Price Range (MSRP): $14,720 (Mazda2) to $29,985 (CX-9)
Mazda’s driver-friendly lineup of cars and crossovers is back for 2014 with full redesigns of two of its most popular models, the compact Mazda3 and the midsize Mazda6.
The smallest car in the Mazda stable is the subcompact Mazda2. Only available as a four-door hatchback, the Mazda2 seats five and comes with more standard features than many other cars in this segment including keyless entry and an auxiliary audio input.
Mazda gave both the Mazda3 and Mazda6 full redesigns for the 2014 model year, with both getting brand-new exterior styling based on Mazda’s “Kodo” design language. The old smiling front fascias are out; the new look is mean and angular, a big improvement on the previous styling of the two cars.
The Mazda3 is still offered as a sedan or five-door hatchback, with two powertrain options and better fuel economy ratings. It also gets a revamped interior that improves materials and now features an optional 7-inch touchscreen, mounted high above the center dash that controls the audio, navigation, and telematics functions.
(The Mazdaspeed3 hatchback and its 263-hp, turbocharged four-cylinder carry over for 2014.)
The Mazda6 midsize sedan was also completely redesigned inside and out, with a particularly sharp exterior that is handsome and modern. It offers up to 38 mpg highway, increased passenger space, and a diesel engine option that is rumored to be appearing towards the end of 2013.
If you need to fit more people, Mazda offers the Mazda5 minivan. The Mazda5 really puts the “mini” back in minivan; it’s substantially smaller than the other minivans you’ll see on the market and seats up to six passengers in three-rows.
Remaining one of the best performance bargains on the road today, the Miata MX-5 convertible, available as either a soft-top or hardtop, offers rear-wheel drive hijinks and some of the best handling around.
The CX-5 compact crossover debuted in 2013, replacing the Tribute. The CX-5 is one of the best handling crossovers in its segment, and with its SkyActiv engine/transmission is also one of the most efficient. It also wears the new Mazda design language that is seen in the Mazda3 and Mazda6.
There is also a larger crossover available from Mazda, the CX-9. The CX-9 pushes seating capacity up to seven across three-rows of seats and adds features like standard three-zone automatic climate control. All-wheel drive is optional and the CX-9 comes with a standard V-6 engine for extra power.