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After years on the market, today’s Mazda3 is still one of the best C-Segment cars available, but it’s something of a controversial vehicle. It may be great to drive, exceedingly functional and built to last, but a lot of people take issue with its grille. The car’s front end looks like the face of a mouth-breathing mudpuppy. To the relief of many that gaping maw is a thing of the past with Mazda’s brand-new 2014 model.
Like a Broadway premiere the 2014 Mazda3 will take a bow in New York City today. Mazda’s best-selling compact car has received a bumper-to-bumper redesign along with some significant improvements. The company’s latest C-Segment offering brings a healthy dose of style, performance and technology to an extremely competitive slice of the market.
10. Acura TSX - 34.3%
How do you get Generation Y interested in cars? To answer that question perhaps the best move is to take a look at what cars they do already like.
Thanks to new stats provided by J.D. Power and Associates we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 cars with the highest percentage of buyers aged of 16 to 35 in 2012. And if there is one common theme, it’s that Generation Y isn’t big on domestics, with just one vehicle from the Big 3 making the list.
Kicking off the top 10 list is the Acura TSX, where 34.3 percent of its buyers were between the ages of 16 to 35. The entry-level sedan offers luxury amenities at a budget price, while providing owners with the reliability and comfort that Acura is known for. The Acura TSX had an average MSRP (the average price across all trim levels) of $32,251 last year.
Its hard not to daydream about diesel cars, with their great torque and excellent fuel economy, so here’s our top picks of cars that we’d love to see a diesel option for. Our criteria is simple, the automaker must have a diesel engine in use somewhere in its lineup or in an international version of the car. In other words, these are all very real possibilities.
In the past Mazda has hinted that it may drop the current base engine in the Mazda3 and instead offer the Skyactiv powertrain as standard. According to Mazda USA PR rep Beverly Braga that won’t happen for 2013, but the Japanese automaker has made the decision to offer the Skyactive 2.0-liter as the core powertrain on more trim levels.
After its fourth straight year resulting in a net loss, Mazda is now looking for partners to help bolster their capital.
Mazda has had a net loss $1.29 billion this fiscal year, and is now actively seeking any way possible to help out with its uncertain financial future. This is the worst slide Mazda has been in since 2001, when it showed a $2.0 billion net loss.
Mazda’s struggles come thanks to the strength of the Yen. Since Mazda exports such a large percentage of its cars from Japan, it’s becoming more and more difficult for the automaker to reap the benefits from the sale of those vehicles.
In response, Mazda is setting up a factory in Mexico to build the new Mazda2 and Mazda3 for the U.S and Latin American markets.
Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi has stated that he must raise capital and is “considering every option” when it comes to getting money for Mazda.
Yamanouchi is looking to gain the interest of other car makers with their environmentally friendly technology such as Skyactiv engine’s.
5. 2012 Mazda3 Skyactiv
What’s the best car of 2012? Who knows. Is a Porsche GT3 RS 4.0 better than a Ferrari 458 Italia? What about the Scion FR-S? Or a Prius Plug-in Hybrid? The past year has seen the launch of numerous excellent vehicles, including some we really didn’t expect to be any good. That said, we’ve put together our list of the top five surprisingly good cars of 2012, starting with the updated Mazda3.
We thoroughly enjoyed the new 3 (read our 2012 Mazda3 review here), something that’s not at all surprising at first. What is more of a shock is that it was Mazda’s new Skyactiv model, designed primarily for fuel economy, and that it managed to deliver in that department while sticking true to the brand’s Zoom-Zoom slogan.
Adding to our reasons for placing this car on our list of surprisingly good cars is the technology behind it. At both a preview event and the actual drive, Mazda gave us a deep-dive into the engineering solutions behind its new SkyActiv technologies, rethinking every aspect of the engine and transmission for this updated model. When Ford sold off its shares in Mazda recently many skeptics proclaimed that in this new era a smaller company like Mazda couldn’t possibly hope to be competitive without a large partner like, say, Toyota. But Mazda has proved them wrong, not only competing, but perhaps delivering the the only 40 mpg car that’s actually fun to drive.
With only about three weeks until 2012, the Australian car market could end 2011 with a new best-selling sedan for the first time in 15 years. Although the Holden Commodore has been Australia’s favorite and a sales leader since 1997, Australia’s Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries revealed that the Mazda3 has currently sold 301 more units than the Holden. What’s more, the Commodore faces a threat from another Japanese sedan, the Toyota Corolla, which has managed to gain “top-seller” honors for four months out of 2011.
The Holden Commodore has been steadily losing its market share for the past couple of years as consumers have begun selecting smaller cars or crossovers instead, marking the end of the sales dominance of Australian automakers. However, while discounts might just be the thing to give the Commodore a last minute boost in sales, Holden has no plans to enter into a price war with Mazda in order to take back their top spot.
[Source: Sydney Morning Herald]
Reports are coming in that Mazda is planning to overhaul four of its existing models by 2014. The four models up for redesigns are the Mazda3, Mazda6, MX-5 and CX-9. We’ve already seen the new patent drawings for the upcoming MX-5 refresh, which will hopefully come in 2013 along with a new Mazda3 and CX-9.
The big news, however, is an all-new Mazda6 that is expected to be introduced before the end of next year. There’s a strong possibility that the new Mazda6 will resemble the Takeri Concept. All of the upcoming new Mazdas will sport Skyactiv technologies and ride on lightweight platforms that are being developed in-house at Mazda.
Mazda also stated that they have plans to add stop-start, regenerative braking and hybrid technologies to their models by 2016.
GALLERY: Mazda Takeri Concept
Mazda is hoping to boost sales in the United States by 74 percent, and a key component of their strategy will be delivering sporty vehicles that can turn out “real world” fuel economy numbers.
“It’s not acceptable to us have 40 mpg and sacrifice performance,” said Robert Davis, Mazda’s senior VP of U.S. operations. Rivals such as the Hyundai Elantra have had their spare tires removed and special low rolling resistance tires to help trim weight and increase fuel economy. But Mazda says that the low rolling resistance tires are noisy and reduce the vehicle’s handling characteristics. The upcoming Mazda3 will hit 40 mpg thanks to a new engine dubbed “SKYACTIV”, while keeping the spare tire and regular rubber.
Mazda will also sell a diesel version of their upcoming CX-5 crossover, while other competitors do not offer a diesel option. Mazda hopes to boost sales to 400,000 units per year by the middle of the decade, up from 229,556 in 2010.
[Source: Automotive News]
Mazda has announced a recall for its Mazda3 model, which is also sold under the name Axela in Japan. The recall affects 494,500 units globally with roughly 157,700 in North America.
The recall surrounds an electronic problem that could prevent the windshield wipers from working. Affected vehicles include those between the 2008 and 2010 model years. Mazda is expected to notify customers and those with questions can contact their local dealer to see if their specific vehicle is listed under this recall.
Mazda announced today they have reached a production milestone of three million Mazda3 units as of April 26, 2011. The car is built in three factories (Japan, China, Thailand) and sold in roughly 90 countries and regions. In North America alone, over 1.1 million Mazda3s have been sold, becoming the fastest-selling model in Mazda’s current lineup of passenger vehicles.
Mazda has explained the success of this car through three factors: its distinctive design, its functionality, and its responsive handling. The wide range of models has also been a successful factor. Pricing has also been very competitive in the U.S starting at just over $16,000. The high performance Mazdaspeed3, has also been favorable to auto enthusiasts around the world.
It is quite an achievement for Mazda, considering it took nearly 22 years to hit 900,000 MX-5 Miatas. The Mazda3 three tripled that number in less than eight years.
Mazda’s senior managing executive officer, Hirotaka Kanazawa said, “Its sustained global success has seen it grow into Mazda’s mainstay model, and it now comprises a third of all Mazda vehicle sales.”
Hit the jump to see a list of the top 10 Best Selling Cars of All Time