2019 Mazda CX-5
Quite frankly, the new 2019 Mazda CX-5 with a turbocharged engine and Signature trim feels like a premium car. It packs the gear of the heavyweights in a body that entails sophistication. Add to this a powerful, sporty brand image that I find more alluring compared with its standard competition, and you have yourself a car so well formed one may consider it over an Audi or a Lexus. Up until the new model year, the Mazda CX-5 did lack a powerful engine, and, quite frankly, some of the gizmos and luxuries one can expect of a car of this stature. 2019 comes to correct these problems with a 2.5-liter, turbocharged engine, a whole lot of standard gear for its top end Signature trim, and a fitting price. That fitting price? Well, you will have to churn out more than $38,000 for the 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD with a 2.5-liter, turbocharged engine.
First arriving in North America for the 2003 model year as a replacement for the Mazda 626, the Mazda6 was billed as the Japanese brand’s premium midsize four-door offering. Hailed as Mazda’s flagship sedan model, the nameplate has seen three generations throughout its career, with the most recent getting a debut at the Moscow International Motor Show in August of 2012. Now, it’s time for a refresh, with Mazda dropping details on the 2018 model year at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. The updates this time around are extensive, and include a more upscale interior, improved chassis refinement, and most importantly, the addition of a turbo 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood.
All told, the 2018 Mazda6 gets a rather impressive list of revisions, much more than we’re accustomed to seeing in a simple mid-cycle refresh. And that’s great, especially when you consider how impressed we were with the older model. By all accounts, it looks like Mazda is vying to instill the 6 with a sense of elevated quality and luxury, leveling its crosshairs at more expensive competitors in the segment. At the same time, that requisite Mazda fun gets a boost thanks to forced induction. So then, what’s the end result? Read on to find out.
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2017 Mazda Vision Coupe Concept
Mazda has had quite a few good years since 2012, introducing not only a very appealing design language but also a solid lineup of crossovers and SUVs. In addition, it came up with two wild Vision concepts, one that pays tribute to the Le Mans-winning 787B and one that previews a successor to the iconic RX-7 and a new-generation rotary engine. But it appears that the Japanese firm isn’t stopping here. At the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda unveiled the Vision Coupe, a sleek four-door that may become the company’s larger sedan yet.
Based on the RX-Vision design-wise, the Vision Coupe is unlike any other Mazda we’ve seen on the road. Not only larger than the Mazda 6, it also has a decidedly sporty attitude and a coupe-like roof that reminds of the Mercedes-Benz CLS, the car that started this whole trend. And while there’s no official word on what Mazda will do with this concept, a full-size sedan is very likely in the future. With Mazda having offered such a model for only a few years in the 1980s and 1990s (remember the 929?), a full-size sedan would be a big deal for the Japanese automaker. But until we find out more about that, let’s take a closer look at Mazda’s most exciting sedan yet.
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2018 Mazda CX-8
In a world where SUVs have pretty much taken over the automotive market, Mazda is actually coming up quite short with its offerings, thanks to its current lineup featuring no more than the CX-3, CX-5, and CX-9. Over in Japan, Mazda’s home market, the offerings are even smaller with just the CX-3 and CX-5 making up the only options available to drive in SUV segment. Well, that latter fact is about to change, as Mazda has now introduced the Mazda CX-8. Essentially a slightly smaller CX-9 (we’re talking about inches here, folks) the CX-8 is designed specifically for the Japanese market, giving it something special from the brand that it helped produce so long ago. It takes on the same styling DNA as it’s taller, foreign sibling, while the power to go is derived from the 2.2-liter Diesel that Mazda has been using since 2012, but upgraded to deliver 140 kW or 187.74 horsepower or about 11 horsepower more than pre-2017 models.
Now, the CX-8 is being billed as an SUV that brings new style and depth to the KODO design language, with new “one of a kind” SUV styling. Well, go ahead and take a deep breath and sit down, because you just been taken for a long, hard ride. Mazda is about as bad as the German three when it comes to tooting its own horn, and the CX-8 is the proof. For the most part, the CX-8 is identical to the CX-9 that we have here in the states. The only real difference is the car’s size, which combines a drop in length of 6.49 inches with a drop in width of 4.76 inches, and a drop in height of just 0.89 inches. But, maybe it isn’t all the same as the CX-9 that you can find here in the States, so let’s take a better look at it to see what all Mazda is working with. Either way, it’s certain to be a plus for the Japanese market – those folks have been needed something larger than that CX-5 for a long time.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Mazda CX-8.
2017 Mazda CX-9 – Driven
The Mazda CX-9 has been around for a decade now, having debuted for the 2007 model year. It established itself as a fun-to-drive three-row crossover with a chipper attitude. A facelift in 2010 and again in 2013 kept the first generation CX-9 looking fresh, but it wasn’t until the 2016 model year that things got serious. Mazda’s previous split from Ford meant it could develop its own platform and engines for the crossover, along with reinventing its design language. The result is a stunningly gorgeous vehicle that looks far more upscale than its price tag demands.
Things have remained unchanged for the 2017 model year and its design remains fresh. I was understandably excited to hear Mazda was sending me a 2017 CX-9 to sample for a week. The idea of a beautiful three-row crossover with AWD and an efficient yet turbocharged engine was an enticing one.
The concept of building a fun-to-drive crossover isn’t new, but it’s harder than you might imagine. The taller ground clearance makes for a top-heavy ride and the extra length and seats brings added weight that eats horsepower. Mazda as worked to quell these issues in the CX-9 by removing weight and developing a suspension that could handle well. In the AWD model, 287 pounds has been removed from the first-generation model and the suspension was retuned. The CX-9 uses MacPherson struts up front with a multi-link coil spring setup.
Powering the CX-9 is Mazda’s new 2.5-liter SkyActiv four-cylinder turbo. It might make 23 horsepower less that the previous V-6, but it generates an impressive 40 pound-feet more torque. Best of all, it’s far more efficient. So how does all this work in practice? Keep reading to find out.
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