Mazda has announced changes for the 2021 MX-5 Miata, and while the model year is mostly a quiet one for the enthusiast-favorite sports car, there is one striking new addition: a White Nappa leather option.
Sure to be the bane of Miata restorers years hence, the White Nappa leather is exclusive to the Grand Touring trim level, where it carries a $300 upcharge. Sadly, where Mazda giveth, it also taketh away, as last year's Red Nappa leather option has been dropped, and Tan Leather also falls by the wayside. That leaves black as your only other leather color choice.
The Mazda Heroes program is finally announcing its winners. If you recall our original story back in October this year, Mazda said it was giving away 50 MX-5 Miata 100th Anniversary Special Edition models. Each car is destined for individuals who "tirelessly dedicated themselves to their communities throughout 2020" through "selfless acts, creative thinking and contributions to community." The battle against Covid-19 has been long, and it's not over, but Mazda is trying to bring a little convertible happiness into an otherwise bleak year.
One of the winners, Jason Erdreich, is featured in the video at the top of this post. He used his skills as a shop teacher and access to 3-D printers to print thousands of pieces of PPE for medical workers who were in dire need of it. He also appears to own an NA Miata, so he's no stranger to Mazda's roadster.
In our review of the Mazda CX-30, we said that this crossover is so gifted dynamically, it was practically begging for more power. Mazda answered by adding a new turbo engine for 2021, and now we know how much the extra grunt is going to cost. Mazda has released pricing for the more potent CX-30, and the Turbo model opens at $31,000 (including the $1,100 destination charge), putting it above even the top-trim base-engine version.
The turbocharged 2.5-liter engine makes 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque on regular gas, or 250 horses and 320 lb-ft with 93-octane (against 186 hp and 186 lb-ft for the standard 2.5-liter). Besides the extra output, the CX30 2.5 Turbo also comes standard with all-wheel drive, which is $1,400 extra on the regular CX-30.
Mazda's next-generation CX-5 will graduate from premium to luxury to bolster the firm's upmarket push, according to a recent report. It will again take the form of a crossover, but it might spawn a fastback-like model.
Japanese magazine Best Car learned from company insiders that the next CX-5 will be comparable to the BMW X5 and the Mercedes-Benz GLC. If that's accurate, the people-mover will receive substantial upgrades in the coming years, because the current model is not as big, not as luxurious, and not as quick as either of those SUVs.
Mazda began selling cars in the United States all the way back in the late 1960s, with the Cosmo Sport 110S, and many interesting(ly strange) Wankel-powered machines followed, but they eventually gave way to much more conventional piston-powered cars such as the the original 626 that the ex-cork-making company from Hiroshima offered here starting in 1979. That car didn't sell so well, though it looked good and boasted build quality as good as the better-known Japanese brands. Starting with the 1983 model year, a new 626 with front-wheel-drive appeared here, with production continuing through 1987. That car did a better job at luring buyers away from Nissan and Toyota showrooms, but examples are nearly nonexistent today. Here's one of those cars, found in a Colorado yard overseen by Pikes Peak.
For time immemorial, or at least the past six years, Toyota and Lexus have sat at the top of Consumer Reports' annual survey of vehicle reliability. It was almost as much a given as blue skies and taxes. Not any more. Mazda has dethroned them both, ascending to the No. 1 spot for the first time.
According to the report, Mazda nabbed the top spot with powertrains and that used durable (and more fun) six-speed automatic transmissions instead of CVTs, which tend to be more fragile. Mazda also didn't rely on overly fancy infotainment systems, instead bucking industry trends with cockpits that discourage screen use during driving and encourage buttons and dials that can be handled without taking your eyes off the road. The most reliable Mazda was the MX-5 with a score of 98 out of 100, followed by the CX-30, CX-3, and CX-5, all scoring 85 or better.
So you need a big family SUV, but you really don't want one. You'd definitely miss driving your smaller, sportier car, and frankly, you'd rather not hold a grudge against your kid(s) and significant other for forcing you into some vast, cumbersome beast of an automotive pachyderm. Well, there might be a happy medium: the 2021 Mazda CX-9.
The CX-9 may be a three row, seven-passenger crossover, but it prioritizes driving enjoyment and interior ambiance over providing maximum space and practicality. Now that does mean it has less cargo space than those vast, cumbersome beasts and bigger kids will struggle to fit in its third row. It also can seat only seven passengers. In that way, it's better to think of the CX-9 as a two-row SUV with a bonus row for rare occasions. Honestly, that's what most people use their three-row crossovers for anyway, and if that fits your needs, then the CX-9 is a great way to go. It's a rewarding, comfortable and capable people-hauler that doesn't feel like a punishment for parenting.
Buried in Mazda's generally bleak second-quarter earnings report were a few juicy nuggets of news. Though the company had an operating loss of $502 million and sales are down 21 percent in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hiroshima-based firm has big plans for the future. Enthusiasts and environmentalists alike should take note.
Firstly, Mazda showed an image of its upcoming straight-six engine. Essentially, it's the SkyActiv four that powers all of Mazda's current lineup, but with two additional cylinders. Unsurprisingly, the company says that it can be engineered to fit any of the current SkyActiv guises — the standard octane-variable gasoline powered G, the diesel D, and the sparkless-ignition X. The big six will pair with a new eight-speed automatic and can be combined with either a plug-in or 48-volt mild hybrid system, promising big power and efficiency.
TOKYO — Mazda on Thursday posted a 7.59 billion yen ($73.4 million) operating loss in the three months ended Sept 30 as sales contracted amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The loss, calculated by Reuters from the company's half-year result, compares with an 18.9 billion profit in the same quarter last year and a 45.3 billion yen loss in the first three months of the business year, which was its worst in quarter in 11 years.