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Auto blogTue, 24 Sep 2013 16:30:00 EST
Hyundai, Mazda and Ford have initiated programs to aid victims of the recent floods across Colorado. Hyundai is stepping in to give help directly to drivers, offering those with flood-damaged vehicles a $750 credit on a new Hyundai. "At this stressful time, the last thing flood victims should be concerned with is how they are going to replace their water-damaged or destroyed vehicles," Dave Zuchowski, executive vice president of Hyundai's American sales, said.
The Hyundai program will run from September 18 through the end of October, and will cover all citizens in counties declared disaster areas by FEMA. Residents will need to provide proof of residency and a letter from their insurance company describing the damage to their vehicle.
Mazda, on Friday, announced that it'd be donating $25,000 to the American Red Cross and a further $15,000 to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, in the name of disaster relief. Mazda's President and CEO, Jim O'Sullivan, said, "The flooding across the states of Colorado, Texas and New Mexico has been absolutely devastating for not only the people living there but their four-legged loved ones as well. Mazda hopes that those in need can get the help they deserve through such great organizations as American Red Cross and Humane Society of Boulder Valley."
In terms of exterior appearance, not much has changed from the last time we spotted the next-generation Mazda3 out testing. Oh, sure - we can see plenty of details that clearly show the new Kodo design influence (that front end reminds us a whole lot of the sleek new Mazda6), but these latest round of spy shots don't really show us anything we haven't seen before. Oh, wait, yes they do - the interior.
Feast your eyes on the Mazda3's insides, showing a vastly reworked interior that also takes cues from the automaker's most recently refreshed products. We can see that there's a simple, clean center stack with a slim row of heating and cooling functions, and up top there's a large, presumably touchscreen display, with redundant controls found just aft of the shifter.
We expect that the 2015 Mazda3 will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September, packing both petrol and diesel engines. A sedan variant is also in the works, and should debut shortly after the hatchback.
We're not going to beat around the bush: for the kind of person who willfully chooses to take longer, windier and more scenic routes to get to Point B, the 2014 Mazda3 is the new compact car measuring stick by which others will be judged. That doesn't, of course, make it the right choice for every buyer.
We'll spend the next thousand words or so explaining the whys and hows that make our opening statement a fact, but for now, suffice it to say that Mazda has engineered its latest crop of vehicles - namely the CX-5, Mazda6 and its smaller sibling and subject of this test, the Mazda3 - from the ground up. Absolutely everything about the Mazda3 is refined for 2014, from its chassis to its engines and everything in between, and it was done in a completely new and holistic way. Every component, subcomponent and stamping required to bolt and weld together an automobile was rethought to ensure the Mazda3 has what it takes to compete with such established benchmarks as the Honda Civic and Ford Focus.