to cram their plastic, V-8 test block under the hood. To their surprise, it fit, and their newest project got underway. It’s not the first Miata to undergo a V-8 conversion, but it is the first ND-gen model to obtain such a transplant.

According to the second entry of the project diary on Flyin’ Miata’s website, the ND-gen model actually requires less modification to the chassis than the previous NA- and NB-gen models. But, before I got too much into that, let’s take a look at the car these guys have put together and talk a little about it.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda Still Hopes to Bring Diesel Models to the U.S.

Starting 2011, Mazda began to introduce a new family of engines known as SkyActiv. The technology debuted on the Mazda2 in 2011 and spread to several nameplates by 2016, including the Mazda3, Mazda6, MX-5, and the CX-3 and CX-5 crossovers. Consisting of four-cylinder units the SkyActiv-G and SkyActiv-D powerplants deliver great fuel economy and exceptional driving dynamics no matter their displacements. Although the 1.3- and 1.5-liter engines didn’t make it Stateside, Mazda brought both the 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter gasoline mills to the U.S. Unfortunately, the 2.2-liter powerplant, the sole representative of Mazda’s diesel SkyActiv technology, is not yet available in North America.

That could change soon according to Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai.

Automotive News reports that Mazda still wants to bring its SkyActiv-D engine to the United States, and that Kogai even has an internal timeline for the launch. Although he refused to say when it will happen, chances are the diesel powerplant will cross the pond when Mazda introduces its second generation of SkyActiv technologies in 2019.

“We are not giving up,” Kogai said about the U.S. diesel engine, adding that Mazda still has certain regulatory hurdles to overcome. “Environmental performance must be compatible with driving dynamics.”

Available in the Mazda6 and CX-5 outside the U.S., the 2.2-liter SkyActiv-D engine actually made its debut in North America, but not in a road-going vehicle. An upgraded version of the oil burner was run in the 2013 Rolex Sports Car Series season and helped Mazda win the GX manufacturer’s championship. Not a bad debut, huh?

Keep reading for the full story

PostHeaderIcon Mazda2 Red Edition

The fourth-generation Mazda2 arrived in 2014 with a brand-new exterior design and a revamped interior. Like most recent Mazda models, the small hatchback also adopted the brand’s “KODO – Soul of Motion” design language and a more upscale cabin that includes a digital instrument cluster and a leather steering wheel on the more expensive trims. The new generation also brought new engines to the Mazda2. Depending on the market, customers can choose between 1.3-liter and 1.5-liter gasoline engines or a 1.5-liter diesel. All three have four-cylinder configurations and Mazda’s latest SkyActiv technology.

Arguably one of the prettiest cars in its segment, the Mazda2 has become popular in certain European markets, especially in the United Kingdom. As a result, Mazda has already launched the special edition Sport Black in the country. Now, the Japanese are introducing a new limited-edition model. Dubbed Red Edition, it comes with two optional exterior colors at no cost and bespoke accents inside and out. It is based on the SE-L Nav trim and comes with all the goodies available with the pricier model.

The Red Edition is limited to only 400 units and won’t be sold outside Britain. Don’t get your hopes up on finding a special-edition Mazda2 model in the U.S. because the little hatchback is not available Stateside.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda2 Red Edition.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda3

Standing out in the world of compacts is no easy feat. The corner-cutting measures it takes to offer a product at a competitive price in this segment can quickly demote a car to drab background filler. Throw in the customer’s demand to “do it all,” from sporting fun to commuting practicality, and what you’re left with can often feel like too much of a compromise. That’s not the case with the Mazda3, which combines standout styling, top-notch safety, cutting-edge interior appointment and fantastic driving dynamics into one cohesive package, all for an aggressive price. For 2016, Mazda kept all those characteristics, but upped the ante with a variety of new features, both standard and optional.

Mazda3 was originally introduced in 2003 as a replacement for the Protégé, with a second generation unveiled five years later. Now in its third generation, the 3 continues to be one of the best compact cars on the market. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that Automotive News reports annual U.S. sales of the Mazda3 have overtaken gains in the compact market as a whole, with growth of 5.2 percent compared to a 3.1 percent average for all other segment models.

So then – what makes it so good?

Updated 07/14/2016: Mazda has announced a minor revision to the Mazda 3 for the 2017 model year, which will go on sale in the U.S. sometime later this year. Check out the review below to learn what you can expect when it hits showrooms.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda3.

PostHeaderIcon Is The Mazda 6 Getting A Turbocharged Engine?

Mazda’s new 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is already making an impression on the newly launched Mazda CX-9 SUV and apparently, the CX-9 isn’t the only model that can take advantage of the new turbo four engine. Turns out, the engine is also compatible with both the Mazda 3 and Mazda 6, leading to the possibility that both models could one day get the engine for themselves.

Speaking with CarAdvice, Dave Coleman — Mazda North America vehicle development engineer — highlighted the engine’s size and versatility and how it’s configuration would be able to seamlessly fit into the engine makeup of both the 3 and the 6. It’s worth noting that both models use a naturally aspirated version of another 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that maxes out at 185 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. The numbers don’t exactly drive up excitement, but with a tuned version of the turbocharged four-cylinder in the mix, both the Mazda 3 and the Mazda 6 could receive as much as 228 horsepower on tap.

The Mazda 6, in particular, would benefit greatly from a turbo four engine. As it stands, the naturally aspirated four-cylinder is the only engine option available, which puts it in a significant disadvantage when you consider that two of its biggest rivals, the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry, both have range-topping versions that carry V-6 engines. Granted, the 228-horsepower output still falls short of the Camry’s 268-horsepower V-6, but it would still make up a significant gap in power that the current 6 suffers from relative to its rivals.

For its part, Mazda has made no indication of any plans to use the 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder on either the Mazda 6 or the Mazda 3. Until that announcement comes, if it does at all, let’s hope that it’s something that the Japanese automaker considers.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda CX-3

After a lot of waiting, here it is folks: the 2016 Mazda CX-3.

When you’re Mazda, and you’ve already stepped into the compact and midsize crossover market, you might as well go all in and take a piece of the subcompact crossover market too. That’s exactly why Mazda decided to release the Mazda CX-3 – an SUV that looks more like slightly larger and jacked up Mazda 3 5-Door that the other CX-models. As expected, the CUV has a detailed exterior that is a continuation of the KODO Soul of Motion design language and an interior that is similar to that of its bigger brethren. Inside you’ll find stadium seating, a large passenger compartment (for a subcompact) and engaging ergonomics. Under the hood, a Skyactiv, 2.0-liter four-cylinder sends power to a six-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is a standard feature, while all-wheel drive is an option. On top of the beautiful and functional cabin, the CX-3 also comes with a decent list of active and passive safety features that are common in the market.

The CX-3 went on sale in August of 2015 as a 2016 model and so far seems to be performing reasonably well. With seating for five and the ability to pull 35 mph, the only thing (aside from styling) that sets it apart from the CX-5 is the starting price of $19,960 – about $2,000 cheaper than its bigger brother. With that said, the CX-3 is a sporty little crossover and looks to work well for smaller families or those who don’t need to haul a ton of heavy cargo. So, let’s take a closer look at the CX-3 and all of the specifics that surround Mazda’s newest crossover.

Update 6/6/2016: Mazda has released pricing for the 2017 Mazda CX-3. Check the Prices section below for all the details.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Mazda CX-3.

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