Price Range: $17,845 (Mazda3) to $31,520 (CX-9)
Mazda is a Japanese automaker of fuel-economic vehicles that use Mazda’s SkyActiv family of engines. SkyActiv engines feature direct injection and high compression ratios for increased fuel efficiency. In recent years, Mazda has made a push to be known as a premium brand by offering models with its modern “Kodo” styling and higher-end trims.
Mazda has 3 cars and 3 crossovers in its lineup.
The Mazda3 comes as a compact 4-door sedan or a 5-door hatchback. It has two 4-cylinder engine options: a 155-hp 2.0-liter and a 184-hp, 2.4-liter. Both engines can be mated to a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. All Mazda3 models come with G-Vectoring Control, which allows for smoother driving dynamics when braking, turning, and accelerating. The 5-door hatchback has a maximum cargo capacity of 47.1 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down.
The mid-size Mazda6 sedan offers even more passenger room and a more mature driving experience. The Grand Touring trim has a revised Premium Package available that includes Nappa leather sport seats, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, a unique “Chidori” stitch for the steering wheel, and accent interior lighting.
Now in its fourth generation, the MX-5 Miata is a 2-door convertible roadster that offers fun driving dynamics on a budget. For 2017, Mazda is introducing a new “targa-top” version called the MX-5 Miata RF.
Moving onto the SUVs, the CX-3 is a subcompact crossover that is similar in size to the Mazda3 5-Door, but it sits higher off the ground. Unlike the Mazda3, the CX-3 has all-wheel drive available. Thanks to its diminutive size and great fuel economy, the CX-3 is still makes for city-friendly driving experience.
The compact CX-5 has been redesigned with a bolder interpretation of its “Kodo” design language. The headlights are sharper. The front grille is hollowed-out and outlined with chrome. The lower fascia has been simplified and concaved. Overall, the CX-5 looks much sleeker and more refined than its predecessor. All the while, it still offers great fuel economy, exceptional driving dynamics, and a premium interior at a competitive price.
For those with a large family, the mid-size CX-9 has seating for up to 7 passengers across 3 rows. This year, the Grand Touring trim has been unseated by a new top-end Signature trim that comes with LED accents for the front grille, LED interior lighting, leather upholstery, and wood and metal interior accents.