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Archive for October, 2012

The 2013 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD recently won out a six-way competition on caranddriver.com. Competing against the 2012 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD, 2012 Kia Sportage EX AWD, 2012 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4×4, 2013 Ford Escape SEL 4WD, and 2012 Honda CR-V EX-L AWD, the Mazda CX-5 was able to easily come out on top.

The new Mazda CX-5 has a comfortable cabin, sleek looks, and sporty driving performance. Equipped with Mazda’s Skyactiv technology suite, which is available on other models at Phoenix Mazda dealers as well, the CX-5 Grand Touring returned the best fuel economy out of all six SUV’s tested. The Mazda was 24 percent better than that of the Escape or Sportage—at 26 mpg. The CX-5’s high-compression 2.0-liter inline-four cylinder engine is quick to respond, and the six-speed automatic shifts crisply and swiftly into the most efficient gear. The Mazda had precise and well-weighted steering that performed effectively even on a winding road. Car and Driver even said, the brakes respond like a sports car’s, with an initial bite that’s always easy to modulate. These reasons, among others, are why Car and Driver selected the 2013 Mazda CX-5 as the winner of this six-way comparison.

The 2012 Hyundai Tucson Limited hardly stood out next to the Mazda CX-5. While it may have been the least expensive vehicle in the test, it was uncomfortable and boring and received last place.  The 2012 Kia Sportage EX AWD’s steering was stiff and lacked the smooth ride that was seen with the Mazda. The Kia received fifth place overall. The 2012 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4×4 was a fully redesigned from the previous model, but still lacked zest. The interior materials on the Toyota were described as hard and lacked style, while Mazda’s interior is made of much higher-end quality materials.  The Toyota RAV4 came in fourth place in the overall comparisons. The third place winner was the 2013 Ford Escape SEL 4WD, which had navigation, keyless start, and SEL trim. Still the Mazda CX-5 won over the critics, Car and Driver said the Ford Sync interface took some getting used to.

Finally, the runner up was the 2012 Honda CR-V EX-L AWD. The Honda felt spacious on the inside but the 2.4-liter inline-four cylinder engine was a little disappointing for the small SUV. The CR-V’s engine was actually the weakest of all the competitors even though its horsepower and quarter-mile times were among the best.  The Mazda CX-5 was still able to win over the reviewers with its above-and-beyond on-road performance and its practical and relaxed interior.

The 2013 Mazda CX-5 is now available at Chapman Mazda, so come in for a test drive today!

RX8

For sports car enthusiasts, the year 2012 marks the end of an era: the legendary Mazda RX line ends with the discontinuation of the sporty Mazda RX-8.

In keeping with the Wankel tradition, the RX-8 features a 1.3-liter rotary engine – a classic compact motor format which has powered some of the most well-liked and reliable automobiles.  According to Edmunds, the RX-8’s engine allowed Mazda’s engineers to achieve a rare feat in automobile manufacturing: a near-perfect 50/50 front/rear weight distribution which gives the RX-8 a superb handling profile which is practically unmatched among cars in its class.  Coupled with the RX-8’s sub-3000 lb. curb weight, the low-profile, high-RPM Wankel engine offers a unique, simply fun experience to those who sit behind the wheel.

In spite of the relatively small size of its 1.3-liter engine when compared with non-rotary motors, the RX-8 boasts an impressive 232 horsepower when equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, and loses only a scant 20 horsepower when converted to a six-speed automatic.  Furthermore, the RX-8’s reverse-opening rear doors and roomy interior mean that three of the driver’s acquaintances can also enjoy the perky, aggressive ride.

Although the RX-8 is touted as one of the best-handling cars ever built, Autoweek reported in mid-2011 that more stringent restrictions on emissions in Europe negatively affected import sales in those markets, ultimately leading Mazda to discontinue the platform worldwide.  It is unlikely that Mazda will soon reintroduce a rotary-equipped coupe to its lineup, so the RX-8 truly is the last foreseeable entry in a long history of terrific rotary imports from the brand’s manufacturing plants.

Fortunately for buyers, the RX-8’s popularity has left the Mazda Phoenix market with a number of well-maintained, low-mileage specimens which will likely continue to thrill drivers and turn heads everywhere they go.  If you would like to step into the ring and pit your nerves against the rev-happy RX-8, contact Chapman Mazda for more information.