Ouch: Mazda Doesn’t Benchmark Against BMW Anymore Because the Toyota Camry Handles Better
Snow has fallen in the summertime!by Kirby Garlitos, on
A Mazda engineer has admitted that the Japanese automaker used BMWs as benchmarks in the development of its models. That’s no longer the case, though, because Mazda has turned to another model to use for benchmarking purpose. That model is the Toyota Camry, a car that has had its own history of ignominious handling capabilities. But the script has recently flipped. In Mazda’s mind, BMWs are no longer the “Ultimate Driving Machines” that they used to be.
BMW was famous for developing cars that were engaging, driver-focused, and fun to drive.
As hard as it is to believe, there is a semblance of truth to what the Mazda engineer said to Autoguide. BMW was famous for developing cars that were engaging, driver-focused, and fun to drive. The BMW M3 E46 fit that bill. So did the M5 E39 and, most recently, the 1 Series M Coupe. But the script has flipped on BMW in recent years. The German automaker still produces awesome cars that drive incredible — the M2 is a good example — but it’s missed more than it’s hit in this department.
Other automakers like Mazda discover this first-hand because BMWs were often used as benchmarks in the development of its models. With today’s crop of Bimmers not living up to its “Ultimate Driving Machine” reputation, Mazda turned its sights on a car that has overcome its own flawed driving and handling reputation: the Camry.
There’s no denying that today’s Camry is leaps and bounds better than its recent iterations
To be fair, the new Camry is still not the best-driving car in the world. It may not even be the best-driving car in its segment because the current Honda Accord has won over its share of new fans. But there’s no denying that today’s Camry is leaps and bounds better than its recent iterations. Apparently, it’s improved enough for Mazda to start using it as its benchmark. The Camry’s improvement also speaks to how concerned Mazda is at the moment. “If the Camry sold so well before when it was so boring to drive, they now actually have a good handling car on their hands,” the engineer told Autoguide.
They say that nothing is ever certain in a business as actively evolving as the auto industry. Turns out, that also holds true for automakers who use their rivals’ models for benchmarking purposes. For those who never thought they’d see the day that a Toyota Camry would supplant BMWs as a benchmark model, well, in Mazda’s world, that day has come.
Read more Mazda news.
Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota Camry.