Best of the Year: Mazda Highlights of 2014

Each year, various carmakers meet different milestones and leave behind certain legacies that they will be remembered for. Mazda certainly had a good year, and now that it’s over, we thought it would be good to take a trip down memory lane to see just what the automaker’s year involved. Check out Bakersfield Mazda’s Mazda highlights of 2014!

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Debuts

After 11 years of the third-generation MX-5 Miata, Mazda finally unveiled the 2016 model, which would be the first in the sports car’s fourth generation, at a Duran Duran concert back in September. The new Miata weighs in at 220 pounds lighter than the previous generation, which will surely make for better efficiency and faster pickup. The 2016 model is still recognizable as a Miata—just with a lower front end and sleeker lines.

Mazda highlights of 2014

Introduction of the Mazda CX-3

Towards the end of 2014, Mazda unveiled the new CX-3—a small crossover that slots just underneath the existing CX-5. The CX-5 made its debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show to much applause—which is unsurprising, given its dashing good looks and rumored ultra-efficiency. We won’t see the production version of the CX-3 until next year, but we’re sure excited now we know what to expect!

Mazda2: Japan’s Car of the Year

In October, the Mazda2 was declared Japan’s Car of the Year, narrowly beating out the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The award was given to the redesigned hatchback, making it the fifth Mazda model to win the award, and the third in three years. The new Mazda2 is fitted with SKYACTIV technology to increase fuel efficiency and boost output. We can expect to see it here sometime next year!

2016 Mazda2 Leads New Class of Stylish Small Cars

Many of the best things in life start out as mistakes, accidents, or happenstances. Take the Mazda2, for example. When Mazda created the now-popular subcompact, they didn’t even envision selling it in America. Those plans changed quickly, though, as Americans fell deeply in love with small cars for their practicality, economy, and efficient sense of style. The Mazda2 made its way to America, therefore, back in 2011.

Now, Mazda is releasing an updated version of the Mazda2, a redesigned subcompact ready to reign over a new generation of stylish small cars. The new Mazda2 will be a 2016 model, and while we don’t have many numbers and statistics about its power and efficiency yet, it’s quite a looker. If the car’s performance lives up to its stellar and sexy outward appearance, competitors beware.

This video of the 2016 Mazda Demio (Japanese version of the Mazda2) offers a great look at what to expect.

In fact, The Car Connection already proclaimed the Mazda2 a winner. “The Mazda2 should break through the clutter, offering a sexy new shape, an affordable price, and the zippy-and-zoomy personality that’s become a hallmark for the brand.” Mazda previewed the new subcompact at the Geneva Motor Show in the guise of its Mazumi Concept—we loved that concept here at Bakersfield Mazda, so we’re pretty confident we’ll love the real production deal as well. Check back on our blog often for updates on the Mazda2 and everything else Mazda!

Finding the Best Back to School Car

For those of us with school-aged children, you’re probably already thinking about or longing for back-to-school time. If you have a new driver or perhaps a recent high school graduate you might have a car on your school supplies list this year.

Here are a few tips for finding the best back to school car.

  • Discuss priorities. Talk with your student to find out why he or she wants in a car. Your ideas of wants vs. needs are probably different, but find a way to compromise. Remember, that if you get a car they actually want to drive, they will probably take better care of it.
  • New vs. used. One of the most important steps in finding a back to school car is whether you want a new or used vehicle. Keep in mind that used cars generally offer a better value; however, new cars will give you the best safety and technology features.
  • Budget. What is your budget for this car? Is your child contributing to the purchase price and upkeep? Who is paying for gas, insurance, and repairs? Don’t forget all of these related car expenses before you settle on a specific model.

Once you and your scholar have hammered out these details, it’s time to start test driving. Both the Mazda2 and Mazda3 are great back to school options that are economical, safe, and fun to drive. Come visit us today at Bakersfield Mazda and we’ll help you find the best back to school car.

best back to school car

2012 Mazda3

2015 Mazda2 Gets Redesigned

For the first time in seven years, the Mazda2 is getting redesigned. The Mazda2 is Mazda’s smallest offering with sporty hatchback looks.

Introduced in Japan under the Demio name, the 2015 Mazda2 will come to the U.S. later this year. It will use Mazda’s fuel-saving, lightweight SkyActiv technologies, including engines, transmissions, body, and chassis.

2015 Mazda2

Do you like the 2014 Mazda2 more? Comment below and let us know.

The Mazda2’s new looks follow Mazda’s Kodo design language in the same lines as the Mazda3 and Mazda6 and is heavily influenced by the Hazumi concept that was on display in Geneva in March. Mazda hasn’t said which engines the U.S. market will see, but most likely it will be the 1.5-liter gasoline engine that is rated at 99 horsepower. Other markets, such as Japan and Europe will get the SKYACTIV-D 1.3-liter and 1.5-liter diesel engines.

It’s so refreshing to see such a stylishly designed small car. Just because you want to drive something small, that doesn’t mean you want something bland and boring with no high-tech features.

Mazda will release more information on the redesigned Mazda2 as the year progresses. The 2015 Mazda2 will roll into Bakersfield Mazda sometime during the fourth quarter of this year.

Mazda Calls North American Facility ‘Most Important’ Base

Despite being a Japanese company, Mazda Chairman Takashi Yamanouchi called its new North American facility in Mexico, Mazda’s “most important global strategic base.”

The newly-opened assembly factory in Salamanca, Mexico will have an annual production of 230,000 vehicles when it reaches full capacity. This facility is so important that Yamanouchi even said “the very future of the company hinges” on its success.

North American Facility

The Mazda3 is the only Mazda car being built at the Mexico plant currently

This new plant will allow Mazda to hedge against foreign exchange rates that hurt Japanese exports, tap into new markets, and provide a low-cost manufacturing base. This will be Mazda’s only North American manufacturing site. It previously used a site in Flat Rock, Michigan, but stopped production there in 2012.

Currently, the facility is producing the Mazda3 sedan and employs about 3,000 people. It is expected to reach full capacity by the end of March 2016, and by then, it will also produce the Mazda2 hatchback and a similar model for Toyota.

Here at Bakersfield Mazda we are excited to see Mazda making North America such an important part of the company’s global strategy and hope to see Mazda grow even more.

Mazda’s Rotary Engine May Get a New Mission in the Mazda2

2013 Mazda2Mazda has a new prototype in the works as the company experiments with hybrid technology and California’s rigid zero-emission requirements.

Though Mazda’s new CEO, Masamichi Kogai, originally stated future production of Mazda’s rotary engine would remain halted, that same rotary engine is now being used to transform the Mazda2 hatchback into an extended-range hybrid.

For now, Mazda is calling it the Rotary Engine Range Extender, or RE Range Extender for short.

There are still no plans at the moment to enter this vehicle into production, but as engineers continue to “tinker” with the technology, its benefits may prove worthy of pulling the rotary engine out of retirement.

The RE Range Extender is powered with an electric motor. A 0.33-liter rotary engine uses fuel to recharge a lithium-ion battery. With the modified engine, the RE Range Enxtender could see a range of 248 miles, twice that of the current all-electric Mazda2.

“We are the first and only manufacturer to commercialize the rotary engine,” Kogai told Automotive News in regard to the company’s decision to hang on to the rotary engine even without current plans to continue its use. “In that respect we have some responsibility.”

Based on the present possibilities resulting from Mazda engineers’ tinkering, the rotary engine could become a more valuable option in the near future. We at Bakersfield Mazda will wait with you to see what the automaker decides to do.

Mazda rumored to create a small crossover called CX-3

A big rumor over the ensuing weekend by AutoExpress was that Mazda is in the works to create a smaller crossover, to fill a market void called the Mazda CX-3. The small crossover would be based off of the Mazda2 platform and would be due to arrive sometime early in 2014. It would likely use the patented Mazda SKYACTIV Technology, helping keep the weight low, and the MPG high.

It is likely that the CX-3 will try to model its driving characteristics off of the CX-5 and MX-5 Miata, making it a fun handling and quick vehicle. Potential engine options could be the same engine that powers the CX-5, the 2.5-liter diesel, and the possibility of two other engines that Mazda has in the works; the 1.6-liter diesel and a 1.3-liter turbo gas engine.

Though there is much to come before the possibility of this new mini crossover, the excitement still mounts.

Mazda and Toyota announce partnership for compact vehicle

Mazda and Toyota have now announced a partnership that will allow them to produce a new compact vehicle for the U.S. market. Mazda will build the subcompact economy vehicle for the U.S. using a similar platform as its current Mazda2, at the soon to be finished facility in Mexico. The car will then go on sale under the Toyota name. The plant is to produce 50,000 units per year of this vehicle once production begins in the summer of 2015, leaving the remainder 90,000 units available for Mazda vehicles.

Toyota has invested a large amount of funds in the plants production equipment in order to offset the cost, and hopes to have a more competitive U.S. lineup as a direct result of the collaboration. Mazda, meanwhile gains the benefit of shedding part of the production costs over a greater number of vehicles per year with Toyota funding portions of production.

With recent trends of Japanese manufacturers looking to move manufacturing out of Japan, this move seems to fit both Japanese automakers plans. Recent earthquake and Tsunami disasters as well as inflation of the Yen caused many Japanese Automakers to have production delays and thin supply of vehicles.

The 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata

The 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata has been long awaited, and since its unveiling in July it has rarely been seen but recently at the 2012 Paris Motor Show it made an appearance. This time warming our hearts with a Mazda vehicle to still be proud of.

The new 2013 Mazda MX-5 is a two-seater rear-wheel drive roadster that continues on the MX-5 Miata legacy of being a sporty line for Mazda that it lacks for most other lines. This time the Miata gets the new Kodo style of body and will have a whole new front facet to show. In addition Mazda claims that they have enhanced the current throttle response and added more of a brake return making what was already a great sport package even better.

The 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata starts at only $23,720 which is a price that many can afford, and it also comes with a 158 HP 2.0 Liter inline four engine. For such a light and small car thats not too bad on the powerside. So expect this car to meet Mazda’s old slogan with ease and “Zoom-Zoom” anywhere you need to go.

Mazda2 may be on the Chopping Block

As with its platform-mate, the Ford Fiesta, the Mazda2 hasn’t exactly made hay with the monthly sales numbers. Unlike it’s Ford relative, however, Mazda isn’t committed to sticking it out with the Mazda2 in the U.S. Ford has gone on record as saying it will remain committed to the Fiesta here, while a report in Automotive News claims the next-generation Mazda2, due around 2014, might skip our shores. The lack of momentum in the U.S. subcompact market is one of the causes, as is the Mazda2’s price: with an asking price of $14,530, it is only $670 less expensive than the four-door Mazda3.

The Japanese company is focusing on its volume models and on getting its Skyactiv technologies fully integrated throughout the line. We’ve now got a full look at the Mazda6, and AN suggest the 2.2-liter twin-turbo diesel with 170 horsepower and 310 pound feet of torque could come to the U.S. after the sedan is launched here.

The next Mazda3 will be a showcase of lightweight and efficient Skyactiv tech, with 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter direct-injection engines on offer, a diesel and i-Eloop regenerative braking being considered. The lighter, more powerful MX-5 Miata is expected to be here in about two years time, and a rotary-powered sports car is still being worked on well behind the scenes.