Posts Tagged ‘excellent’

Consumer Reports digs Mazda3, disses Jeep Cherokee

Published by Mazda Blogs on February 11th, 2014

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2014 Mazda3

2014 Jeep CherokeeConsumer Reports has just rendered its verdict on two of the more important cars to launch this year – the Mazda3 and the Jeep Cherokee. Considering the value a “Recommended” rating carries with the public and the viciously competitive markets these two cars compete in, Consumer Reports‘ view could have some impact on their initial success.

For Mazda, that’s a good thing. CR spoke quite highly of the Zoom-Zoom brand’s compact sedan and hatch, testing both models, and citing the excellent fuel economy and snickety-snack manual shifter as high points. Downsides to the 3 included a ride that is agile but “nervous,” a bit too much noise and a cramped back seat. Still, the 3 was good enough to earn its place in the ranks of the “Recommended.”

The Jeep didn’t fare quite so well, with CR calling the polarizing CUV “half-baked.” Although both engines were tested, the magazine called the 2.4-liter four-pot underpowered and its nine-speed automatic unrefined and unresponsive. That’s particularly damning, considering the 9AT’s role in future Chrysler products, including the extremely important 200. Overall, the Cherokee missed out on the coveted “Recommended” rating.

Hop over to Consumer Reports‘ website for a full rundown on both cars, and let us know if you agree with the ratings.

Consumer Reports digs Mazda3, disses Jeep Cherokee originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 11 Feb 2014 14:13:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2015 Mazda2 spotted in Japanese magazine

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 16th, 2013

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The styling changes at Mazda are proceeding at a fairly quick tempo. The CX-5 was unveiled, followed by a refreshed CX-9, the excellent Mazda6, and most recently a new Mazda3. This all happened over the course of less than two years, which in the auto industry is like a long week.

Now the Mazda2 is getting its revamp. Thanks to a magazine scan from Japan, we now have our first look at the new sub-compact, called the Demio, in its home market. Mazda’s familial front end has been fitted, and it doesn’t look quite as suited to the smaller car. Lacking the long-hood look of the Mazda3 and Mazda6, the new styling looks overly rounded, almost bulbous from our angle. It’s still attractive, but the shape is kind of off-putting compared to the chiseled faces of the 2′s big brothers. We’ll concede that the folded magazine page may have something to do with it, however.

The next-generation 2 should adhere to Mazda’s Skyactiv philosophy, which means we can expect a highly efficient four-cylinder engine, although it’s impossible to say if Mazda will do away with its smallest offering’s one-engine strategy. Considering the Mazda2 will be riding on a shortened version of the CX-5′s platform, we’d expect some degree of mechanical parts sharing, regardless of how much the larger platform needs trimmed. Perhaps a detuned version of the 2.0-liter, Skyactiv four-cylinder could be under the 2′s hood?

According to our poster, we’ll see the next Mazda2/Demio in the spring of 2014, likely as a 2015 model. That timing makes predicting which show it’ll be unveiled at difficult. New York, Beijing, and Geneva all fall in the spring months, and are three of the biggest shows on the planet. Our money is on New York or Beijing, which lack the supercar glitz found in Switzerland. We’ll have more before then.

2015 Mazda2 spotted in Japanese magazine originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Jul 2013 09:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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