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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Mazda Plans a New Crossover For the U.S.

      To be built in the U.S. as well

    In a recent interview with Automotive News, Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai revealed that the company is working on an all-new crossover designed and built exclusively in the U.S.

    "We are actually going to introduce a totally new and different type of SUV. R&D is coordinating with our North American operations on that right now," said Kogai.

    He said the new model would slot into Mazda's current crossover lineup (CX-3, CX-5, and CX-9) and would not cannibalize the sales of any of the current models. Production will begin in 2021 at a plant that will be a joint venture between Mazda and Toyota. Mazda is planning to dedicate its entire capacity of 150,000 vehicles for this new model.

    It is unclear what this crossover could be, but some believe it could be the successor to the the CX-7.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    Photo Credit: William Maley for Cheers and Gears

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    Could be some sort of FJ Cruiser successor that is more of an off roader than the current crop of crossovers.  But they wouldn't sell 150,000 of those unless it was like $20,000 version of the TJ Cruiser concept that Toyota had.

    I think for sure they could do a CX-7 midsize crossover, the CX-5 is 179 inches long, the CX-9 is 199 inches long, so I would say they are missing a 189 inch long crossover, which is at the heart of the market.

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    On 11/25/2017 at 2:47 PM, smk4565 said:

    I think for sure they could do a CX-7 midsize crossover, the CX-5 is 179 inches long, the CX-9 is 199 inches long, so I would say they are missing a 189 inch long crossover, which is at the heart of the market.

    1

    You always look at a car in a single dimension.

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    14 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    The problem is the naming inconsistency they currently have...3,5,9 with 7 missing.   

    I totally agree, yet they could ignoring length that some people singularly always look at could do a CX-7 EV or CX-7 Hybrid that would be about the same interior space as the CX-9 and yet allow them to have that alternative powertrain that they need.

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    4 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    You always look at a car in a single dimension.

    The CX-9 is as large as the first generation Traverse, and the CX-5 is smaller than an Equinox.  That is a huge gap in size and in price point.  

    And length is usually a good way to size class cars because most cars are similar in width, unless you are comparing a Kia Rio to an Escalade, and most sedans are the same height, most crossovers the same height, etc.  Wheelbase and length is what changes.

    2 hours ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    The problem is the naming inconsistency they currently have...3,5,9 with 7 missing.   

    The real problem here is no CX-4 crossover coupe and CX-6 grand crossover coupe and CX-8 convertible crossover (with a wankle engine)

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    Just now, smk4565 said:

    The CX-9 is as large as the first generation Traverse, and the CX-5 is smaller than an Equinox.  That is a huge gap in size and in price point.  

    And length is usually a good way to size class cars because most cars are similar in width, unless you are comparing a Kia Rio to an Escalade, and most sedans are the same height, most crossovers the same height, etc.  Wheelbase and length is what changes.

    Exactly... you're so one dimensional.  Overall length has only a partial bearing on interior spaciousness.  The CX-9 may be as large as the first gen Traverse externally, but it is nowhere near as roomy inside.  

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    17 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

     

    The real problem here is no CX-4 crossover coupe and CX-6 grand crossover coupe and CX-8 convertible crossover (with a wankle engine)

    Definitely...and no CX-1 the size of a Trax and CX-2 crossover coupe...

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    10 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    It's not like the CX-9 is particularly roomy inside even though it is as big as a Grand Cherokee outside. I'm not sure they need something between 5 and 9 unless it is a substantially different crossover formula. 

    EV! EV!

    A great handling Bolt!!!:D

    1 hour ago, smk4565 said:

    What Mazda needs is a competitor to this, and I would call it the CX-SubZero "so cool it's below freezing"

    volkswagen-t-cross-breeze-01.jpeg

    And I actually think that might be the best looking crossover there is at any price.

    Looks like a pregnant Miata......so I'm going with no on that one.....

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    I bet is a rework of the JDM CX-8. In fact that's the only thing that makes any sense if the car is expected to be exclusively a Mazda. But that is an implicit LIE.

    I strongly believe that it's not a Mazda platformed at all, and it's based on a Toyota platform.

    Which makes me think it will be a Toyota skinned as a Mazda.

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      Nearly two years ago, I drove the then all-new Hyundai Kona crossover at a press event. It was a unique looking vehicle that was entering the growing subcompact crossover class. Out of the three Hyundai vehicles I drove, the Kona impressed me most with its performance and value for money. But if there is something I have learned over eight years with reviewing vehicles, is that I can’t take first impressions as final. It has been a long wait, but I finally got my hands on a 2020 Kona Ultimate AWD. Let’s see if my first impression can still hold up.
      The Outer Limits (of Exterior Design)
      You may be forgiven for thinking that the Kona has just arrived in a UFO from Planet Nine due to its shape. But Hyundai knew they needed to make a splash in what is becoming a very competitive class. Designers took some influence from the Jeep Cherokee with a rounded front end and the front lights being separated into daytime lights and headlights. Another design trait is the slit that sits between the grille and hood cutline. Finishing off the look is body cladding running along the lower edge and a bright green paint color only available on the turbo engine models. It may seem like an odd mashup of ideas, but it works surprisingly well.
      A Conventional Interior
      Some will be disappointed that Hyundai didn’t continue the wacky design for the Kona’s interior. But having an interior that is user friendly will always pull ahead of interesting design. That isn’t to say Hyundai hasn’t added some special touches such as vent surrounds and seat stitching matching the exterior color. Hard plastics are used throughout, but they don’t feel hollow or cheap when you run your hand across.
      There is a fair amount of space for those sitting upfront. Comfort is ok for short trips, but I found myself wanting more thigh support on longer trips. In the back, there is a large amount of headroom for most passengers. Legroom is a different story as tall people will find their knees pressed against the front seats. Cargo space is another area where the Kona is lacking. With the rear seats up, the Kona’s cargo area measures 19.2 cubic feet - about 0.1 cubic feet more than the Toyota C-HR. Fold them down and space increases to 45.8. This trails the likes of the Chevrolet Trax, Nissan Kicks, and Honda HR-V.
      The One To Still Be Beaten (Infotainment-wise)
      The Kona Ultimate comes equipped with an eight-inch touchscreen featuring Hyundai’s infotainment system. This system has consistently been one of my favorites as Hyundai nails the basics - simple interface, blazing-fast performance, and having features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. My only complaint is that the design is starting to look dated when compared to other automakers and their updated infotainment. 
      Turbo Power!
      Two powertrains are available in the Kona. SE, SEL, and SEL Plus use the 2.0L four-cylinder offering 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a six-speed automatic. Limited and Ultimate come with the turbocharged 1.6L four producing 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet. This is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Front or all-wheel drive is available for either engine.
      Zippy is the word to describe the performance of the turbo engine. The Kona easily accelerates away from a stop and has no issue with passing a slower vehicle. The dual-clutch transmission seems to stumble when leaving a stop, but does get itself together at higher speeds. I also found the transmission is slow to react when your floor the throttle, taking a few milliseconds to downshift.
      EPA fuel economy figures for the 1.6T with AWD are 26 City/29 Highway/27 Combined. My average for the week landed around 26.7 mpg, mostly due to cold weather during the week I had the Kona.
      Woah, This Crossover Handles
      If you wanted a subcompact crossover that handled decently, your choices were either the Mazda CX-3 or Toyota C-HR. The Kona enters the ring as the third choice, and possibly the best. On the backroads, the Kona feels quite agile and has almost no body roll. If I was to nitpick, the steering doesn’t have as much feel as you’ll find in the CX-3. But it feels noticeably better than the C-HR. Ride quality is impressive with most bumps being isolated from passengers sitting inside. Not too much wind and road noise come inside.
      Possibly the Best Subcompact Crossover At the Moment
      Hyundai has a very compelling package in the Kona. There is an excellent performance from the turbocharged engine, impressive driving dynamics, easy to use infotainment system, and a long list of standard equipment. There are some drawbacks with the small cargo area and rear legroom topping the list. If you need the space, a Honda HR-V would be my first pick. The dual-clutch transmission still needs a bit more work to iron out the hesitation issues I experienced. 
      That first impression I had still stands and moves the Kona not only being the best in the class at the moment, but also onto a very rarefied list; a vehicle I would considering buying.
      How I Would Configure A Kona: The only reason I see buying the Ultimate is for the adaptive cruise control as most of the other safety equipment such as blind spot monitoring, parking sensors, and forward collision avoidance are available on other models. So if I wanted the Turbo engine, then I would step down to the Limited at $26,100. For those who think that is a tad expensive still should consider the SEL Plus as it comes very well equipped for $23,950. You do sacrifice the turbo engine for the 2.0L four-cylinder which is fine if your planning to drive mostly around town. Add an additional $1,400 for all-wheel drive.
      Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Kona, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Kona
      Trim: Ultimate
      Engine: 1.6L Turbocharged DOHC 16-Valve GDI Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Seven-Speed Dual-Clutch, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 175 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500 - 4,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/29/27
      Curb Weight: 3,276 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea
      Base Price: $29,150
      As Tested Price: $ 30,380 (Includes $1,095.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $135.00
    • By William Maley
      2021 is going to be a very interesting year for the Mazda3 as two more engines become available.
      According to separate reports from Jalopnik and Hagerty, Mazda will be dropping in the turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder found in the 6, CX-5, and CX-9. The engine produces 227 horsepower on regular or 250 on premium. Like other Mazda models with this engine, the 3 will have it paired only with a six-speed automatic. Both reports say the engine will have AWD as standard. According to Hagerty's source, the engine will be available on a new trim called Premium Plus - likely taking the top spot in the 3's trim lineup. The source also confirmed this engine will not mean the return of the Mazdaspeed name for a hot variant. 
      The other engine is a 2.0L four-cylinder that Jalopnik reports is only for the sedan. Hagerty believes this engine is the SkyActiv-G used in the previous-generation 3, not the SkyActiv-X with its compression-ignition system.
      Not surprisingly, Mazda said they "“have not announced any details for the 2021 Mazda3," when asked about this.
      Source: Hagerty, Jalopnik
  • Posts

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