AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Old Does Not Mean Awful
Last week we pointed out some of the most geriatric cars on the market, vehicles that are stodgy, dated or otherwise un-cool. In the process we totally lampooned senior citizens, making fun of them every chance we had.
Nothing screams “commitment” or “responsibility” louder than a minivan, well, maybe a saggy pair of elastic-waist mom jeans but who’s counting?
Love ‘em or loathe ‘em these versatile vehicles are designed to excel at hauling, whether it’s taking a passel of kiddies to soccer practice after school or hauling a load of building material home from the lumber yard.
Stylish and sporty they are NOT, but modern minivans are as practical and honest as the week is long. They’re also pretty thrifty, maximizing cargo capacity while minimizing fuel consumption. And that’s a subject on the top of every consumer’s mind these days: efficiency.
But what kind of economy do these versatile vehicles deliver? Here’s a breakdown of some popular models and how far they can stretch a gallon of gasoline.
Compact/Subcompact Cars: Toyota Prius IV
Just because a car is cheap doesn’t mean it’s a good value. Taking into account the five-year owner cost of a vehicle which factors in depreciation, fuel, insurance premiums, interest on financing, sales tax and cost for maintenance and repairs, a better picture is painted on whether or not a vehicle is a good bang for your buck.
Consumer Reports has revealed this year’s best new-car value winners, which also takes into account the publication’s evaluation of the car. The less a vehicle costs to own over time, the better value it is.
Headlining the list is the best value car in the compact/subcompact category, the Toyota Prius IV. The Prius also takes home the accolade of being the best overall value for the second straight year.
According to Consumer Reports, the Prius costs just 47 cents per mile to own over five years. Of course there’s also the fact that the Prius gets 44 mpg overall, offering the best fuel economy of any non-plug-in car that the publication has ever tested. And though it’s not exactly the cheapest car on the market, its depreciation is so low that it costs less to own over five years than its initial MSRP. The Toyota Prius IV has a starting MSRP of $29,245 including destination.
10. Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen 2.5
In the market for a cheap, affordable vehicle that won’t cause you headaches after a few years of ownership? AutoGuide has compiled a Top 10 list of the most reliable vehicles on today’s market under $25,000 based on data from Consumer Reports‘ 2013 Annual Auto Survey.
Last week was a lot like the British ocean liner Lusitania; it got sunk, but this time around it wasn’t the Kaiser’s fault. Instead of falling prey to a German U-Boat it was torpedoed by the New York Auto Show.
Mazda is planning to close down their assembly plants again, while stopping orders from dealers in the United States for their made-in-Japan vehicles.
The Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda5, MX-5, RX-8, CX-7, CX-9 are all affected. Only the Mazda6 and Tribute will remain in production at their American plants, although the situation could change in light of the parts suppliers affected by the earthquake. As of March 1st, the company had a 94-day supply of vehicles, but the automaker declined to comment on specifics.
In 2010, imported cars accounted for 83 percent of Mazda sales, a much higher number than other Japanese automakers, who build a significant proportion of their cars in North American plants. Mazda’s factories in Japan are located in Hiroshima and Hofu, at the opposite end of the country from where an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear incident are taking place.
[Source: Automotive News]
Mazda will resume production of vehicles on March 22nd, an encouraging sign for the Japanese auto industry as it battles a catastrophic series of events that has seen most automakers in the country suspend production.
With Mazda based in Hiroshima, hundreds of miles away from the earthquake, tsunami and on-going nuclear incidents, the company has fared better than other car companies, Mazda said it will resume production on March 22nd, with a focus on spare parts and vehicles using “in process” inventories. Mazda said that it will announced medium and long-term production in the near future, but is unable to decide at this point in time.
[Source: Left Lane News]
These days Mazda doesn’t have a lot going for it and it’s not often that the automaker makes the headlines. But this story just proves what thinking outside the box can do.
More than five years ago Mazda axed its low-selling minivan and debuted the Mazda5 – a smaller van based on the compact Mazda3 platform. It hasn’t quite caught on here (despite its incredible packaging), but our neighbors to the North love the thing an it’s a popular vehicle in other markets.
Classified as an ‘MPV’ it has started to gather a following and other automakers are taking notice, with Ford recently debuting its own rival, the C-Max.
Now Nissan is getting in on the action, and is set to debut a rival to the mini-minivan some time this year. But rather than reinvent the wheel, the yet-unnamed Nissan will be based off the Mazda5.
According to Mazda the vehicle is planned for the Japanese market and there is no info on if it is planned for North America.
The Mazda5 may be about to get overshadowed by the Ford C-Max, but that doesn’t mean Mazda’s engineers can’t have fun with their venerable but well regarded compact van.
Designers at Mazda’s Irvine, California studio were given free reign to design their dream Mazda5, and the vehicle above was the end result. Lowering springs with height adjustable perches underpin the suspension while 19″ RX8 R3 wheels help offset the silver paint and subtle graphics package. We’d hit it.
Mazda‘s diminutive minivan, the Mazda5, is the latest car to fall victim to the recall machine, this time a faulty fuel pump being the culprit.
Water that remains in the fuel pump may corrode the electrical connectors for the electrical harness. Should the part fail, the engine may stall and be unable to restart, which could present an accident risk.
NHTSA says 16,200 cars are affected, and the recall will begin on December 11th. Hit the jump to read NHTSA’s official announcement.
The re-designed Mazda5, the smallest minivan available for sale in North America, will go on sale with a base price of $19,990 starting in January of 2011.
The Mazda5 will come in three trim levels, with the base trim being Sport, Touring being the mid-level and Grand Touring acting as a top of the line car. All models get Dynamic Stability Control , traction control, anti-lock brakes , tire-pressure monitoring, and a multitude of airbags. Luxury features like Bluetooth start to appear on the Touring model, but the good news for the certifiably nutty is that a 5-speed manual is available on this sliding-door equipped van! It doesn’t get much better than that, as far as we’re concerned.
Summer vacation may be coming to a close, but that means it’s time for a whole new season of bringing your kids to school, piano lessons and football tryouts. Consumer Reports has put together a list of new cars that are great for transporting the family around, all ranging in price from just under $20,000 to just under $40,000. They all gained good scores in road tests, and have good seating and cargo arrangements.
They’re listed after the jump, listed in order by price, along with a brief description on why they ranked well:
Mazda is expected to recall 200,000 Mazda3 and Mazda5 compacts over a faulty steering system, with power steering pumps and lines being the target of the recall in particular.
NHTSA has been investigating 33 complaints of malfunctioning power steering systems, with 3 cases leading to accidents after a loss of steering control.
According to reports, the power steering system is prone to being shut down due to fault sensors in the pump can be contaminated with corrosion. The pump shuts itself down as a safeguard, and while the steering is still operable, it is much heavier than most drivers are used to.
A recall notice is now up on NHTSA’s website.
Mazda appears to be on the cusp of banishing their former “Nagare” design language to the junk heap. Nagare was responsible for the controversial front fascias on the upcoming 2011 Mazda5, the current MX-5 and the Mazda3. However, Mazda executives were apparently unhappy with the execution of the styling and demanded a change.
Unfortunately no details on the new styling have been announced, but if Mazda really wants to be the “Japanese Alfa Romeo“, they’ll need to figure out a styling direction quickly, that can also compete with the Italian firm’s world class designs.
Mazda‘s swoopy, sometimes controversial “Nagare” styling has been jettisoned after a few short years as the pre-eminent design language for the Hiroshima, Japan-based car company.
Nagare, with its flowing lines and inelegant front-end treatments, managed to find a home on the next-generation Mazda5, the current Mazda3 and the facelifted Mazda MX-5. The Nagare styling was often controversial, and according to a report in AutoExpress, company management was underwhelmed with the results, and according to Peter Birtwhistle, head of design for Mazda Europe, the company is hoping to be “more like a Japanese Alfa Romeo, producing cars which are great to drive, but crucially that also have the right premium feel, particularly inside.”
With a Mazda5 and a first-generation Miata among the Autoguide staff vehicles, we can’t say we’re too upset about the lack of Nagare cues in future Mazdas, as long as their engineering department doesn’t get turfed along with the stylists.
[Source: Auto Express]
The Chevrolet Orlando crossover will not be sold in the United States after all. In an interview with Bloomberg, Margaret Brooks, GM’s product marketing director for small cars and crossovers said that “The best thing to do for Chevrolet is to focus on the brands we’ve already brought to market: the Traverse, Equinox, Malibu and, soon to come, the Cruze.”
In addition to Asia and Europe, the Orlando, a seven seater minivan based on the same platform as the Cruze and Volt, will be sold in Canada, where the Mazda5 (a direct competitor to the Orlando) is a popular vehicle. Canadians typically buy smaller vehicles due to higher vehicle costs, and an average gas price of $4 per gallon.
[Source: Automotive News]
Mazda unveiled the second generation Mazda5 at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show.
The Mazda5 gets a slight facelift with elements Mazda’s “Nagare Flow” design. The new Mazda5 might even look especially happier and smilier than usual.
Under the hood is a 2.0L direct injection gasoline engine with Mazda’s i-Stop system. According to Mazda, the new engine has 15% lower CO2 emissions than the previous 2.0L powerplant. The Mazda5 will also be available with a 1.8L gasoline engine with six speed manual transmission.
Mazda pretty much owns the MPV market on this side of the Atlantic, but it faces stiffer competition in Europe and is about to get more rivals in North America from models like the Ford C-Max and Chevy Orlando. So to stay ahead of the competition, the Japanese automaker will debut an all-new second generation Mazda5 model (called the Premacy in some markets) at the Geneva Auto Show in March.
Mazda gave the 5 a facelift in 2008 and while this model looks only like a cosmetic tweak (like the new Mazda3) there’s more to it than that. In Europe the new 5 will be offered with either a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder or a 2.o-liter 4-cylinder with direct-injection and Mazda’s i-stop start-stop technology, which will reduce emissions by 15 percent. Both engines will come with a 6-speed manual transmission as standard.
As for the aesthetic changes, they include some swoopy lines on the side of the car, inspired by Mazda’s recent concepts like the Nagare and Furai. In addition, it’s hard to miss the aggressive (or, as some might, say, excessively happy) front end.
Once it arrives in North America, we expect to find the company’s 167-hp 2.5-liter engine under the hood, most likely mated to a six-speed manual transmission as standard.
GALLERY: 2011 Mazda5
Official release after the jump: