IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2014 Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5 today were named the best values in their respective classes by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. As further proof that the brand's SKYACTIV®1 TECHNOLOGY engineering produces real-world results, this Mazda triple threat includes recently redesigned models that comprised more than 80 percent of the brand's 2013 vehicle sales. Offering dynamic performance, some of the best fuel economies and leading-edge technology on both safety and in-car connectivity, the best is yet to come.
"The Mazda brand is large on offering luxury – meaning best-in-class fuel economy, superior materials, forward-thinking technologies, award-winning design and unbeatable performance – at an affordable price," said Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). "Value also is of utter importance, and is something we proudly offer consumers. Premium craftsmanship and advanced materials should no longer be reserved only for those with deep pockets."
The Best Value Awards are part of Kiplinger's Annual Car Buyer's Guide, which sorts vehicles by price and segment, ranking each one on performance, safety and value-minded qualities including residual pricing and fuel economy. Best New Models have to be new or redesigned while Best in Class need to have a track record of a year or more, or have a substantially unchanged powertrain compared to prior years. In addition to the Best Value Awards for Best In Class and Best New models, Kiplinger's also names the Most Fuel-Efficient and Best Resale Value winners in each category.
Of the 13 categories, a Mazda topped the list for Best New Car Under $20,000 (2014 Mazda3 i Sport), Best New Car $20,000-$25,000 (2014 Mazda6 i Sport) and Best in Class – Small Crossover (2014 CX-5 Touring).
"Mazda had a really strong showing this year," said Jessica Anderson, associate editor, Kiplinger's. "Both the Mazda3 and Mazda6 redesigns are fantastic examples of what a carmaker can (and should) do with a mainstream model – they're engagingly designed, far more upscale than you'd think from their price tags and a blast to drive. And the CX-5 is without a doubt the most fun in the crossover segment. It packs all the safety and space you look for in an SUV but has the soul of a sports car. Zoom-Zoom, indeed."
All-new from the ground up for the 2014 model year, the Mazda3 compact car and Mazda6 mid-size sedan both feature an exceptional level of standard equipment and also offer unexpected features within their segments with all-new safety and in-car technologies. This includes the capacitor-based regenerative engine braking system known as i-ELOOP and MAZDA CONNECT™, a next-generation driving-focused in-vehicle connectivity system that also features an innovative Active Driving Display. While MAZDA CONNECT is currently only available on the Mazda3, i-ELOOP is a segment-exclusive technology for both the Mazda3 and Mazda6.
Available in two body styles, pricing for this third-generation Mazda3 starts at $16,9452 MSRP for four-door models and $18,945 MSRP for five-doors. Featuring a standard SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter gasoline engine (155 horsepower, 150 lb-ft of torque) or optional SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter (184 horsepower, 185 lb-ft of torque), 2.0L models can be configured with either a SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission or a SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic. Models with the 2.5L are currently only available with the automatic. The manual transmission has been confirmed to be offered on 2.5L models at a later date. Both engine displacements are available for either body style. Mazda3 also offers an EPA-estimated highway fuel economy of up to 41 mpg, one of the best in the segment.
Also in its third iteration, the 2014 Mazda6 starts at $20,990 MSRP and is currently equipped with a SKYACTIV-G 2.5L engine, and can be paired with either the manual or automatic transmission. Similar to its fuel-efficient smaller sibling, Mazda6 offers best-in-class highway fuel economy with an EPA estimate of up to 40 mpg3. And along with the 2014 CX-5, Mazda6 became one of the first Mazda vehicles to be equipped with Smart City Brake Support, a pre-crash avoidance safety feature.
A new-to-market model starting with the 2013 model year, CX-5 was the first Mazda to feature the full suite of SKYACTIV technologies and the all-new design language known as KODO "Soul of Motion". Starting at $21,395 MSRP, CX-5 also offers an EPA-rated best-in-class highway fuel economy of 35 mpg compared to its non-hybrid competitors. The 2014 CX-5 is available with either the SKYACTIV-G 2.0L or 2.5L engine and can be equipped with either transmission.
2014 Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5 vehicles feature a suite of active-safety pre-crash detection systems collectively known as i-ACTIVSENSE. These technologies use sensing devices such as milliwave radars, lasers and cameras to support the driver in recognizing hazards, avoiding collisions and minimizing damage should accidents occur. While these systems will not eliminate accidents, their intent is to minimize them and reduce the severity of a crash.
Started in 1920, Kiplinger is a Washington, D.C.-based publisher of business forecasts and personal finance advice, available in print, online, audio, video and software products. Its best-known publications are The Kiplinger Letter, a weekly business and economic forecasting periodical for people in management, and the monthly Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. For more information, visit www.kiplinger.com.
About Mazda North American Operations
Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City. For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at www.mazdausamedia.com.
1 SKYACTIV is a registered trademark of Mazda Motor Corporation (MC).
2 Starting price is manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) for lowest trim level. MSRP does not include $795 destination charge (Alaska $840), title, taxes, license, options and dealer charges. Actual prices set by dealer and may vary.
3 2014 Mazda6 Grand Touring models equipped with 6-speed automatic and i-ELOOP. Sport and Touring models are not available with i-ELOOP and are EPA-estimated to achieve 37 highway mpg (6-speed manual) or 38 highway mpg (6-speed automatic). Actual fuel economy will vary based on driving habits and road conditions.
SOURCE Mazda North American Operations