I feel like there are some car companies that you just know – like they are inherent to the industry. A few examples? BMW. Jeep. Ferrari. They have name recognition and staying power. So it’s always interesting to me when I realize that a new manufacturer has made the same inroads into the collective conscious. Maybe it’s just me, but lately I feel like I hear “Mazda” all the time… like it’s just one of those car brands that has nestled into your gray matter. BMW. Jeep. Ferrari. Mazda.
Why though has Mazda become so popular? What is it about the brand or the cars that has made it so ubiquitous over the last several years? My guess is there is more to Mazda than just that catchy Zoom Zoom ad campaign from a few years back. In fact, exploring the new Mazda lineup shows that the catchy slogans can be cast aside – these cars are so well-designed they need no jingle. These cars speak for themselves.
Designed with Intention
Visit Mazda’s website to explore their design pages and you’ll be shocked at the meditative calm you’ll feel scrolling through the white on black descriptions of how Mazda crafts its vehicles. It’s apparent that Mazda designs with intention – in fact, the website even shares a video showing master artisans sculpting Mazda models out of clay, the first step in designing a new car. According to Mazda, they use more clay than any other car maker, allowing them to visualize the car in perfect 3D form prior to collaborating with the digital designers. Those sleek lines and smooth finishes come not from the drag and drop of a wireless mouse, but rather from fine-lined hands carefully molding a future model Mazda.
Why does Mazda go through this extra effort when, thanks to the digital age, they could easily design their cars all online? Probably because of their dedication to what Mazda calls KODO. KODO is what governs Mazda and it is what they describe as their “Soul of Motion” design philosophy. This is what makes a Mazda stand out on the road – its marriage between design and motion. A static Mazda still has the flow and allure of a moving Mazda.
While some people will make the claim that exterior appeal should be forsaken for interior goodness, Mazda proves that you don’t always have to choose between inside and out.
The goal of any car manufacturer should be to make your car your sanctuary – regardless of whether you paid $20,000 or $200,000 for it. Why? Because as Mazda states:
The average American spends 101 minutes per day behind the wheel.
That’s a grand total of about 37,812 hours – or more than four years of their life.
So shouldn’t we make the most out of every second? We believe that a car
shouldn’t just be about getting from A to B. It should celebrate the drive…
Because Driving Matters.
Mazda has shown its dedication to celebrating the drive by making its interiors refined, yet functional. Take the base model Mazda3 – currently the cheapest in the Mazda family with a starting MSRP of $17,845. U.S. News & World Report describes the interior of the model as “one of the most upscale and well laid-out cabins in the class. Its simple styling makes the cabin feel airy and uncluttered. Materials used throughout are much more premium than you may expect for a car in the Mazda3’s price range.” Mazda has taken the time to craft a base model car that not only exceeds expectations, but does it at a reasonable price point.
Part of the reason that the Mazda3 feels so luxurious is that the manufacturer didn’t skimp on interior amenities. For an example, we’ll turn again to the base model, which comes standard with Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a rearview camera, two USB ports, a push-button start, HD Radio, the Mazda Connect infotainment system, and a six-speaker sound system. For a base model trim, that’s certainly well-equipped and, of course, the cars only become nicer as you move up the trim lines.
The interior of the Mazda3 feels roomy and comfortable and both the front and back seat passengers have ample legroom and space. No matter where you are sitting in a Mazda, you’ll appreciate the KODO design elements that give the cabin its open feel.
Mazda’s gone all out in crafting a compelling exterior and a luxurious interior, so it only makes sense that they powered the vehicles with excellent engines. To finish our analysis of the Mazda3, the base model comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which generates a nippy 155 horsepower. Of course, you can upgrade to the 2.5-liter four-cylinder on other trim levels, but the base level engine is more than enough to make you go “zoom, zoom.”
The Mazda3 is also fuel efficient. It gets an estimated 28 miles per gallon in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. So while you’re feeling good about the style, interior, and performance of your vehicle, you can also feel good knowing you’re helping both the environment and your wallet. Mazda has seamlessly built its machines to create harmony between all of its components: exterior, interior, and engine.
Mazda: Made Popular
So to answer the original question of why (or how) Mazda has become such a well-known, well-loved brand – it’s most likely because Mazda has managed to manufacture machines that are reasonably priced with top-of-the-line design elements. Mazda has brought KODO into all elements of its automobiles, be it the most affordable Mazda3, the king-size Mazda CX-9 or the gorgeous Mazda MX-5 Miata convertible.
No matter which Mazda you choose to drive, you can rest assured that from its humble beginnings as a pile of clay, to its time in the computer graphics department, and all the way through to production and assembly, your Mazda was created by artisans of all different crafts, because, as Mazda reminds us: Driving Matters.