Sunday, April 12, 2015
MIAS 2015: The 2015 Mazda Collection Impresses
Mazda Philippines’s sprawling and intimidating 1,000 square-meter space at the Manila International Auto Show is a strong show of force and for very good reason. Just last year, Mazda achieved a milestone with overall sales almost doubling that of 2013. The end tally shows them selling more than 3,200 units overtaking Subaru in the process. Of course, the giant showcase isn’t just for celebration. They’ve used the occasion to strategically launch 13 all-new or significantly updated new models for 2015. In short, if you’re buying a car that’s not a Mazda, you better hold off that purchase.
The star of the show is the much-awaited, much-anticipated Mazda2 sub-compact car. It’s the final product to receive the full-on KODO and Skyactiv treatment. And what a car it is. Mazda’s know-how since it introduced the full Skyactiv suite in 2012 has been honed and perfected culminating in the all-new Mazda2. It looks like a shrunken, more concentrated form of the Mazda3 and thus comes with the same swoopy, interplaying lines. Beyond the attractive looks, the Mazda2 also shares the Mazda3’s powertrain: a 1.5-liter Skyactiv-G de-tuned to 108 horsepower and 139 Nm of torque. This is the sole engine of choice with the sole transmission being a 6-speed automatic. The main engineering thrust of the all-new Mazda2 is to make it much more adept at long-distance driving. In other words, make it at home on the highways as it is on city streets. Consideration has been made to the suspension tuning and even driving position to reduce fatigue.
The all-new Mazda2 is available in both 4-door and 5-door body styles starting at P 795,000. The Skyactiv S 4DR gets a push button start/stop, a 3.5-inch monitor, and 185/65R15 alloy wheels as standard. The Skyactiv V variant adds daytime running lights, a Bluetooth hands-free, dynamic stability control (DSC), and rear parking sensors into the mix for P 855,000 (5-door) and P 865,000 (4-door). At the top-end is the Skyactiv R variant with bi-xenon headlamps, 185/60R16 tires, heads-up display (Active Driving Display), leather seats, and the Mazda Connect 7-inch TFT infotainment system for P 925,000. The R variant is only available as a 4-door.
The US-based EPA or Environmental Protection Agency also timely released the fuel economy figures of the all-new Mazda2. Equipped with the 1.5-liter Skyactiv with 6-speed automatic, it does 14 km/L in the city and 18.28 km/L on the highway, beating out rival models.
The entry of the Mazda2 has meant a price adjustment to the Made-in-Japan Mazda3 compact sedan. The 1.5-liter variants get a push up: P 965,000 for the 4-door and P 968,000 for the 5-door.
Meanwhile, Mazda’s best-selling CX-5 gets a much needed update for 2015. All models get a revamped interior highlighted by an electronic parking brake. Also new are adaptive LED headlights with LED fog lamps and LED rear lamps. Both the 2.0L FWD Pro and 2.5 AWD Sport models benefit from the Mazda Connect infotainment with a 7-inch TFT display and Commander Control. Both models also get powered driver’s seat with memory (for the driver), and a rear parking camera as standard equipment. The 2.5 AWD Sport adds a 9-speaker Bose sound system. Oddly enough, no mention whether the 2.5 AWD Sport keeps its lane keeping aid and blind spot indicators for 2015. Still, no price increase for both models: P 1,495,000 for the 2.0 FWD Pro and P 1,695,000 for the 2.5 AWD Sport.
Previewed at MIAS are three new models which are set to appear in Mazda showrooms within the year. The first two are significantly updated versions of its award-winning Mazda6 sports sedan. It’s joined by a new wagon style as well. Both models are powered by the 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G engines mated to a 6-speed automatic. The Mazda6 features a much improved interior as well as the same adaptive LED headlights, LED fog lights, and LED rear lamps as the CX-5.
Finally, Mazda Philippines held the ASEAN unveil of its iconic MX-5 roadster which will be launched later in the year. No specifications or pricing was announced, but Mazda did say that the Philippine model will be powered by a 2.0-liter Skyactiv engine with 155 horsepower. Read the first drive story here.