Each New Year ushers in an era of business change and nowhere is this truer than with the automotive industry. With technology advancing at breakneck speed and consumer demands broadening in multiple directions, automakers have to remain vigilant and ready to embrace change at any moment. Mazda USA is fully aware of the need for enhancements and for the 2017 year, Mazda has kicked its engineering into high gear, with improvements to safety features, styling, etc. plus added luxury features for greater satisfaction.
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Mazda has been hard at work over the past year, fine- tuning its already impressive vehicle lineup with numerous improvements for better performance and customer contentment:
Mazda 3– This popular and acclaimed vehicle sports small changes to the exterior and interior styling along with updates to the safety feature. Perhaps most important to consumers is the addition of Mazda’s G- Vectoring Control system. With this in place, the steering response is more acute than that of previous models. This makes it perfect for the driver who likes to feel in control.
Mazda 6– Here, Mazda has again enhanced steering response with G- Vectoring Control. In addition, the Mazda 6 has a few additional safety features. They have also added one luxury feature: Heated rear seats. This is great for those who live in colder climates and wish to keep the rear seat passengers snug and comfortable on chilly days.
Mazda CX-9– Mazda’s popular third- row seat crossover SUV has been changed in ways that are less noticeable, but still important. Chief among the enhancements is the reduced curb weight: The 2017 CX-9 is now 200 pounds lighter. This is important because lower weight means better handling, not to mention slightly better fuel economy.
Mazda MX-5 Miata RF– This isn’t a vehicle improvement per se, but rather an enhancement of the present Miata. The “RF” stands for “Retractable Fastback” and it refers to the roof, which retracts in about 12 seconds and can be activated at speeds up to 6 miles per hour. This two- door coupe still offers the slick appearance of a Mazda Miata and similar performance, but with the added coolness of a retractable top, perfect for those days when you want to feel the breeze flowing through your hair.
Mazda on the Rise
Mazda has been manufacturing quality automobiles for a long time. Its iconic Miata is still its best- known and most widely recognizable model, but the Hiroshima- based automaker has expanded well beyond the sports car concept and now produces a fuller lineup of automobiles. Many of these vehicles rank among the finest in their respective classes.
I was a little slow to warm up to Mazda, but my lack of interest wasn’t due to any aversion to the brand or its vehicles. With me, it was more a lack of opportunity. Mazda vehicles are far less common than brands like Toyota, Honda, or Ford. And since they have lower sales numbers and have for some time, I don’t see them very often. Rare is the day when I rent a vehicle and have the opportunity to select Mazda and when I think about retail car dealers in my area, I have to think long and hard to recall the names or location of any Mazda dealerships.
But times are changing for Mazda and just last year, my family and I got the opportunity to test drive the Mazda CX-5 and CX-9 for a full week. Both vehicles were solid and slick, and we especially liked the CX-9, mainly due to its slightly larger interior. This was my first time to drive a Mazda vehicle for an extended period of time and I slowly started to develop an interest in this Japanese automaker- an interest that went far beyond my sporadic curiosity of the past. Mazda is certainly on to something with its vehicles. They seem to make fun and sensory appeal the highlight of the driving experience.
Making Good ThingS Even Better
Mazda is an automaker on the move. Competition for consumer car- buying dollars is fierce and an automobile manufacturer has to be aware of changes to consumer preferences and ready to respond accordingly. Customers expect top- notch quality when they purchase a new vehicle and Mazda has shown a penchant for quality that few other manufacturers can match. Every vehicle in its product lineup was recommended by Consumer Reports in its highly anticipated 2017 Annual Top Picks. This is certainly positive proof that Mazda is doing something right.
With increased sales and widening exposure, Mazda is an automaker to watch in the coming years. I see and hear more about Mazda today than I ever did in the past. The company could have easily rested on its laurels, but it leaped into the 2017 in a powerful way, improving its core lineup and introducing a new version of a popular favorite. It is certainly an automaker deserving of your new vehicle purchasing dollars, and one to keep an eye on in 2017 and beyond.