Category Archives: Mazda

Shh, Don’t Tell Anyone: 2018 Mazda 6 Becomes A-New

2018 Mazda 6 Signature 2.5 TurboFeelAlive being the mantra of the Mazda automotive company truly describes the emotions that will come over you when you drive the new 2018 Mazda 6 2.5. Be it the entry level with a manual transmission or the full-featured20180503_115128 signature with the Turbo SKYACTIV-G 2.5 L DOHC 4-Cylinder Engine.

 

Be Inspired. Be Extraordinary.

As you approach the 2018 Mazda6, it may not look that different than it has for the last four years. Look again, the flowing body lines may be the same, this is a very different mid-size sedan, and at a lower price than last year.

So how is that possible?

The Jacob Brown from Mazda North America OperationsWe asked Jacob Brown, Communications Manager for Mazda North America Operations just that question. “How can you build and sell the same car for less than last year’s model?”  Jacob’s response was interesting as he showed us the 2018 Mazda6 that includes thousands of dollars of more value than it did in 2017?”

Brown explained that Mazda works closely with suppliers, and jointly they develop advanced business practices of sharing resources, parts and common architecture across platforms to produce products at a better price.

 

What is New in the 2018 Mazda6?

Plenty of Headroom in the 2018 Mazda6 rear seat
Plenty of Headroom in the 2018 Mazda6 rear seat

Mazda provides a premium feel vehicle at a competitive price. And there is no better display of that than the 2018 Mazda6. Build quality, fit finish and drive experience are designed to be competitive with luxury brands at a lower price. The 2018 Mazda 6 sports more than 150 changes. Changes that have improved safety ride quality and overall experience. Two-millimeters thicker sheet metal along with thinner panel gaps and thicker rubber strips on doors help to make the car stronger and quieter. Along with an improved suspension and two refined powerplants are all part of the many changes you will find in the 2018 Mazda6.

 

Engine

Skyactiv Mazda6 2.5 Turbo EngineThe addition of a Turbo with the most torque in its class to an already powerful and efficient 4-cylinder engine is the big news in the upper trim level models. That does not ignore the base model whose naturally aspirated engine (non-turbo) has been improved with cylinder deactivation. Yes, you heard it, a four-cylinder engine that can run on just two cylinders. Thus, the Mazda6 offers the best in class EPA Fleet Fuel Economy with 23 city, 31 highway and 26 miles per gallon, combined for the 2.5T and 26 to 35 MPGs for the naturally aspirated engine (not official govt numbers.) Both engines will run on regular but running premium fuel especially at higher elevations will make a noticeable improvement in power.

 

Driver Experience

Mazda6The interior of the Mazda6 is different: Even before you ignite the engine, you will sense this mid-sized sedan is different from the others. The front seats fit! Designed for the American body type, understanding that as Mr. Brown said, “We have Love Handles.” Saying the seat design considers our wider frame. Upper trim levels of the Mazda6 now have heated and COOLED seats. While heated seats have been around for more than a generation; cooled seats are something you normally only find with expensive option packages of higher priced cars.  We found the Napa Leather driver’s seat to be extremely comfortable. While other manufacturers may ignore the rear seat passengers, Mazda has not! Even rear headroom and legroom are generous for a car of its size.

Mazda6 interior with Sen wood trimEvident in the Mazda6 in Signature Trim, we drove is the use of premium materials: Japanese Sen wood, (used to produce Japanese Wadaiko drums and quality furniture.) Elsewhere you find well-styled treatments; Ultrasuede on the dash gives a soft, elegant look and feel, and the aluminum trim on the interior door handles flow into the design giving the car a very up-market feel.

 

The technology in the 2018 Mazda6 is oriented to the driver.  The available Mazda Active Driving Display now projects onto the windshield in front of the driver, (in the past it was on an odd plastic outcropping.) The seven-inch digital gauge display for the driver and the eight-inch Mazda Connect™ Infotainment system.  New for 2018 is a 360 camera, full speed radar cruise control with stop & go. Apple Carplay and Android Auto are available and on early production models with the 7” screen can be retrofitted at the dealership.2018 Mazda6 Exterior

 

Outside the car: You will not see a lot of chrome or even trim-level defining badging on the Mazda6. There are subtle changes for 2018 such as standard LED head and tail lights and additional sound deadening within the fenders.

 

Suspension

2018 Mazda6 GrillOn our test drive, we were impressed with the ride. While part of the Skyactiv design philosophy is too lightweight the car, 2018 model is a heavier car than its predecessor.  Brown shared with us that Mazda cars are tuned to be driver friendly cars, designed for the real everyday road, not only for the racetrack. The weight is shifted forward onto the front tires resulting in a smoother ride that dampens bumps and transitions well over surfaces, and more accurate steering. And for a front-wheel-drive car with 310 lbs of torque we were very impressed that there was no torque steer (when the steering fights being controlled because the wheels are providing traction.)

 

Let’s talk Price

The 2018 Mazda6 has a $500 lower retail price than 2017: The Sport Model begins at $21,950 with a 6-Speed Manuel transportation and $23.000 with Automatic. Step up to a Touring model for $25,700, Grand Touring for $29.200; Grand Touring Reserve $31,270 and Signature $34,750.  Add-ons: i-ACTIVSENSE Package for the Sport, $625; Paint: Soul Red Crystal $595, Machine Gray Metallic $300, Snowflake White Pearl Mica $200. This does not include delivery charges, taxes or tags.

 

The Mazda6 is in Mazda dealerships now

Mazda aspires to offer a class above experience within their network of dealerships to match the premium upmarket products they build and sell.

 

There is No Mediocre with Mazda

20180503_114527Mazda is a small batch car maker that provides products at a mainstream price. Not a big manufacturer with just 1.6 million worldwide vehicles produced, of which about 290K are sold in the USA.

In today’s marketplace, it is refreshing to hear a car company being proud of their heritage. And as a Japanese company, Mazda is focused on the quality and craftsmanship they build into each one of their products. Mazda and its suppliers, based on the western side of Japan, not on the eastern industrial hub, where they never stop challenging themselves to do better.

Independently owned, Mazda recently purchased a small stake in Toyota, and Toyota invested in Mazda. Recently announcing a joint production venture here in the USA. Not unlike Mazda did with Ford in the 1980’s and other auto companies in the past.

Mazda employs about 750 in the USA with both a corporate office and a research and development studio in southern California.  The company has design centers in Irvine California, Frankfort Germany, Yokohama and Hiroshima Japan, it makes a majority of its cars in Japan.

 

Good is never good enough for Mazda.

Jacob Brown Communications Director Mazda AmericaWhen we asked Brown why they did not just wait and put all of this into a new model. He replied, “Mazda does not do model years when there is an improvement to be made they do not wait for a new model year or a refresh, it gets added to the car.” “When the Mazda engineers find a something meaningful to update on their vehicles, they do it.”  “Any technologies Mazda could put into the cars today, they put into the cars today.”

When we asked Brown what specifically on the 2018 Mazda6 is directly from the American design studio, he shared that the Initial Shinari Concept in 2010 comes from the American Team. Then they work in partnership with the engineers in Japan to bring the Mazda6 to market.

 

What to look for next?

Skyactiv-X engines in 2019 – Mazda just won an Edison award for the new spark-controlled compression ignition for gasoline internal combustion engines. Using a spark plug as a control mechanism, it is able to finely balance ignition timing and air-to-fuel ration, maximizing fuel efficiency resulting in stronger torque with higher-revving drivability and lower CO2 emissions. Thus, quicker acceleration without impacting fuel efficiency.

 

Words and images by William West Hopper

Advertisements

We are looking forward to the World Car Awards

With the New York International Auto Show on the horizon, one of my personal favorite events each year is the World Car Award. This year held on March 28th.

2018 will be the 14th year for the annual awards and the for the fifth consecutive year based on Prime Research’s 2017 media report. The World Car Awards were inaugurated in 2003 and launched in 2004.

2018 marks the 12th year of World Car’s partnership with NYIAS, and the fifth consecutive year that the World Car Awards have retained their ranking as the No.1 automotive awards program in the world in terms of media reach. While the awards and ceremony are a recognition of automotive excellence is on an international scale and intended to complement and not compete with other national and regional Car of the Year celebrations.

The awards are administered by a not-for-profit association, under the guidance of a Steering Committee of pre-eminent automotive journalists from Asia, Europe, and North America. Peter Lyon (chair – Japan), Jens Meiners (vice-chair – Germany), Mike Rutherford (vice-chair – UK), Tim Stevens (director – USA), Siddarth Patankar (director – India) and Gerry Malloy (director – Canada and president, WCOTY Association).

 

Automobiles Nominated for the
World Car Awards


2018 World Car of the Year:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

– Mazda CX-5
– Range Rover Velar
– Volvo XC60


2018 World Urban Car:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 – Ford Fiesta
– Suzuki Swift
– Volkswagen Polo


2018 World Luxury Car:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

– Audi A8
– Porsche Cayenne
– Porsche Panamera


2018 World Performance Car:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

-BMW M5
– Honda Civic Type R
– Lexus LC 500


2018 World Green Car:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

– BMW 530e iPerformance
– Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
– Nissan LEAF


2018 World Car Design of the Year:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

– Lexus LC 500
– Range Rover Velar
– Volvo XC60


The Road to the World Car began in Frankfurt on September 19, 2017, and was followed by the first-ever Tokyo Test Drive conducted at the BMW Tokyo Bay facility in October giving jurors yet another opportunity to evaluate contenders that might not be available in their home markets. Then, the fourth annual “L.A. Test Drives” took place across a six-day period in November with a record number of 35 jurors participating. At the Geneva show in March, they close in on the end of the Road to World Car journey which will end on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, when World Car opens the New York International Auto Show and also declares all winners in all categories.

New York International Auto Show

Owned and operated by the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, the New York Auto Show is an awesome combination of new ideas, technological innovation, exceptional concept cars and nearly 1,000 of the latest new cars and trucks.  Over one million visitors are expected to visit the show this year to see what is truly possible from the automotive industry.

 

Information for this post is from the World Car Awards Press Release. Photos are from the various automotive media sites. Collated and edited by William West Hopper.

You are invited to the LGBTQ Family Night at the Washington Auto Show on Feb 1, 2018.

2017-Washington-Auto-Show-Saturday-54Join us at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Thursday evening February First, 2018 for an evening of auto show fun with friends at the LGBTQ Family Night at the Washington Auto Show.

 

Sponsors

Cadillac, Lexus, Mazda, and Toyota are; and we hope you will as well. These automotive companies are some of our 2018 sponsors along with The Washington Auto Show itself.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Like last year, this will be a gathering of friends at the DC Auto Show. You don’t have to be an automotive enthusiast, and there will be no set program, just come meet new people, or friends of long standing, and enjoy all the 2018 Washington Auto Show has to offer.

Cadillac XT5
Cadillac XT5

We will have a private room, and plenty of friends to talk with about cars and all else. Thanks to Cadillac and Mazda for supporting our event, we will have snacks and iced tea, but more importantly, we want to get you out and enjoy the show, see the displays and experience all that the show has to offer.

 

Toyota HSR Left SideAfter Party

After the show is over, Toyota and Lexus will be hosting an afterparty for those attending the event. So you will not want to miss that and drink a toast to the New Year thanks to our friends at Toyota and Lexus.

 

MX5 Santa

Why are we holding this event, so that LGBTQ friends and family know that the auto manufacturers and dealers in the Washington area appreciate our business and want us as customers.

 

When and Where?

Date, Thursday evening February 2nd, at the Washington Convention Center (Room to be announced ) from 5 pm to 9 pm (when the show closes) then we will transfer the party over to a nearby location for a little more celebrating.

While there is no fee to attend the LGBTQ Family night at the Washington Auto Show, we ask you to register for the event.
Register Here:

Yes, the event is free, though you will have to purchase tickets to get into the show.  You can get tickets directly from the show here. Or if you want discounted tickets through Groupon, you can click here. Or if you are not on Facebook, send us an email to let us know you are coming and if you are bringing a friend or family along with you.

For information on what will be happening at the 2018 Washington DC Auto Show, check out their daily schedule of events.