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Mazda2 nets Japan Car of the Year, Cherokee first US model to ever crack top 10

Tue, 14 Oct 2014

The 2015 Mazda2 is quite high up on our must-drive list. Yes, the teeny, tiny successor to the 100-horsepower five-door is worth getting excited over, largely because the previous generation was one of the absolute best smiles-per-dollar values on the market.

While we eagerly await for our opportunity to take to the 2's helm, our expectations of the new car have just been heightened thanks to its win in Japan's Car of the Year competition. Called "Demio" in the land of the rising sun, Japanese journalists handed out Mazda's second COTY award since the CX-5 took the title in 2012.

In more surprising news, the new Jeep Cherokee has made the list of 10 Best Cars in Japan. The Jeep's triumph marks the first time an American car has cracked the top ten, finishing eighth. It's not, however, the first Fiat Chrysler vehicle to snag the title, following in the footsteps of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta and Fiat Panda. Still, the fact that an American brand can make such impressive inroads into the traditionally tough-to-crack Japanese market is a seriously big deal.

Take a look below for the official press release from Mazda, as well as the Google translated release from Jeep.


New-generation subcompact aims to change the way people see this class of car
Mazda secures Japan's leading automotive award for second time in three years
The all-new Mazda2 (Mazda Demio in Japan) was named the 2014-2015 Car of the Year Japan yesterday (13 October). Mazda's next-generation supermini is thereby the second Mazda to capture the coveted award in three years after the Mazda CX-5 won in 2012-2013.

Recently launched in Japan, the all-new Mazda2 is the fourth new-generation Mazda equipped with the full range of SKYACTIV technology to go with its striking KODO – Soul of Motion design. It thus joins the Mazda CX-5, Mazda6 and all-new Mazda3. The European market launch is slated for early 2015.

Mazda aspired to build a subcompact that would shatter preconceived notions about B-segment cars, packing the all-new Mazda2 with a wealth of new technology and innovative design features. These include the SKYACTIV-D 1.5-litre, a brand-new clean diesel delivering generous torque together with CO2 emissions under 90g/km, and an extraordinarily ergonomic cabin including the first head-up display in this class and MZD Connect, Madza's remarkably safe and easy to use in-vehicle connectivity concept. The all-new Mazda2 also comes with the company's state-of-the-art i-ACTIVSENSE active safety systems.

All passenger cars with expected annual sales of at least 500 units and announced or launched in Japan between 1 November 2013 and 30 September 2014 were eligible for this year's award. The all-new Mazda2 is the fifth Mazda to win it.

"We are both honoured and grateful that the Mazda2 has received such a prestigious award," commented Mazda Motor Corporation's President and CEO Masamichi Kogai. "This result is thanks to the enthusiastic support of all people who love cars. Inspired by this award, we will continue our quest to build cars that add a certain sparkle to the lives of their owners, and aim to become a one-and-only brand chosen by customers again and again."

Awarded "Jeep® Cherokee (Jeep Cherokee)" American cars first, the "Japan Car of the Year" and "10 Best Car"! - Awards for three consecutive years as the Fiat Chrysler Japan -

(: Minato-ku, Tokyo, President: Head Office Pontus Hegusutoromu) Fiat Chrysler Japan was launched from May 17 this year "Jeep® Cherokee (Jeep Cherokee)" is, throughout the year from the passenger car to be announced in Japan It was awarded for the first time as American cars, to select the most excellent car "2014-2015 Japan Car of the Year" and "10 Best Car" (?).

As Fiat Chrysler Japan, in the "2012-2013 Japan Car of the Year", "Alfa Romeo Giulietta (Alfa Romeo Giulietta)", in the "2013-2014 Japan Car of the Year", "FIAT Panda (Fiat Panda) "has won the" 10 Best Car ", and won the award for three consecutive years concluded by this time. In addition, it will be the case is the first model of different brands of three was elected to the "10 Best Car" from one company. Note that, in the final selection of the time, it became the 8th and scored 15 points.

First generation that are also referred to as SUV pronoun it becomes a big hit all over the world, including Japan, "Jeep Cherokee" was being turned on for the first time in Japan in 1985. New this falls on the fourth generation to "Jeep Cherokee", of about 70 outstanding on-road performance, Jeep record number such as adopting exterior / interior design and modern revolutionary, off-road performance of the Jeep tradition, the 9-speed automatic transmission such as safety features has become a feature.

By Brandon Turkus

See also: 2015 Ford F-150 named Truck of Texas, Lincoln and Jeep also awarded at Truck Rodeo, Chrysler mum on Toledo Wrangler production after meeting Ohio leaders, Toledo gets proactive in fight to keep Jeep Wrangler.