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Archive for June, 2014


The Mazda/Ford relationship of old was symbiotic in nature. Mazda got the dealership network it needed to remain profitable, while Ford was able to mine Mazda’s products for platforms and engines. When Ford decided to part ways from Mazda, it left Mazda to “do their own thing” and “see other people,” but Mazda didn’t jump back into the dating game.

Instead, Mazda struck out on its own, creating a new chassis and, more importantly, more engines. These innovative power plants, available on certain models at Chapman Mazda, are called Skyactiv engines, and they ring true to the Mazda ethos of performance and efficiency. They combine with a new Mazda transmission and provide a fun-to-drive attitude with uncompromised efficiency.

In North America, Mazda offers the Skyactiv-G engines, which run on gasoline. They come in two sizes: 2.0-liter four cylinder and 2.5-liter four cylinder. The 2.0-liter engine made its debut in the 2012 Mazda CX-5 SUV, which has won numerous accolades for its driving capability. The 2.5-liter Skyactiv engine debuted in the 2014 Mazda 6 sedan and now both engines choices are offered in the completely redesigned Mazda 3. Previously, only the 2.0-liter engine was a Skyactiv model on the Mazda 3.

Rumors are unconfirmed that Mazda will be bringing over their Skyactiv-D diesel engine, available in Europe and Asia. Diesels are still considered a niche product in the American market, although their popularity is growing.

While these are not powerful engines, Mazda has been able to combine them with a well-designed chassis that is sporty without being unwieldy. They are then mated to with specially-designed transmissions. Skyactiv-Drive combines the best attributes of a continuously variable transmission (CVT), dual-clutch and traditional step transmission to provide a system that truly translates the power and efficiency of the Skyactiv engines to the road.

For those who like to row their own gears, Mazda offers the Skyactiv-MT six-speed manual transmission. This manual gear-box offers a light, crisp shift feel while offering reduced weight to increase fuel economy. Manual transmissions are offered on all the base Sport models only; all other trim lines include the SKYACTIV-Drive 6-speed Sport automatic transmission with manual shift mode.

With Mazda’s new-found independence, it was thought it would struggle to survive in the highly competitive automotive arena. Mazda defied the odds and created a lineup of stylish products that has been able to remain sporty and innovative while adhering to stricter fuel economy standards.

To test drive a slew of Skyactiv-equipped Mazda vehicles, visit Chapman Mazda today to experience a truly innovative car.