Auto blogWed, 19 Nov 2014
We're not going to lie to you. The reason you're seeing the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata on these pages again is solely because this is the first time we're seeing the roadster displayed in a color other than the ruby shade it was first shown in. Okay, okay, so this is the first time the Miata is being displayed at a North American auto show other than SEMA, and we'd say that this is the first time Mazda is showing a US-spec model, but clearly this is a right-hand-drive car. Either way, there's still not much to it yet, especially since Mazda is still withholding power and performance figures.
As expected, the ND Miata, as it is already known among the cognoscenti, will receive a 2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder and the buyer's choice of a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic here in the US. The 1.5-liter model engine that had been linked to the car back in the rumormill stage will not make it to our showrooms.
Preliminary specifications still show the Miata measuring just 154.1 inches in length overall, with an increased track width to 68.1 inches and a low, low overall height of 49.0 inches. Despite the larger-displacement engine and its presumably heavier weight, Mazda is still claiming ideal 50:50 weight distribution and a weight loss of over 220 pounds versus today's NC generation. All of which sounds like the Miata has the right ingredients to make good on its promised Jinba Ittai ("rider and horse as one") driving experience.
Take a long, hard look, folks. This is the refreshed 2016 Mazda CX-5, which makes its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show today. And if you're thinking, "Say, that looks just like the old one," you really aren't alone. The visible updates certainly aren't major - Mazda has instead focused on giving the already-good CX-5 some thoughtful upgrades to make it a more attractive package than ever.
Outside, there are some slight changes to the styling, including new LED light signatures at the front and rear, as well as redesigned foglamp housings. Uplevel models also ride on attractive new 19-inch alloy wheels, with a dark finish.
Under the hood, it's all the same. Mazda's Skyactiv 2.0- and 2.5-liter four-cylinder engines carry over, with 155 and 184 horsepower, respectively. Front-wheel-drive, 2.5-liter models get a small bump in fuel economy, too - the CUV is now rated at 26 miles per gallon city and 33 mpg highway, up from 25/32. Models equipped with the automatic transmission now benefit from different drive modes, as well.
The 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show is a busy one for Mazda, as the Japanese brand shows off not only its all-new CX-3, but a facelifted Mazda6 sedan.
The 2016 sedan has been nipped and tucked to better fit in with newer members of the brand's range, including the aforementioned CX-3, as well as the Mazda3 and MX-5 Miata.
The grille's horizontal slats are now trimmed in chrome, while the brand's chrome wing motif on the fascia is larger and more prominent, particularly where it feeds into the headlights.
One day removed from our latest round of spy photos, Mazda has finally lifted the veil on its 2016 CX-3 crossover, giving us our very first glimpse at the Mazda2-based entry into the rapidly expanding world of subcompact crossovers.
Mazda's KODO design language is once again on display, presenting some increasingly familiar styling touchstones including a five-point grille that integrates neatly with the front headlights to present an almost protruding snout that's both clean and complex. Like previous KODO designs, the CX-3's profile features swoopy character lines that highlight the wheel arches and a higher beltline. Mazda has cleverly chosen to black out the CX-3's D-pillar in favor of a floating roof look, a design decision that adds to the model's fashionable styling. It's the rear of the design that borrows most heavily from the Mazda2, largely in the shape of the headlights and rear hatch.
Globally, under that fashionable sheetmetal sits Mazda's 2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder that can be mated to a six-speed manual or automatic. Unfortunately, in North America, it looks like we'll only get the automatic. Regardless of gearbox, power can be sent to an optional next-gen all-wheel-drive system that uses the active torque control system found on the Mazda CX-5. Like the Mazda2, front-drive is standard.
The Mazda CX-3 is just days away from its unveiling at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, but elsewhere in the world, the Japanese brand still has the compact crossover disguised for testing. These spy shots aren't too camouflaged though, and when combined with the previous teaser image, they give a pretty clear idea what the new model will look like.
The grille here is well covered, but the photo from the front reveals the similarities to the design sketch. The rear shows a similar horizontally oriented design as the Mazda2, which the CUV is based on. However, the dipping sides around the B-pillar from the teaser don't appear to be on this tester. Even with all the swirls, the vehicle looks fairly attractive.
Mazda is doing a fantastic job of keeping mechanical details about the CX-3 a secret. It's not yet known whether the model is front-wheel-drive only or if all-wheel drive is also an option. The crossover also likely shares the Mazda2's engine, which isn't revealed for North America, yet. The diminutive CUV will compete with a huge crop of new classmates, including the Fiat 500X, Jeep Renegade, Chevrolet Trax and Honda HR-V. Check out the gallery for the latest glimpses of this Japanese CUV just days ahead of its full debut.
Cold weather might be starting to grip parts of Canada, but our neighbors to the north are going to be able to drive their 2015 Mazda cars and utilities from Vancouver to Montreal with a little more peace of mind. That's because Mazda Canada is instituting an unlimited mileage warranty for its new models.
The updated plan starts with all 2015 model year vehicles (even those already sold), and the scheme simply removes that distance limit on everything but the emissions defect coverage. That means that the Mazdas have one year of service adjustments, three years of new vehicle coverage, five years on the powertrain, seven years against corrosion and three years of roadside assistance for as many kilometers as the owner drives.
The change removes at least one, tiny piece of anxiety about buying a new vehicle because it's easy to know when the coverage ends. "By offering our customers an Unlimited Mileage Warranty, we believe it will enhance their ownership experience by alleviating concerns such as kilometre limitations, repair costs and resale value," Kory Koreeda, president of Mazda Canada, in the automaker's announcement.
Some rumors in the auto industry simply refuse to die. Over the last decade, a few of the strongest have focused on Japan. A few years ago, we could have explained away the constant whispering over a new Toyota Supra, Acura NSX or Mazda RX-7 as nostalgia for Japan's golden era of performance. Today, though is different.
We already have the Nissan GT-R, and, thanks to the Toyota FT-1 Concept, a Supra successor finally appears to be on the way. Acura will someday, allegedly, deliver on its promise to put the NSX on sale. So where does that leave the third member of the Japanese performance trio mentioned above? Well, um, it still isn't happening.
"We don't have that kind of vehicle in our future product plan," Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai told Automotive News when asked about a successor to the rotary-powered RX line. "If you increase the number of segments, then the resources we can allocate to each will decline and that will prevent us from developing truly good products."
It's only been a couple of years since Mazda introduced its CX-5 crossover, so it's hardly in need of replacement just yet. But to keep it fresh, the Japanese automaker is apparently preparing to roll out a facelift for the compact crossover.
The facelifted model is expected to debut at the LA Auto Show later this month, but before it does, a handful of images - apparently scanned from a brochure - have leaked out online. From what we can see, it looks like the revised CX-5 features a new grille with horizontal bars, LED headlamps derived from those on the new Mazda2, new fog light surrounds, new taillight graphics and, of course, new wheels.
Unfortunately we can't see what's going on inside, but it'd be safe to bet that, along with the revised exterior detailing, Mazda's probably taken the opportunity to update the interior as well.
At this point, we all know that the Mazda MX-5 Miata is a highly capable racing platform. Mazda even claims that the car is the most road-raced model in the world. Fittingly, then, the Japanese brand is making a huge announcement about the future of motorsport for its next-generation convertible. The MX-5 Cup is going worldwide in 2016 as the MX-5 Global Cup, and all of the racers are getting behind the wheel of the upcoming fourth-gen Miata, similar to the gorgeous redhead pictured above.
"It has long been our goal to see Mazda fans around the world competing in identical MX-5s, and the launch of the 2016 MX-5 Miata is the perfect time to make this goal a reality," said Masahiro Moro, Managing Executive Officer in charge of Global Sales, Marketing and Customer Service for Mazda in the company's announcement.
The racing version makes its grand debut at this year's SEMA show, although at the moment it's really more of a concept. Mazda confirms that the racer uses the 2.0-liter SkyActiv four-cylinder, but the other important parts like tires, suspension and safety equipment are not yet determined. The cars "will be sold ready to race from a single supplier," according to automaker's announcement for the series.
Mazda is reportedly set to introduce a Mazda2 with a four-door sedan body. Unlike the upcoming CX-3, which is debuting at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show and is almost certain to be sold in North America, this other version's chance here are a bit more mysterious.
According to The Bangkok Post, the Mazda2 sedan will make its word debut at the Thailand International Motor Expo on November 28, and the traditional five-door hatch will be there as well. Both body styles will be built in Thailand with diesel engines and will be the first vehicles to adhere to the country's eco-car rules for oil-burners with a SkyActiv 1.5-liter diesel that will make 105 horsepower.
At this time, there's no indication whether the new sedan might also be sold in the US, but we're not holding our breath - remember, the previous Mazda2 sedan never made it Stateside, either.