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William Maley

Mazda News: Mazda's Premium Ambitions for the U.S.

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Mazda is in the process of trying to position themselves as a premium brand that you can actually afford. Autoblog had the chance to speak with Jacques Flynn, a lead exterior designer, and Jacob Brown, a PR representative for Mazda. 

A key part of Mazda's premium plans is their Kodo design language. Flynn explained that Mazda will be simplifying and evolving the look of Kodo on their various models. A key example is the recently introduced second-generation CX-5. Compared to the outgoing model, the new CX-5 features fewer curves to make it look tauter. 

Diesel will also play a key part in Mazda's premium ambitions. Brown explained that diesel has the air of premium surrounding it as luxury automakers, for the most part, offer them in the U.S. Mazda was hoping not to use urea-injection for their diesel models, but ultimately had to give in to meet emission standards and performance benchmarks.

Those hoping that Mazda would bring back Mazdaspeed on some performance models will be disappointed to hear it could be a while before this happens. Both Flynn and Brown said the company's focus is "on making the core line-up cohesive." Being a small company, they cannot take any chances on working a number of projects at the same time since that could result in a misstep or two.

Source: Autoblog


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So first error by Flynn is to think Diesel means premium. Just because BMW and MB have had them for ever, does not mean it is perceived as premium. The attitude by most people towards diesel proves this out.

Second, They still have the problem with head room. Their auto's are still built for small asian size people and they are missing what is needed in the American Market. 

Yes yell at me, whatever you want, but for those over 5'8" tall there auto's are a failure and if you are fat which most of America is, again it fails. I also will not get into all the other issues I have found with both the CX-9 and CX-5, read my personal reviews on that.

Here even if you are 5'8" tall you hit your head on entry. The problem is between the A and B pillar. You cannot get into this auto unless you face away from the auto, place your ass in the seat and dip your head as you swerve 90 degrees into the auto. Or 1 foot in, body at a 45 degree angle and slide in facing the front. Neither is comfortable or easy in getting into this auto.

Does the new 2017 over the 2016 look nice? YES. Sadly it now looks more like the Mistubishi CUV from the side profile and more in the generic BLAH department with all the rest in this class.

END RESULT, it will sell, but not as a Premium. Also Mazda is loosing their identity as right now Auto Design Style is very much blah and nothing that pops. The older curvy design was more pop and grabbed your attention than the new one.

2017-2016-CX5.jpg

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So first error by Flynn is to think Diesel means premium. Just because BMW and MB have had them for ever, does not mean it is perceived as premium. The attitude by most people towards diesel proves this out.

- pure BS.  Diesel is premium because it lasts twice, three times, four times longer than gasoline engines.

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yes to the diesel error and to the size thing.  Defelt is on to something.  I like the Mazdas but they don't give room.  The 6 is tight in the rear.  The 3 is almost useless.

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16 hours ago, ocnblu said:

So first error by Flynn is to think Diesel means premium. Just because BMW and MB have had them for ever, does not mean it is perceived as premium. The attitude by most people towards diesel proves this out.

- pure BS.  Diesel is premium because it lasts twice, three times, four times longer than gasoline engines.

Wrong, tell that to my Solid GM V8's that have half a million miles on them. Last longer as you state does not make a premium auto or engine.

Yes if you abuse the engine as many do and do no maintenance, the gas engines will wear out by 100K miles versus diesel getting about 200-250K miles. Yet as with any engine. Take care of it, maintenance and you can make them last for ever.

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DFelt that is unduly harsh, the Buick Envision wishes it looked as sexy as the Mazda CX-5.

And nope, I'm 5' 10" and I FIT FINE in the CX-5, as it is!!!

Nah, the problem with Mazda, the have great vehicles, just a lack of a distribtuion network and exposure to the North American market.

Now enthusiasts will always want the hi-po engine or the most powerful engine that Mazda currently makes, the 2.5T, as CP said in every offering. And premium buyers nowadays expect some kind of 2.0T as atleast a base or mid-level offering too.

Mazda rite now is basically what Nissan used to be a few decades ago. Like, exactly what Nissan used to be a few decades ago.

But few things NEED to be addressed. I do find it annoying how the top end Signature trim CX-9 for example, has an exquisite interior, better than that of the Buick Enclave's by a wide margin in materials....but the seats don't have 10-way power. Passenger seat is 4-way power. No cooled rear seats. And no CarPlay/AndAuto. 

Now I'm not saying that the seats are uncomfortable, just that, those numbers on a spec sheet seem like they matter, but they make a world of a difference in the validity, the meat behind the word "premium".

 

 

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Mazda can't sell that many cars at low prices, now they want to be Premium and I assume charge higher prices? I think Mazda makes a good car, but they should never have gone away from Zoom Zoom, their marketing is weak as can be.

Problem 2 is car makers are fleeing diesel, even Mercedes seems to be dumping them in the US, we know VW-Audi are.  So diesel will have no appeal in about 5 years when plug in hybrid is all the rage.  I don't see a diesel Mazda 6 or CX-9 jump starting sales.   

Mazda 6 needs the 2.5T engine yesterday, a mid-size sedan with 181 hp max or whatever it has isn't going to have enough appeal.  I'd make a Mazdaspeed 3 with the 2.5T also.  I could see bringing back the CX-7 also, the CX-9 is a 3 row large crossover, the CX-5 is small, there is no middle.  A 4th crossover would jump start sales.

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@dfelt I agree in regards to a diesel, nothing about diesels screams premium.

In regards to headroom and size: I am 6'1" and I fit perfectly fine and comfortably in Mazda 3, Mazda 6, CX5 and CX9.  And if you look at the dimensions they are not smaller then any other comparable car in the segment.  So your continued rumblings about cars built for small Asian people are complete BS.  There are maybe other issues with mentioned by few previous posts but size is not one of them.

Mazda 3 front headroom: 38.6", hip room: 55.5"

Cruise front headroom: 38.9", hip room: 53.1"

Focus front headroom: 38.3", hip room: 53.9"

Mazda 6 front headroom: 38.4", hip room: 56.1"

Malibu front headroom: 39.1", hip room: 56.1"

Fusion front headroom: 39.2", hip room: 55"

CX-5 front headroom: 40.1", hip room: 55.2"

Equinox front headroom: 40.9", hip room: 54.6"

Escape fron headroom: 39.9", hip room: 54.8"

CX-9 front headroom: 39.3", hip room: 56.7"

Acadia front headroom: 40.3", hip room: 55.7"

Explorer front headroom: 41.4", hip room: 57.3"

So only CX-9 is somewhat smaller then the competition.

Edited by ykX

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2 hours ago, ykX said:

@dfelt I agree in regards to a diesel, nothing about diesels screams premium.

In regards to headroom and size: I am 6'1" and I fit perfectly fine and comfortably in Mazda 3, Mazda 6, CX5 and CX9.  And if you look at the dimensions they are not smaller then any other comparable car in the segment.  So your continued rumblings about cars built for small Asian people are complete BS.  There are maybe other issues with mentioned by few previous posts but size is not one of them.

Mazda 3 front headroom: 38.6", hip room: 55.5"

Cruise front headroom: 38.9", hip room: 53.1"

Focus front headroom: 38.3", hip room: 53.9"

Mazda 6 front headroom: 38.4", hip room: 56.1"

Malibu front headroom: 39.1", hip room: 56.1"

Fusion front headroom: 39.2", hip room: 55"

CX-5 front headroom: 40.1", hip room: 55.2"

Equinox front headroom: 40.9", hip room: 54.6"

Escape fron headroom: 39.9", hip room: 54.8"

CX-9 front headroom: 39.3", hip room: 56.7"

Acadia front headroom: 40.3", hip room: 55.7"

Explorer front headroom: 41.4", hip room: 57.3"

So only CX-9 is somewhat smaller then the competition.

While measurements are just one area, their lack of highly adjustable seats limits the room. As I have mentioned many times before, their design language cuts the entry into the front seats big time so you have a smaller opening and yes you gain some headroom once in the car. Sadly long bodied people loose out as the lack of the seats adjustments keep tall people from sitting in the front passenger seat and makes it doable but difficult on the drivers side.

Just having measurements that equal everyone else does not make a comfortable or roomy interior.

At 6'6" tall my legs are equal to my body, which is rare, most people are longer legs / arms than body and yet my wife and kids are all longer body than legs / arms and as such when a seat is not adjustable, your head clearly hits the roof.

To each their own, but I have to say that I stick by my own experience of not being able to recommend the Mazda CX CUV line for many reasons that I have stated in my review posted here at the review forum. So many superior sized CUVs that does not leave one with the experiance I had with Mazda.

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