Archive for October, 2013
Can rolling your car get any worse? The correct answer is yes, as this poor soul found out when he rolled his Mazda3 onto its side. Calling a tow truck might be a logical, post-rollover move, but in this case, it kind of made the situation worse.
We don’t want to give away just what happened, so you’ll need to scroll down and watch the video. A fair warning, though, it does contain a moment of colorful language towards the end, so watching it at work, with the volume up, might not be wise. Have a look below for the full video.
Tow truck driver hilariously bad at righting a flipped Mazda originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 30 Oct 2013 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Kevin Rice left Mazda a baker’s dozen years ago, but now he’s back.
A graduate of the Transportation Design program at Coventry University (just across town from Jaguar headquarters), Rice worked his way up in the industry working for the likes of Opel and Italdesign Giugiaro before landing a job at Mazda. Between 1995 and 2000, he collaborated on such projects as the RX-8 and the 1999 Neospace concept that previewed the Mazda2 before moving on to BMW, where the new 3 Series and 4 Series were among the last projects he worked on during his 13-year tenure in Munich.
Now back at Mazda, Rice has been named the Japanese automaker’s new creative director, charged with further honing the brand’s KODO design language from its European headquarters in Oberursel, Germany. We’re looking forward to seeing what he and his design team come up with in the coming years.
While the cars to look forward to at this year’s SEMA show in Las Vegas are starting to stack up pretty high – Ford alone is bringing 57 vehicles – we hadn’t gotten word about what Mazda was up to before now. A shadowy digital figure has reached out to the Autoblog staff, providing us with four tantalizing images of SEMA showcar renderings, though without any substantive information to go with them.
We don’t have any idea what is under the hood or behind the wheels of this foursome of two Mazda6s and two Mazda3s (hatch and sedan), but we can say that we like the way the company’s lauded styling for all models is wearing the amped up wheels and paint schemes.
The Mazda3 hatchback seen here seems to be making overt overtures to the world of motorsport, with a lowered front splitter, super low-profile tires on massive wheels, and a number 3 writ large on the bodyside. The Mazda3 sedan gets a similar treatment without the numeration.
Mazda clearly isn’t done telling the performance story for its impending Mazda6 Skyactiv-D diesel, either. The gray over black sedan is wearing a “CS6 Diesel” marking on its door, and could perhaps be a toned down version of the company’s Skyactiv-D racecar. Look for more information about the SEMA cars on the Mazda stand, when we have it.
Consumer Reports has released its annual Auto Reliability Rankings, and surprise of surprises, Japan is dominant. Among brands in 2014, Lexus, Toyota and Acura make up the top three marques, while Mazda, Infiniti, Honda and Subaru sit fifth, sixth, eighth, and tenth, respectively. For those keeping track at home, Japan’s dominance wasn’t complete, though.
Audi’s 2014 models helped the German brand jump from eighth to fourth, while Volvo saw a massive, 13-spot improvement, to seventh overall. Even GMC got in on the action, jumping three places, to ninth.
Outside of the top 10, America, Europe and Japan saw more mixed results. Scion took the biggest tumble of any brand, falling ten positions to number 11, while Subaru, though still in the top ten, dropped five spots (coincidentally, CR had nothing good to say about Subaru and Toyota’s joint venture, calling the BRZ and Scion FR-S each brand’s least reliable vehicle). Nissan fell nine places to number 22 overall. BMW and Mercedes-Benz each climbed one place, to fifteenth and thirteenth, respectively.
The big earners, though, besides Volvo, included Buick, which jumped nine places to number 12. Chrysler and Ram both saw improvements, turning in at 18 and 19 respectively, although Jeep dropped four spots and Dodge stayed level at number 24. After a big fall in last year’s rankings, Ford made a mild improvement, but was still dinged by CR over infotainment issues relating to MyFord Touch. Only Lincoln and Mini scored worse than the Blue Oval.
While the American and European brands have gained ground in terms of individual marques, Japan still has a firm grasp on individual vehicle categories. Of the 18 vehicle categories, ranging from subcompacts to sports cars to full-size pickups, Japanese models led 14 categories, including the midsize car and midsize SUV rankings. Europe captured the remaining four categories, while US cars and trucks were relegated to silver medals, at best.
Take a look below for a full press release on the 2014 rankings from Consumer Reports, and be sure to pick up CR’s December 2013 issue for the full story on the annual Auto Reliability Rankings.
Japan dominates Consumer Reports Annual Auto Reliability Rankings, US and Europe gaining originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Oct 2013 14:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
When Lauren Carter of Glen Ellyn, IL was in the market for her first car, she went for a Mazda3. Not a bad choice, but not necessarily remarkable on the surface. After all, Mazda sold 123,361 of them here last year alone. What she didn’t know was that the car she bought was the 10 millionth Mazda had sold in the US over the course of its 43-year history here, since selling its first rotary-powered R100 here in 1970.
Rather than let the occasion pass with nothing more than a press release (like the one below), Mazda gave Lauren a brand-new 2014 Mazda3 to replace the 2013 model she had bought. Which is a nice gesture, of course, but also enables Mazda to hold on to the landmark 10,000,000th car in its heritage collection.
Mazda sells 10 millionth car in the US, does something special originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Oct 2013 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Mazda has made huge gains in its competitive set with the introduction of its Skyactiv technologies, and the Japanese automaker appears to have no plans on slowing down. While we’re still waiting for the Mazda6 Skyactiv-D diesel to go on sale in the US, Mazda announced that it will debut new Skyactiv-Hybrid and Skyactiv-CNG versions of the Mazda3 (standard US-spec model shown above) at next month’s Tokyo Motor Show.
Matching up with what we heard earlier in the summer, the Mazda3 Skyactiv-Hybrid is intended for Japan only, but there are no details about this system regarding fuel economy, electric components or specs. Likewise, there are no details for the Mazda3 Skyactiv-CNG Concept, which is a bi-fuel version of the car running on both gasoline and compressed natural gas. As this car’s name suggests, the CNG model is a concept vehicle, and there is no indication that Mazda plans offering such a model here in the US.
In addition to these two vehicles, Mazda will also have an Atenza (Mazda6) on display showing off some vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) safety systems, called the ASV-5 (Advanced Safety Vehicle). Scroll down for Mazda’s official press release.