Category Archives: General

for items of general interest

New Turbocharged Mazda6

The Mazda6 never needed much. It looked awesome, was a lot of fun to drive and even came with a manual gearbox. It only ever really lacked one thing: power. Now the 2018 Mazda6 is here with the turbocharged 2.5-liter turbo engine from the CX-9, and it may just be the best front-drive midsize sedan on the market now.

In addition, it’s more “premium” now. That’s a buzzword that gets thrown around way too much, but Mazda’s doing this for a reason. It’s a tiny company, all things considered. It’s hard for Mazda to compete with giants like Ford and Toyota and Honda. So the answer is to go more upscale, to make cars more profitable by making them nicer and, yes, somewhat more expensive.

So the result is that the updated Mazda6—as well as the CX-9 and others—occupy a weird space between a mass-market brand and a true luxury one. But there’s nothing wrong with that, especially when the cars look great and cater to enthusiasts

Here’s what’s new. The updated 6 isn’t a new car, but a heavy update. Improvements include a retuned chassis for a better ride and less noise, vibration and harshness, more tech features and a heavily revised interior with available Nappa leather and wood accents.

Now, the real goodness is under the hood: a 2.5-liter turbo four with 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque from just 2,000 RPM. Those are the power figures we’ve always craved from the 6, a superb driver’s car in every aspect but its anemic engine—until now. A six-speed automatic is standard there.

The base engine is still a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four with 184 HP, and that can still be had with a manual. Sadly the more powerful turbo engine cannot. That’s a shame, because this car would be rad as hell with the beefy turbo motor and a stick. Oh well.

The 2018 Mazda6 goes on sale in spring 2018 and pricing has not been announced yet, but expect a bump over the outgoing car’s $21,495 base price.

Auto Insurance

The auto insurance industry is not easy to navigate. There are so many factors to consider when shopping for a provider that car owners often get lost in (or cheated by) the fine print.

On behalf of consumers, a team of researchers at Reviews.com set out to identify the auto insurance providers that rise to the top, “based on their ability to serve customers and actually pay out claims; not just on premium cost.” Take a look at their helpful guide here: https://www.reviews.com/auto-insurance/

They started with 41 of the nation’s top auto insurance companies. These are the factors they considered in their comprehensive review:

  1. Financial solvency
  2. Claims processing
  3. Coverage options
    1. New car replacement
    2. GAP insurance
    3. Uninsured motorist coverages
  4. Discounts
  5. Customer support

Their guide not only provides their overall favorite auto insurance providers based on the above considerations, but also offers recommendations tailored to your personal needs – whether you’re a pet owner, veteran, on a budget, or…a classic car owner! (They recommend Grundy) Find their research process, recommendations, and purchasing tips here.

2017 Mazda CX-9

We all want a luxury SUV but the fact of the matter is, not all of us can afford one. The 2017 Mazda CX-9 however, happens to offer the very thing you want but without the expensive price tag. Of course, nothing is really perfect and some things have to be sacrificed to get what you want most. Here’s what you should know about the 2017 Mazda CX-9.

Here’s the deal, the 2017 Mazda CX-9 is built on the same Kodo “Soul of Motion” platform as its CX-3 and CX-5 siblings. This gives the 2017 Mazda CX-9 a gorgeous look starting with its open-mouthed chrome grille along with LED grille accent lighting that makes it standout during the night. In addition, it also has expensive fog lights and LED headlights that basically give the front section a seductive look. According to Forbes, the 2017 Mazda CX-9 also has a strong shoulder that extends from the front to the rear section. Simply put, the 2017 Mazda CX-9 has an elegant look that satisfies any pair of eyes that look at it.

The interior of the 2017 Mazda CX-9 is just as attractive as the exterior. The 2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature in particular has all sorts of luxurious inputs from genuine rosewood that envelope the dashboard and other finishing touches that simply make the 2017 Mazda CX-9 scream luxury. As for the control panels, Mazda has kept things rather simple, which is probably a good move because it simply makes the luxuriousness stand out more. Reading about it may not seem very impressive but sitting in the cabin tells a different story.

The power aspect of the 2017 Mazda CX-9 would probably be something you will not be very excited with. According to report, the 2017 Mazda CX-9 is equipped with a new SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with Sport and manual-shift modes. This engine is capable of putting out 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Compared to the other SUVs in the market, there are certainly a lot with more power but you will also have to pay a higher price for them.

Mazda CX-3 moves you like never before

by Adolf Kaure at NewEra.com

Mazda CX-3 moves you like never beforeThere’s never been an SUV that can move you like this. For the first time, new generation Mazda thinking combines with enhanced capability and a city-friendly size. This SUV comes in front with or all-wheel drive and is available at Novel Mazda in Windhoek.The Mazda CX-3 comes in 3 models namely the Neo, Maxx as well as the sTouring. The Mazda CX-3 Neo comes with 16-inch rims, Halogen headlamps, cruise control and rear parking sensors. Mazda CX-3 Maxx has a reverse camera, satellite navigation as well as leather wrapped gear shift knob and steering wheel.

The Mazda CX-3 sTouring comes in 18-inch alloy wheels with front fog lamps as well as front 2-speed wipers with a rain-sensing function. The Mazda CX-3 is available in a variety of colours. These colours include red soul, crystal pearl white, ceramic metallic, meteor grey, titanium flash, jet black, deep crystal blue and dynamic blue.

Under the hood of this SUV comes two types of engines, which are powered by lightweight SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY. Responsive power is enjoyed with exceptional fuel consumption, no matter which form you choose; be it the punchy 2.0 litre petrol or the keenly muscular 1.5 litre turbo diesel.

The 2.0 litre petrol 4 cylinder engine delivers a sporty 109 kW of power and 192 Nm of torque; using as little as 6.1 litres of every of fuel for every 100 kilometres.

As for the 1.5 litre turbo diesel 4 cylinder engine, it produces 77 kW and a muscular 270 Nm of torque, using as little as 4.8 litres of fuel for every 100 kilometres.

The SUV’s interior is easy on the eye with plenty of tech features. By putting key information such as current speed and navigation into your line of sight, Active Driving Display helps you focus on what’s ahead by minimising road distraction.

There are no complaints in terms of space as Mazda describes this vehicle as “comfortable, clever and capable with a roomy, well-crafted cabin that works with whatever you are doing”.

The rear seats split 60/40 to allow for a large oddly shaped items. Folding down both creates a large, virtually flat floored space. A handy two-way flor lets you customise carrying capacity even more. It can hide a handy extra compartment, or be lowered to expand the cargo bay. Of course your personal stuff is well looked after, with plenty of useful storage.

The Mazda CX-3’s has a style with an exterior which is stylish and stands above.
Mazda describes its interior as “something out of the ordinary”. The vehicle is a creation of KODO Soul of Motion’ design. It is has balancing athletic presence, streamlined simplicity and elegant detail and brings a rare imagination to the small SUV.

Other exterior features which this SUV comes with include; body coloured power mirrors, rear spoiler’ front LED fog lamps and LED tail-lamps. The Mazda CX-3 comes at a cost of N$ 285 000 with a 3-year unlimited warranty.

Meet the New Members

Meet the New Members

New members that have joined since the last issue.  More recent members may appear in the next issue.

Leon L Reister
Ionia, Michigan
Leon has an ‘81 RX-7.

Barbara Ballard

Venice, Florida
Barbara has a ‘95 black MX-6.

Kenichi Obara
Sendai-City, Miyagi, Japan
Kenichi has a ‘94 PT NA8.

Mark Knox
Cincinnati, Ohio

Sparkle Jones
Kentwood, Michigan

 

KENAUTOJAPAN.com

Hi, to all the members of Mazda club USA, my name is Kenichi Obara from Japan. I am a new member to your club thank for accepting me, I am the owner of the Ken auto Mazda Miata high performance parts company.  I specialize in high performance parts for Mazda Miata. I am excited to be a part of the Mazda Miata club and looking forward to meeting other members, if there is any question you would like to ask about your Mazda Miata please feel free to ask. You can contact me at my Facebook or through my website.

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010036200483

http://www.kenautojapan.com

The Future is the Past

I encourage all Mazda owners to read the article, “The Future is the Past”, an interview with President & CEO of Mazda, Masimichi Kogai, in the January, 2016 issue of Forbes magazine. President Kogai reinforces Mazda’s commitment to building cars that are fun to drive and not to get swept up in pursuing driverless cars. I just hope that includes maintaining Mazda owners, like myself, access to manual transmissions in Mazda cars, which are rapidly disappearing in other auto makes’ model offerings.

William Sirull

Mazda CX-5 Gets More Power

by Doug Gutrie

Last summer, I drove the 2013 Mazda CX-5 and thought, huh?

The compact crossover SUV was well regarded, a finalist for the Detroit North American International Auto Show Truck of the Year award. Yet the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine was weak and buzzy-sounding.

Since then, Mazda upgraded the 2014 CX-5 lineup by adding 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engines with 29 more horsepower and 35 more pound-feet of torque to its upper level Touring and Grand Touring models.

CX-5 New Engine The new engine is more than more powerful. It is plush because the increased power peaks at lower rpm than the small engine in the Sport model. It’s working harder while making it feel and sound like less effort. More moxie and a meatier sound from the engine bay completes the CX-5 package while sacrificing little fuel economy in front-wheel-drive or optional all-wheel-drive configuration.

Introduced last year, the CX-5’s price was competitive, its handling nimble, fuel economy class-leading and looks unique. Despite the small engine that forces its transmission to do a lot of shifting to deliver power on demand, CX-5’s abundant good qualities made it an instant success.

CX-5 replaced CX-7, a vehicle dating back to Mazda’s Ford partnership. It had shared underlying architecture with the boxy previous-generation Ford Escape. Three years after the breakup, CX-5 is completely new. It immediately became Mazda’s second best-selling vehicle, behind the compact Mazda3 sedans and hatchbacks.

CX-5 is roomy. There’s more legroom up front than in Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, and VW Tiguan. Rear legroom is better than CR-V, Sportage, and Tucson. It equals Escape and Tiguan. Only CR-V has more total passenger space.

The CX-5’s long hood and forward-leaning looks come from Mazda’s latest interpretation of “Kodo Soul of Motion” design. There’s a lot in common here with the new Mazda6 sedan. The badge-shaped grille is a better direction than the grilles that looked like smiley faces.

From the inside, the windshield and hood feel low, giving good visibility forward. Not so good aft, through the small lift gate window. The seating position is high and commanding; the suspension is taut and handles well in the curves.

The practicality of the crossover is the big cargo space that gets bigger with the back seats folded down.

The interior of CX-5 isn’t as nice as Mazda6. It has similar styling with leather-like soft touch materials on the dash and doors, shiny piano-black horizontal accents give the cockpit a wide appearance. But where there is metal trim in the sedan, there is hard, undisguised plastic in the crossover. The area surrounding the shifter looks cheap.

Mazda has simple three-knob environmental controls and a nice, deep padded pocket at the base of the center stack for cell phones. The seats appear to be the same comfortable, well-bolstered units in Mazda6.

The 5.8-inch color touch screen, standard with a backup camera in the Touring model and above, is surrounded by redundant buttons. It’s a good thing, because the optional TomTom navigation system is slow and requires you to follow rigid complicated voice commands.

The most popular model has been the Touring edition, which comes standard with Bluetooth hands-free connectivity for wireless phones and music players. It’s a $400 option on the base Sport model.

All models come with push button start. Options include blind zone alert and something Mazda calls the Smart City Brake System that can detect a pedestrian or a dog ahead and bring the CX-5 to a halt when operating at less than 15 mph.

Grand Touring gets leather and 19-inch alloy wheels that look sporty, but add more tire rumble to the already noisier than average cabin. The ride was more comfortable and quieter with the higher profile tires on 17-inch alloy wheels that are stock on all other models. The competitors in this class come with standard steel wheels and hub caps.

The nimble character of a $30,340 Grand Touring model I tested had me pushing the gas pedal hard and often. So the 25.9 mpg performance I saw in a mix of city, highway and twisty country roads wasn’t bad. The vehicle is EPA rated for 25 mpg city, 32 highway and a combined average of 27 mpg.

If you are looking for maximum mpg, a front-wheel-drive Sport model with a standard, five-speed manual transmission gets an EPA rated 26 mpg city and 35 highway. That’s the best fuel efficiency in the compact SUV class. With all-wheel-drive fuel economy drops to 25 city and 31 highway.

The larger engine is a better match for the bulk of the SUV, earning a rating of 25 mpg city and 32 highway with front-wheel-drive. The all-wheel-drive version gets 24 city and 30 highway. Mazda claims CX-5 can travel 400 miles on a tank of gas.

With the end of the Ford partnership, Mazda had to find new ways to build its cars, launching a holistic engineering approach. Mazda hasn’t gone the hybrid or turbocharger route. Skyactiv technology improves every element of vehicle performance through attention to detail and maximizing system potential. The cars are lighter and their structures stiffer. The engines have higher compression ratios coaxing power and efficiency from lighter weight engines.

Diesel engines in the Mazda6 are next, the first offered by a Japanese manufacturer in North American. How long it will take before the high mileage diesels find their way into Mazda’s SUVs depends on how well they sell in the midsize sedan.

For those of you who are keeping track, yes, I said the same 2.5-liter engine failed to put any real zoom into the new Mazda6 when introduced in March. But that’s a larger, midsize car. The new diesel engine option with its powerful torque is on the way soon for Mazda6.

Adding the 2.5-liter engine put CX-5 on par with the power of its well regarded competitors. It now matches CR-V’s horsepower and is stronger than any competitor’s engines that aren’t turbocharged.

Sometimes you have to be patient before you can, as the Mazda ads say, Zoom Zoom.

Nascar Betting Picks

NASCAR betting picks

At one stage this season Jimmie Johnson looked an absolute certainty to win NASCAR 2013, with a huge points lead over everyone else, but those who chose to put their outright bets on Johnson may be sweating just a little bit, as recent weeks have seen his lead get whittled down. It should be acknowledged at this point that he is still the bookies top pick to win the 2013 Sprint Cup Series, at 8/5, it is just that he is no longer quite the sure thing that he seemed to be a little while back. So who are the other drivers that could be worth a punt?

Well although the standings show him as being well off the pace – eighty two points behind to be exact – Matt Kenseth is down as one of the favourites with the bookmakers at 6/1; so why is that? Well he has won four events this season, which is actually more than Johnson has managed, which suggests that he just needs to secure better placings in the events he doesn’t win. Kyle Busch, with two race wins and one hundred and ten points deficit is another possible (if more risky) pick at 8/1, while Carl Edwards at 15/1 should also not be forgotten. He hasn’t had the wins, but is just thirty two points behind Johnson in the standings. What this goes to show is just how much there is to take into account with NASCAR betting, and why some motor racing fans play online casino games like Motor Slot Speed Machine instead.

With games like this five reel, twenty pay line slot game you don’t have to worry about points versus race wins and other issues – you just put your money in and you’re away. There is also the little matter of the $50,000 jackpot, which is a sum few are likely to win by betting on NASCAR 2013, while the game involving a race between three motor bikes of different colours that you trigger when you score 1000 points is one of the major bonuses of this game for racing fans. The video graphics bring this scenario to life vividly, and let you feel like a racer as well as a gambler, which is surely what every motor sports fan secretly dreams of.

2014 Mazda CX-5

by James Raia of The Weekly Driver

2014 Mazda CX-5
2014 Mazda CX-5

Now in the second year of its debut generation, the 2014 The Mazda CX-5 continues the carmaker’s third-time’s-the-charm good fortune. The compact, five-passenger sport utility vehicle follows the not-to-successful Tribute and CX-7, and it’s proven popular in a crowded segment with its modern look, clean styling, efficiency and economy.

The Mazda CX-5 debuted as a 2013 model at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2012. For 2014, there are only minor tweaks to the car’s first year with increased horsepower in the top-two trims, a collision warning system option and advanced radio technology services.

The Weekly Driver Test Drive

One week after test-driving a high-tech, high-priced, ill-conceived BMW crossover, the 2014 Mazda CX-5 arrived just in time. I test drove the Grand Touring model, the most detailed of the three available trims.

The CX-5 was a refreshing change because unlike the BMW, Mazda offers a lot of features, comfort and logically smart technology without crossing into the land of accoutrement overload and high-tech wizardry.

In addition to a health offering of standard features, the CX-5 Grand Touring edition features 19-inch wheels, automatic headlights, automatic wipers, heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat, heated front seats and leather upholstery.

2014 Mazda CX-5
2014 Mazda CX-5

For 2014, the CX-5 Touring and Grand Touring models have power boosts with their 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engines now producing 184 horsepower, 29 horsepower more than last year. My weekly driver was front-wheel drive, but there’s also an all-wheel drive option. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard with the front-wheel drive calculated at 25 mpg (city), 32 mpg (highway) and 27 mpg (combined). The AWD option is EPA estimated at 24/30/26 mpg.

Likes:

Comfortable, well-positioned, spacious front and rear seating.

Pull-down rear window screen should be the standard for other manufacturers. It’s sturdy, latches and unlatches with precision and remains out of the way against the window yet hide the cargo well.

Strong gas mileage averages for SUV segment.

Simple, intuitive dials, controls, buttons, etc.

With the rear seats folded, there’s 65 cubic feet of cargo space, which is more than sufficient for lots of stuff.

Good overall driver visibility.

Dislikes:

The Tom-Tom navigation system isn’t bad. But it’s far from the best in industry, with lack of screen clarity quite noticeable.

The sound system is only adequate.