2019 Mazda3 - Cover

2019 Mazda3 – Automotive Review

2019 Mazda3 - Cover

2019 Mazda3 – Automotive Review

“Despite sharing the same Mazda3 model name, the two forms represent entirely different personalities”. The completely new design of these vehicles is on the border of drastic and subtle, you could almost call it perfect

Overview

Mazda graciously lent me the all-new Mazda 3 Sport AWD in a beautiful Polymetal Grey Metallic paint. I fell in love with this car as soon as I laid eyes on it and I was not disappointed after driving it. It was comfortable, quiet, smooth, and aesthetically pleasing. It ticks just about every box when it comes to sporty hatchbacks. It’s fun, its AWD, it’s nimble, and the price isn’t outrageous. During my “Month of Mazda” test driving the CX-9, MX-5, 3 Sport, and 6 Signature, the 3 gets the top spot in my books and my heart. There’s a reason the Mazda 3 has been Mazda’s best-selling car since 2003, and this year’s model shows you why.

Styling

When coming across a 2019 Mazda 3 in the wild, you will look twice. The new design is on the border of drastic and subtle. You could almost say perfect, almost. The 3 has a new aggressive face and a round and sporty looking back end. The hashmark grill sits well between 2 narrow and long LED headlights while the shiny and large Mazda emblem sits dead-center and also doubles as the front-view camera when parking. The taillights are a gem to stare at, and they help the 3 give it it’s the wide-body look. The model I had the honor to test had the 18” alloy rims finished in black which went exceptionally well with the Polymetal gray body color. The 2019 Mazda3 finally adopts the all-new Kodo design. The Japanese styling is on point and not in your face about it at the same time. There aren’t any swooping, sharp body lines as you usually see these days on sporty cars, but the silhouette of the 3 is what definitively separates itself from the pack — nothing else in its class like it.

When hopping inside, the sleek styling continues. The Mazda3 seemed to be the only vehicle of Mazda’s 2019 line-up to have the slightly upgraded and tweaked interior. This interior is with the times and well thought out while the other models were a tad dated and a little annoying. In the Mazda6 Signature, the armrest was set a little too far back for your arm to sit comfortably. The CX-9s infotainment system was the previous version, and the cameras were low resolution and tough to use. This was not the case in the Mazda3, as Mazda clearly saw these flaws and gave the driver a clear, almost 4k like back-up camera, and an adjustable center armrest with plenty of cargo space. The red leather accents throughout the dash and door panels, color matching the seats, set a very luxurious and high-end feel. The infotainment is clean, modern, and user-friendly. Android Autoplay and Apple CarPlay work fine, but I found myself using Mazda’s software as it just looked more natural to the inside of the car. Digital tachometer doesn’t look digital at all and is wildly smooth. The quietness of the cabin is one of the first things I noticed when driving. It is quiet. Scary quiet. The cabin was designed with a “double insulated” structure. Engine noise and road noise are reduced immensely. Being 6’1”, I didn’t feel cramped, and visibility was ample. As for the back seats, don’t expect your taller passengers not to complain when squeezed back there.

Driving

Out of the two engines offered for the 3, 2.0L and 2.5L, I was given the 2.5L. 186hp and 186 ft/lbs of torque powering all four wheels with the i-ACTIV AWD.  Seven seconds after the light turns green you can be at 60mph, and for a bit of added fun, you can give the paddle shifters a flick, or 6.  It’s a hair faster than its competition, the Honda Civic Touring, which comes with a 1.5L turbocharged engine. As fun as a turbo is in most cars, its fastened to a snooze-fest of a CVT engine. I can go on for hours about how annoying the CVT engine is, but I won’t, today. The Mazda 3 after 4000rpm sounds nice, and maybe after a few minor upgrades, it can sound great on the daily. The G-Vectoring Control Plus, MacPherson struts, and a newly developed torsion bar in the rear keep the Mazda 3 planted and in control when cornering hard; it’s quite impressive. It gives the driver plenty of control regardless of the circumstance. The safety features seem endless. With a plethora of acronyms on the invoice, just know you will be safe out there. Lane-keep assist, Auto breaking at low speeds, Rear Cross-traffic sensors, Driver fatigue warning, Windshield active driving display, and the list goes on.

Summary

For my money, there isn’t a car that will make you feel special like the Mazda 3 will in this class and for this price point. You’ll forget you’re sitting in a Mazda. The only thing I could muster up to criticize is the lack of excitement. It holds itself together well. No loud noises. No aggressive and darty steering. The engine has some “pick-up-and-go” but nothing surprising. A turbo would be nice to get the juices flowing. Other than that, the 3 is an exceptional car for Mazda. It shows the progression Mazda is making, and it’s setting a new standard for this, and other classes. Here’s to hoping the competition sees the progress and steps up their game, because currently, Mazda’s getting my money.

Key Features

  • As tested: $33,295 (Fully loaded)
  • Fuel Economy: 9.8L/100km (City) 7.4L/100km (Highway)
  • 2.0l SKYACTIV-G
    • 155 hp @ 6000 rpm
    • 150 ft-lbs torque @ 4000 rpm
  • 2.5l SKYACTIV-G
    • 186 hp @ 6000 rpm
    • 186 ft-lbs torque @ 4000 rpm
  • 8.8” MAZDA CONNECT infotainment screen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard
  • Available 12 speaker BOSE premium audio system
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2019 Mazda CX-5 – Automotive Review

2019 Mazda CX-5 – Automotive Review

"From a simple commute to an epic road trip, experiences are formed, and memories are made. Mazda vehicles are more than a mode of transportation"

Granted the opportunity to test the Mazda CX-5 for an extended period, I felt it was the perfect time to put the constant praise to the test. Having now experienced the CX-5 for over 1000 km’s and almost a month of driving in different conditions, I can say that this compact crossover lives up to the hype.

As one of Mazda’s best-selling vehicle, with over 2 million units sold worldwide this vehicle is widely acclaimed including being one of the top 3 finalists for World Car of the Year. Having driven it thoroughly now, I can see why. Mazda had built a car that works, from the highway to city, snow to sand, the CX-5 drives with excitement and style. The high-quality materials mixed with the latest in technology and safety, leaves few things that one could say are missing.

Highlights

  • Great drive, full of the latest conveniences, fuel efficient, all around great value

Lowlights

  • Coffee cup was right near my sleeve! When loaded up with a large baby car seat and a bulky stroller didn’t leave much room for anything else

What’s New

Most significant change in the 2019 CX-5, is the new Signature level trim which features a turbocharged 2.5L SKYACTIV-G engine, and all the premium technology and materials that enhance the driving experience. Also noted that the G-Vectoring drive system, Apple CarPlay™, and Android Auto™ infotainment is now standard on all trim lines.

Comparison

  • Toyota RAV4 Starting From $27,990
  • Honda CR-V Starting From $27,490
  • Ford Escape Starting From $25,899

Options

  • Mazda CX-5 GX FWD – $27,850 AWD – $29,850
  • Mazda CX-5 GS FWD – $30,750 AWD – $32,750
  • Mazda CX-5 GT AWD – $37,450
  • Mazda CX-5 GT Turbo AWD – $39,450
  • Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD – $40,950

Driving

The CX-5 fully loaded with all the bells and whistles, was a pleasure in every environment; and we mean every environment. We took the CX-5 to the ocean, up mountains, through desert, and snow… from our daily commute to an extended road trip, this vehicle surely delivers. With Mazda’s six-speed SKYACTIV-DRIVE automatic transmission, mated to the SKYACTIV-G 2.5T, (which is also found in the CX-9 and the Mazda6), produces 310lb-ft of torque from just 2,000 RPM and up to 250hp.  Currently, Mazda is the only automaker to offer cylinder-deactivation on a 4-cylinder engine, which further improves its efficiency at low cruising speeds. Finally, the G-Vectoring Control Plus helps work in the background to change variables to ensure a smoother ride for everyone on board.

Styling

The new Signature trim takes an already refined CX-5 and intensifies the sophistication even further. With the use of materials like Napa leather and genuine wood, you feel like you could be in an SUV that is easily twice the sticker price. With the available 19-inch alloy wheels, and a wide front grill with large badging the Mazda CX-5 not only can get you anywhere, but it does also so dressed for all occasions.

Tech and Safety

With the package of safety features found in the Mazda i-Activsense technology, the CX-5 helps provide confidence, and assistance to the driver while they are operating the vehicle. The technology like voice command, a vibrating steering wheel when leaving your lane, and a Heads up Display with your speed and the posted speed limit shown on the road ahead of you, helping to minimize distracted driving by providing clear alerts and information to the driver to ensure a safer trip. Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™, and the ten speaker BOSE surround sound system helps to provide all the entertainment needed on any journey you are headed.

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Automotive Reviews

2018 Mazda6 – Automotive Review

2018 Mazda6 – Automotive Review

With a slogan of “Driving Matters”, Mazda has produced a juggernaut sedan that’s a leader in its class. While most North American consumers are leaning towards SUV’s and Crossovers, it hasn’t stopped Mazda from quietly outperforming its competition in the sedan market.

While it may not get the recognition it deserves, the secret is out that Mazda isn’t going to be taken lightly. The all-new Mazda6 has been loaded with upgrades from its previous year, as well as continuing with previously unmatched features throughout.

Mazda6 has been given some improved chassis refinement to enhance its already superb drivability. Complimenting the handling with a slight increase in power. New to the Mazda6 is a 250 horsepower-2.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Paired with its automatic six-speed transmission, with seamless shifting capability and virtual zero turbo lag; the Mazda 6’s power is more than adequate.

Already possessing one of the more elegant cabins compared to its counterparts. It was shocking to know that, aside from the steering wheel and minor trim pieces; the cabin of the Mazda6 is completely remodeled. Whoever said “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” obviously didn’t design this Mazda. However, this does follow the strategy Mazda outlined of pursuing constant updates and improvements on a much more frequent basis compared to the standard refresh and remodel schedule. The new horizontal dashboard provides a more sophisticated look and is easier on the eyes. A thin strip of satin chrome cascades around the cabin elevating the look even further. None of that cheap plastic on the dashboard downgrading its luxury feel. The entertainment module is also less clunky than most, but the rotary controller can take some getting used to, leading to many frustrating involuntary actions by mis-selecting through overshooting the appropriate icon. A seating upgrade is also a new addition for 2018 as well as gaining an inch of display on the navigation screen (previously 7 inches). Which every man can agree upon, you have to make every inch count.

The 2018 Mazda6 introduces various trim levels to satisfy everyone’s price range. Starting with the standard GS model at $27,000. The 187 horsepower 2.5L engine in the GS is partnered with standard features and a fabric interior. Stepping up from there we have the $31,600 GS-L. The GS-L has the same engine configuration but gains premium features such as; leather seating, moonroof, and iActivsense safety controls. The iActivsense safety gives the driver increased safety functions like collision warning, lane departure, and pedestrian alert sensors. I personally recommend the $2000 powertrain upgrade which will grant you a turbocharged boost to the 2.5L engine. Conversely, at $35,800, the GT model will come with the turbocharged, 250 horsepower engine, as well as features like premium Bose audio system, heads-up display, auto-dimming mirrors, and some signature lighting for the cabin. Dipping into the more luxurious credential is a new thing for this Mazda Sedan, with the all-new signature passage for the Mazda6. Special trims for the interior and exterior come with the signature package like; A luxurious Nappa leather upgrade for the seats, a beautiful real satin wood trim, ultra-suede dashboard, a 360-degree monitor, and parking sensors come with the $38,800 top of the line Mazda6.

Changes to the suspension geometry have improved the dynamic handling of the Mazda6’s drivability. Electric steering which has been growing in popularity has been added to assist in maneuvering. I found that the power and acceleration were adequate and it didn’t suffer any of the turbo lag that can easily ruin any driving experience. The transmission automatically responds smoothly and seamlessly. However, the manual six-speed transmission was removed from production in Canada, leaving some drivers slightly disappointed.

For those willing to appreciate innovative design, affordable luxury, and comfortable drivability the Mazda6 delivers on all fronts. These Japanese automakers have made aggressive steps towards putting the competition in its rearview mirror. When you are looking for your next sedan, Mazda has to be included on your list.

Key Features

  • Starting at $27,000 CND
  • Third update to the Mazda6
  • SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with optional Dynamic turbo
    • 187hp @ 6,000 rpm
    • 186 ft-lbs torque @ 4,000 rpm
  • 9.1L/100Km City & 6.7L/100Km Highway
  • Cargo volume 416L
  • Full Color 8” touchscreen display
  • Mazda’s unlimited mileage warranty
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2018 Mazda CX-9 – Automotive Review

2018 Mazda CX-9 – Automotive Review

The 2018 Mazda CX-9, proving that being altruistic doesn’t mean you can’t also take care of yourself. As the pilot that everyone is depending on to get them to their destination, the CX-9 shows us that you don’t have to give up your driving passion when buying a large SUV.

Voted the best large utility vehicle in Canada for 2018 by AJAC and as a top IHSS safety pick, the Mazda CX-9 is full of premium design, craftsmanship, and materials all for an affordable price. Every effort was made to make driving less distracting and more relaxing, in this three-row 7-passenger crossover SUV.

Design

The impressive KODO design is very prominent and unique, with a sleekness and agility combined with a deep muscular stance. The attention to the smallest details is found throughout the vehicle with handcrafted materials such as Nappa leather-trimmed seats, and genuine aluminum and Rosewood trim. I mean even the paint is revolutionary! They specifically designed a new “Soul Red” which is able to deliver an enhanced level of vividness and depth. Mazda’s TAKUMI-NURI robotic painting technology aims to create the most innovative mass production painting process using a semi-transparent paint layer coated on to a reflecting layer comprised of regularly arrayed aluminum flakes, finished with a clear layer that emphasizes translucence.

Drivability

The innovation continues throughout the driving experience, starting with the SKYACTIV-G 2.5T 4-cylinder with Dynamic Pressure Turbo.  The Dynamic Pressure Turbo provides a higher level of power at lower levels of rpm with no noticeable turbo lag. A class-leading 310 lbs-ft of torque at a minimal 2,000 rpm gives you immediate power exactly when you ask for it. The Mazda CX-9 also is equipped with SKYACTIV Vehicle Dynamics, which was the winner of the AJAC award for Best New Innovation Technology for 2017. This technology works behind the scenes to provide a smoother, less tiring drive for both you and your passengers. The i-ACTIVE AWD monitors 27 sensors 200 times per second, so everything from steering angle, windshield wiper use, exterior temperature, and braking patterns is considered to perfectly deliver the right amount of traction right to when and where you need it. At 200 times per second, the CX-9 can start to lose traction, use the electromagnetic clutch to shift power from front to rear tires, and regain traction all before your brain could even compute the minor changes in road conditions. Also, ensuring optimal distribution of torque, minimizing drivetrain energy loss, allowing you to only be using fuel to power AWD when required, providing an exceptional combined fuel economy of 9.6L/100 km. As for the size and available room in the CX-9, the 3 rows of seating provided enough room for us to drive 6 full grown adults out to dinner on a few occasions while testing. Although the people in the back rows might not be the most comfortable if they are over 6ft and have to sit back there for an extended period of time. For use as a family vehicle, you could easily take the kids and all their toys out for an extended road trip without any worries.

Safety and Warranty

Mazda offers plenty of standard and available passive/active safety features to help keep you and your passengers/family safe. Using all the latest innovations such as cameras and radar sensors gives your CX-9 an awareness of what is happening in the world around it. The i-ACTIVSENSE safety technologies support safe driving habits by helping the driver recognize potential hazards, as well as provide pre-crash systems which help attempt to avert collisions or reduce their severity in situations where they cannot be avoided. Now while these systems are not a replacement for safe and attentive driving, like the backup camera or heads-up display, they provide an extension of your natural abilities and reactions. Mazda provides Canada’s only unlimited mileage warranty program. It features unlimited mileage on the 3-year New Vehicle, 3-year Roadside Assistance, 5-year Powertrain, and 7-year Anti-Perforation warranties. Allowing you to drive the vehicle as you intend, not having to worry about how far or long you are driving.

Key Features:

  • Starting at $36,400 CND
  • Seating 7
  • Towing capacity 1,588Kg. (3,500 lbs.)
  • Cargo volume
    • Behind front seats 2017 L
    • Behind middle seats 1082 L
    • Behind rear seats 407 L
  • Headroom
    • Front – 998mm
    • 2nd Row – 978mm
    • 3rd Row – 899mm
  • Legroom
    • Front – 1041mm
    • 2nd Row – 1001mm
    • 3rd Row – 754mm
  • Fuel Economy
    • 6 L/100 Km Hwy.
    • 4 L/100 Km City
    • 9.6L/100 Km combined
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2018 Mazda CX-5 Exterior Driving Towards

2018 Mazda CX-5 – Automotive Review

2018 Mazda CX-5 Exterior Driving Towards

2018 Mazda CX-5 – Automotive Review

The Mazda CX-5 is a perfect example of the precision and quality expected from fine traditional Japanese manufacturing. The bold sporty design combined with luxury features and materials provides consumers an award-winning small 5-seater SUV at a very reasonable price.

Exterior

The exterior of the 2018 Mazda CX-5 was slightly redesigned with a new front grille, and lower placed headlights with sharp LED fog lights. The design of this vehicle embodies the Japanese Mazda KODO idea, reminisce to flowing lines of calligraphy and “soul of motion” that can be found in their art like craftsmanship. While it may be designed with a Japanese focus, they didn’t forget about the intricacies of the Canadian market, with design features such as zinc-coated steel corrosion plates, and an insulated engine compartment for our harsh winter weather.

Interior

Following the high bar set by the exterior design team, the luxury and quality continues to be found throughout the interior of the Mazda CX-5. Starting with the unique signature material found in what they call “Metal Wood,” which provides the warmth and depth of wood paneling with the strength and toughness of metal. Mazda has really focused on the driving experience and how technology can positively impact the massive time-consuming activity of transportation. An example of this that can be found in the interior, is the surprisingly quiet cabin, which has been sound deadened from materials in the floorboards, sound insulating glass, and extensive seal insulation. While outside noise may be minimized, the 10 speaker BOSE professional stereo system was custom designed for the new CX-5 and took into consideration things like cabin size, seat position, and sound variances. These comforts aren’t only for the front passengers, as Mazda has included many features for the rear seats as well, such as heater ducts under the seats, reclining seats as well as available heated rear seats, rear passenger vents, and dual-zone climate controls. The 20/40/20 split can provide up to 1,687 L of cargo space which can easily handle a few large and small suitcases for the family.

Driving

SKYACTIV and i-ACTIV technologies can be found all over the drivetrain of this SUV. The high-efficiency SKYACTIV-G engine helps provide better fuel economy and torque compared to a standard gasoline engine while reducing noise and vibration. The Mazda CX-5 is available in a 2.0 L, 2.5 L, and a 2.5 L with the available new technology of Cylinder Deactivation. This automatically shuts down two of the cylinders in light-load situations such as when cruising at a constant speed to provide fuel savings. i-ACTIV AWD found in the CX-5 can forecast road conditions and adjust to deliver increased traction exactly when it is needed. Monitoring driving conditions 200 per second helps predict road conditions and the technology can ensure optimal distribution of torque and minimizes drivetrain energy loss, meaning that you’re only using fuel to power AWD when it’s required. To put all this refinement to work the CX-5 includes SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS with G-Vectoring Control, which was the winner of the 2017 AJAC Best New Innovation Technology Award. It works behind the scenes to achieve a smoother, less fatiguing drive by responding with fewer steering adjustments and suppressing head and body sway for greater comfort and a higher sense of control during abrupt maneuvers or driving in poor road conditions such as rain and snow.

Technology and Safety

Comes loaded with a slew of sensors, and alerts that help ensure proper safe driving practices. The CX-5 offers many ways to remind you to stay focused on the road and offers an exciting glimpse at how technology will improve the safety and quality of driving in the future

  • i-ACTIVSENSE features:
    • Smart Brake Support
      • Helps avoid or reduce the severity of a collision at speeds above 16 km/hour
      • Alerts the driver and apply the brakes in the case of an impending collision
    • Smart City Brake Support
      • Detects objects ahead and prepares the vehicle by adjusting brake pads closer to the disc
      • The system automatically applies the brakes
    • Pedestrian Detection
      • Detects pedestrians at speeds between 10 and 80 km/hr.
    • Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop and Go Function
      • Relative speed and distance to the car ahead, right down to 0 km/hour, maintaining a safe following distance
    • Distance Recognition Support System
      • Measures the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead and recommends a comfortable following distance.
    • Forward Obstruction Warning
      • Detects vehicles ahead and alerts the driver to an approaching risk of collision
    • Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring System with Rear Cross Traffic Alert
      • Detects objects in your left and right blind spots, and alerts you before a fast-approaching vehicle enters your blind spot
    • Traffic Sign Recognition system
      • Uses cameras to read road signs such as speed limit, do not enter and stop signs
    • Lane-keep Assist System
    • Lane Departure Warning
      • Predicts the vehicle is going to unintentionally depart from its lane.
    • Adaptive Front-lighting System
      • As you turn into a corner, the headlights pivot up to 15 degrees in the direction of your turn
    • High Beam Control System
      • Automatically switches to low beams when it detects oncoming traffic and/or a vehicle ahead

Key Features

  • Starting at $27,920 CND
  • AJAC’s Best Small Utility Vehicle in Canada for 2018
  • Mazda Unlimited Mileage Warranty
    • Features unlimited mileage for
      • 3-YEAR New Vehicle, 3-YEAR Roadside Assistance, 5-YEAR Powertrain and 7-YEAR Anti-Perforation warranties
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2018 Mazda3 - Exterior

2018 Mazda3 – Review

2018 Mazda3 - Exterior

2018 Mazda3 – Review

So much for so little. The Mazda3 is and continues to be a very well rounded car, where it’s clear driving matters. So much so that the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) voted the MAZDA3 Best Small Car in Canada for 2018.

The Mazda3 is always something that never blows me away but always has me taking a second look. This car has everything you need, and even a few things you won’t soon be able to be without. To truly enjoy the Mazda3 you need to look past the numbers, and realize there is so much more to the whole experience than A vs. B. What the Mazda3 really is… is consistency, you know what you’re getting with this car, and you know what to expect, and that isn’t a bad thing. With the Mazda3 they saw the value in not having to swing for the fences, they don’t need to spend finite resources reaching for that one incrementally higher number… Instead, they can offer consistently mid to high-level quality in every aspect of the vehicle.

This is shown in the implementation of technologies like SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS with G-Vectoring Control (GVC). This technology works behind the scenes to do this to minimize driver effort on their daily commute. It can make micro corrections to the steering, and the GVC will reduce the amount of body sway while going around corners or curves. My favorite feature, which I was pleasantly surprised to see at this price range was the Colour Active Driving Display, a visual display of things like posted speed signage and your current speed projected on the road ahead of you. This HUD reminds me of when I first started seeing backup cameras cars, something at first you think might think is gimmicky or unneeded, but it quickly becomes a necessary feature on every vehicle.

The base and special 50th edition Mazda3 is powered by the SKYACTIV-G 2.0L which produces an unsatisfying 155 hp, but upgrading to the premium GT model will include the 2.5L which might sacrifice some fuel economy but will give you a little more impressive 184 hp. Also found on the premium GT is a whole slew of safety features like lane assist making minor corrections to keep you where you need to be monitoring and support to detect objects ahead and either slow you downing or stop the car. Size wise the Mazda3 rightly fits into the small car category. Do not expect the 2nd-row seating to have much or any leg room if you’re a larger person that requires extending the driver’s seat back any further than that of an old lady who drives hugging the steering wheel.

Key Features:

  • Starting at $16,000 CND
  • 155 hp @ 6000 rpm or 184 hp @ 3250 rpm
  • 5/6.2 L/100Km
  • Seating 5
  • Legroom
    • 1073mm Front and 909mm Rear
  • Cargo Volume 350 L
 
 
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2017 Mazda MX-5 RF - Exterior

2017 Mazda MX-5 RF – Review

2017 Mazda MX-5 RF - Exterior

2017 Mazda MX-5 RF – Review

This 4th generation Mazda Miata was an impressive build on the quarter of a century of race-inspired driving. The MX-5 is Mazda’s only current sports car, and as always the only convertible in the lineup.

The MX-5 is Mazda’s only current sports car, and as always the only convertible in the lineup. Mazda pretty much has the small, lightweight and affordable droptop/sports car market all to itself. With a history of being the bestselling roadster, the new addition of the RF or retractable fastback just made sense.  As always MX-5 or Miata as I keep wanting to call it has an excellent power to weight ratio, which has been heightened by the use of premium new aged materials. The use of aluminum and ultra‑high‑tensile steel has shed approximately 20% of the weight of its previous generation model.

Powered by the 2.0 Liter SKYACTIV-G, this naturally aspirated inline-four produces 155hp @6000 rpm. Now while those specs might not be as sexy on paper as the 205hp dished out by the BRZ/86 frankencar, or the 160hp from the very similar Fiat 124. That’s not what this car is about, top speed and acceleration come second to drivability and hugging tight corners. That being said it has an edge on the BRZ/86 by being the lightest in its class and can deliver power more smoothly and on a lower rpm band then its high revving turbo lagging Italian cousin.

Now you don’t sit in a Miata so much as you wear it.  As a shorter guy, I had the feeling that if you were taller than six and a half feet you might start feeling like you are in a clown car, and with the roof down, you probably would be more comfortable with your head looking over the windshield instead of through it. Another common complaint from passengers and our other drivers was it felt like your butt was dragging on the ground, and that feeling is justified with only just over a foot of clearance from your backside to the road. Throwing everything the Miata or sorry MX-5 had into some of our back road mountain twists and turns certainly brought a smile to my face, and it made the driving experience quite enjoyable, the small cramped interior threw a wrench into the whole daily driver/year round car plan. Creature comforts are kept to a bare minimum, while it had things like weirdly placed cup holders, and a minuscule space for items like keys and phone, there was a lack of space and places like door pockets or a traditional glove box were nowhere to be found.

The model we’re testing was the Mazda MX-5 RF, and with the whole “being a convertible” as a huge selling point, it was nice to have the option of a mechanically lowered hard top. Cruising around with some beautiful sunshine and warm weather, it was easy to see why people fall in love with a drop top.  I expected the hardtop to insulate me better from typical road noises, but while driving the MX-5 around I found myself on more than one occasion checking to make sure the windows were closed due to an incredibly noisy cabin. Also, the RF suffered from some visibility issues due to the impossibly small rear window and thick B-pillars. Backing this small car up also threw me off as normally I would place my arm around the back of the passenger seat to assist in swiveling my body to get a better view out the rear window.  However as the MX-5 cabin pretty much ends right behind the seat, this was quite impossible and had me accidentally punching the back window as I attempted to turn my body.

So while the Mazda MX-5 was a fun car to cruise around in the sun, the size and functionality of the vehicle make it just another toy to play with during the summer.  Starting at 30k this is one expensive cruiser that I would be fine doing without.

Key Features:

  • Starting from $31,900
  • Mazda Unlimited features unlimited mileage for our 3-YEAR New Vehicle, 3-YEAR Roadside Assistance, 5-YEAR Powertrain and 7-YEAR Anti-Perforation warranties
  • Fuel Efficiency
    • City – 8.8 L/100 km
    • Hwy – 6.9 L/100 km
  • 4-Cyl 2.0 Liter SKYACTIV-G
  • Horsepower 155 @ 6000rpm
  • Torque 148 ft/lbs @ 4600rpm
  • RWD
  • Curb Weight 1,058 Kg
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