See What Mazda Was Up To in 2016
As we eagerly anticipate the start of this year’s annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit, we can’t help but notice one of our favorite automotive brands is relatively quiet. While the rest of the world has been busy making resolutions in the New Year to be more active and reinvent themselves, Mazda seems to have taken the opposite approach. It’s not that the Japanese automaker is resistant to change; in fact, we believe the opposite is true for Mazda. Charlotte residents and people around the United States were able to see the brand flourish in 2016, with plenty of accomplishments collected over the course of the previous twelve months. After such a packed schedule filled to the brim with awards, accolades, and advancements in technology – it seems that Mazda has more than earned their perceived sabbatical.
A Busy Past 12 Months for MazdaAs we were zoom-zooming about our daily lives in 2016, Mazda was up to quite a lot. The brand that has built its foundation on the thrill of driving, has been busy transforming many of the models in its lineup in 2016. With new engine options, upgraded model offerings, and rumors of emerging technology on the horizon, it’s no wonder why the brand has remained relatively under the radar these first few weeks of the new year.
That does beg the question, however, of what has Mazda actually been up to these past few months? Well, we are glad you thought to ask, because we can’t wait to give you the complete rundown on everything the Japanese automaker was busy accomplishing last year.
- January 2016: Last January was a relatively quiet one for Mazda, but not at all absent of any noteworthy news. On January 12, the Mazda3 was named “Best Compact Car for 2016” by Good Housekeeping, which was a welcome accolade for the brand and its 5-door S Grand Touring model. Later that month, at the 31st Festival Automobile International, the new Mazda RX-VISION Concept car earned the award of “Most Beautiful Concept Car of the Year.” Not a bad way to start a new year, with January setting the brand up for an exceptional 2016.
- February 2016: In February, the awards and recognition continued to pour in for Mazda. On February 9, the MX-5 Miata was named “Best Sports Car for the Money” by the acclaimed US News and World Report publication. Toward the end of the same month, EBONY Magazine handed over the title of “Pretty Boy” to the Mazda CX-9 for its best-in-class luxury offerings. The Japanese car brand did much more than add to its trophy case in February of last year. On the 11th of the month, the Mazda Motor Corporation began production of the all-new CX-9 three-row midsize crossover, a welcome addition to the lineup.
- March 2016: The third month of 2016 was easily the busiest for Mazda. The brand was the only manufacturer to snag two awards from the 2016 Autobytel Car and Truck Awards, both of which were attributed to the Mazda MX-5. The same model was crowned a AUTOMOBILE Magazine All-Star, dubbed one of the best new vehicles on the road. The all-new CX-9 that began production in February, hit the market with a starting price of $31,520, and a Best-In-Class Combined Fuel Economy Rating from the EPA. As if March wasn’t busy enough, Mazda released the MX-5 RF model with a retractable hardtop, which was an instant head-turner around the world.
- April 2016: Mazda managed to earn a plethora of KBB.com honors and accolades in April of last year, with the MX-5 Miata, Mazda3, CX-3 subcompact crossover, and the CX-5 crossover all taking home multiple awards from the industry authority. The automotive brand celebrated another victory in April, reaching the one-millionth milestone in production for the MX-5 model.
- May 2016: The CX-9 crossover SUV was impressive from the start, but the brand illuminated a whole new side of the nameplate with the addition of class-exclusive standard LED lighting in May. The brand also snagged another KBB.com award, this time for the Mazda3 which earned a top spot on the publication’s list of 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000. The month of May ended with another noteworthy milestone, but this time for the Mazda3 which reached a global production of five-million units. Impressive, right?!
- June 2016: The first 2017 Mazda CX-3 crossover made its way into dealer showrooms in the United States last summer, featuring a starting MSRP of just $19,960. Meanwhile, the CX-3 earned itself a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, as it also took home a “Best-in-Class” award from the New England Motor Press Association alongside of the MX-5 Miata.
- July 2016: A major month for the Mazda brand, as it introduced the renowned SKYACTIV-Vehicle Dynamics technology, which the company is now well known for. In the same month, Mazda introduced the updated Mazda3 sedan, which was the first model in the brand’s lineup to feature SKYACTIV technology.
- August 2016: In August, the Mazda3 and CX-3 were both added to KBB.com’s list of “10 Best Back to School Cars of 2016,” a noteworthy achievement that recognized both model’s safety, technology, and budget-friendly price tags. The all-new 2017 Mazda6 was debuted by the automaker last August, which was praised for adding athleticism and new luxury elements to the midsize family sedan segment.
- September 2016: This month marked the return of the repackaged and redesigned 2017 Mazda3, which now includes G-Vectoring Control, and enhanced sound insulation technology. The interior of the 2017 Mazda3 was also designed to be more refined and luxurious than the outgoing model.
- October 2016: The 2017 MX-5 Miata RF was officially launched at this time last year, opening up pre-orders for the special edition coupe which started at $31,555. The 1,000-car allocation that the brand set for the MX-5 Miata RF model sold out almost immediately, as the brand introduced an even more unique Kuro edition of the speedster at the SEMA show in late October.
- November 2016: The completely redesigned 2017 Mazda CX-5 made its global debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November, and was immediately praised for its design, integrated technology, and innovation. Car Connection named the MX-5 Miata the “Best Convertible to Buy for 2017,” and the MX-5 was also recognized on Car and Driver’s 10Best List alongside the Mazda3. November proved to be very busy for Mazda, as it also announced plans to offer a diesel engine option on the new CX-5 in the second part of 2017. Production for the redesigned crossover SUV also commenced by the end of November.
- December 2016: The 2017 CX-9 earned a spot on Car and Driver’s 10Best Trucks and SUVs Award list, alongside of the MX-5 Miata and Mazda3 sedan. The CX-9 also earned the award for Best Sport Utility Vehicle by the Hispanic Motor Press, a welcome accolade for the brand. To finish out 2016 as strong as it started, four Mazda models took home the top honors in each one of their respective categories for the Consumer Guide Automotive 2017 Best Buys list.
All in all, Mazda was quite busy in 2016. As the brand winds down from all of the excitement, we look forward to seeing what it will accomplish next…