Sunday, April 22, 2018

A Word on Mazda's Design


Keyboard warriors (at least on this site) complain that all Mazda cars all look alike. So, in order to confirm (or deny) that, we’ll put that to the test. Here, we’re putting each of Mazda’s core models—the Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda6, CX-3, and CX-5 side-by-side to see if they’re all just enlargements or reductions of the same thing.

But before we get there, it’s worth explaining what KODO – Soul of Motion is all about.

Car designers have always used nature as a source of inspiration, and Mazda is no different. Before KODO, Mazda was looking at how wind and water flows. But when their then Global Head of Design, Laurens van den Acker left for Renault in 2009, the man who took over, Ikuo Maeda wanted to try something different. Instead of wind and water, Maeda wanted to capture the pent-up energy of an animal about to pounce or a sword ready to strike in the Japanese martial art of kendo. This potential energy in stationary forms is what KODO is all about.




Using three keywords on every vehicle design: speed, tense, and alluring, all Mazda models tend to use a running cheetah as inspiration. This can be seen in the cab rearward design which is meant to signify the cheetah’s powerful hind legs. Meanwhile, the flowing lines are meant to convoy the sequence of movement.

However, Mazda also realized that they cannot have the same proportion on a sub-compact, compact, and mid-sized vehicle. If it did, it’ll look weird:


Thus, Mazda decided to convey motion at different times during a cheetah’s pounce. The Mazda6 is meant to show the cheetah at speed, the Mazda3 during acceleration, and the Mazda2 at the start of the pounce. In short, it’s the difference in movement that produces the variations between different forms.


Other design elements, such as those found in the grille and headlights are no different from how other car manufacturers do it (case in point is with Honda below). However, in Mazda’s case, the visual identity is much stronger because the grille serves as the focal point. It evokes the company’s logo while creating a line that links the headlamps, bumper, hood, and fenders.



And if there’s still reason to doubt Mazda’s KODO – Soul of Motion, out of 43 international awards they’ve won since the start of the Skyactiv era, 60 percent has been bestowed on them specifically for their design work..

Moving forward, Mazda is going to pursue the elegance based on Japanese aesthetics. For them, elegance implies a beauty that is subtle and restrained, yet rich and abundant.




Meanwhile, Japanese aesthetics call for a delicate sense of balance rather than a show of ostentation. For this reason, next-generation design aims to bring a “less is more” aesthetic. Eliminating all but the truly essential elements creates precious blank spaces surrounding simple forms. To these, Mazda applies effective use of light and shadow to create subtle details and achieve the desired result.

With next-generation design, Mazda is reinterpreting the very essence of Japanese aesthetics and its subtle beauty, which has been cultivated since ancient times. The goal is to create an elegant and refined atmosphere with a sense of vitality that makes Mazda cars come truly alive.






56 comments:

  1. Waiting for those critics comments. Given the 4 Hondas pictured above with their Mazda counterpart, there is no denying that every Mazda looks a lot better and classier than their Honda counterparts. Honda is trying too hard like Toyota to be stylish but ends up being over designed. Whereas Mazda's approach to design subdued elegance with a hint of sportiness, with their color giving the killing blow.

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    1. let me explain like this...your kodo design is like Kpop boy bands looks all the same kinda loved by misguided millenials..

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    2. The only thing that separates a mazda model from the rest will be removed slowly. So it will only get worst.. this so called corporate look gimmick. Better buy now before its too late.

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    3. Still looks far better than any car in its class.

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    4. "Looks" is subjective. Not everyone is pleased with mazda design.

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    5. Like me im Architect and Industrial fine Arts, i don't like Mazda design either.Over do...

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    6. Overdo? Have you looked at the Civic's design? That's the over styled one. If you don't like Mazda's design, then most probably you don't like Volkswagen, BMW and Audi's designs either. So what do you like? Ricey overstyled designs like the Civic?

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    7. At least BMW, Audi and Lexus they prove it a very long time and take note they are not trying hard designer. I don't like Honda either same sh*t as Mazda.

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    8. Ano ba sasakyan mo at talagang sobrang ganda?

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    9. I bet he's driving a vios.

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    10. So what's the difference of proving it for a long time? Mazda has a simple elegant style with a Japanese hint of sportiness that the germans don't have. To some degree, the germans have boring plain designs compared to a mazda or a honda.

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    11. Before you guys say the civic is overstyled. The target market is the young and outgoing. It has to have a little touch of aggressiveness, sharp edges that denotes agility. While Mazda 3 caters to the older middle class people who demands more creature comfort.

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  2. This escalated fast. Haha..

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  3. Sir Uly. U forgot to place the Honda Accord 2017. It is Mazda 6's competition.
    Also "less is more" is kinda Apple strategy, 2018 mazda 6 will lose its foglights i dont know if the other mazda line up will follow. Since after all they are one and the same animal.

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    1. And lastly Sir Uly. Mazda claims to be a premium brand. Its also fair to put the premium trim levels of the Civic and the Accord(LED headlights). I saw the angle changes in the photo to make them more distinct hehe.

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  4. granted, pogi sa labas at loob ang mazda. never mind toyota&honda, and leaving nissan&mitsubishi out of the picture, mazda IS entry-level luxury, aka premium.

    ang kaso lang, mazda ALWAYS loses out on interior space against its competitors. best example being TOTL mazda2 at TOTL jazz. at practically the same PhP 1.1m, while i'd definitely choose mazda's powertrain and looks over honda's, as a cargo/people hauler the jazz is top choice.

    overall though, i'd choose mazda, if only as a counterpoint to my real fave subaru.

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  5. I have no problem with Mazda's looks, even if it's a combination of being sexy and feminine like. It looks good, striking a balance between its male and female consumers.

    What im concerned is more of what can i get in a cars entire package and that's what Mazda partly fails. Mazda has been known all over the world to have the tightest interior space in its class (except the BT-50), thereby limiting its overall usefullness and comfort. Infact, it induces a claustrophobic feel most especially to its small vehicles (2, 3, CX3). It's such a hassle, imagine banging your head into the roofliner upon ingress and egress. Plus the suspension is on the stiff side, making it further uncomfortable for a DAILY RIDE. It's also been known worldwide to have a high wind noise permeating into the cabin.

    At the end of the day, Mazda is a good Premium brand. Moving forward, it just have to improve on its weaknesses. Who knows, i might purchase a Mazda CX5 by the time that i have a small family...... if Mazda has improved on its glaring weaknesses.

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    1. I daily drive a Mazda 3 on stock 18's. The ride is firm but comfy, and it's just me inside the car. Given the claustrophobic feeling for the first time, it doesn't bother me at all after getting used to it but the rear ingress is quite tight for fat people. The new CX5 is praised by reviewers all over the world for being one of the quietest in its class. They're improving on the noise part. Still, they offer a better package overall and 4 adults wouldn't have a problem fitting inside.

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  6. All the same front look. If you disagree, you have a problem with your vision. :D

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    1. Nah. The mazda 2 looks different. It's actually the most distinguishable of them all.

      The mazda 3 and 6 however, boy I really had a difficult time differentiating them at first glance. Its like playing a spot the difference game.

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    2. If Uly had not changed the angles you can even mistake the mazda 3 and 6 as the SUV lineup

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    3. The 2018 Mazda 6 actually looks a bit different now as compared to the 3. It has a new grill that looks okay.

      But in hindsight, they copied Jaguar's grill design. LMAO!

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    4. Skyactiv X is taking second place for the best engine efficiency now. Its not even released yet. General Motors came up with RCCI which provides 60%! Thermal efficiency compared to 56% Mazda's Skyactiv X. Ofcourse this is still in its infancy but in theory. Skyactiv X will be dethroned nonetheless its still a feat.

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    5. For the 2018 Mazda 6. I think Mazda is becoming somewhat like Apple. They removed the foglamps like what apple did to their headphone jack. XD

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    6. ^ I noticed that too, the 2018 Mazda has no foglamps. Their other vehicles also has tiny foglamps. That's a major safety concern most especially during rainy season.

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    7. Beauty with LED is that they can reduce the overall size of the lamps and still get the same level of brightness.

      The only reason why headlamps remain that big is due to regulation. But they can now be reduced in size.

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    8. Well, if that's the case then no problem Sir Uly. But then again, why did Mazda remove it entirely in some of their models? There's no justification to that.

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    9. Cost cutting. LOL. Premium brand daw sila eh.

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    10. Cost cutting? Have you personally seen and touched the interior of a Mazda CX-5? The material and build quality is worlds away from your beloved CRV.

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    11. Btw, those fake black plastic pieces on the Civic's fog lights look so ricey.

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    12. ^ We're discussing here about the removal of the foglamps of some Mazda models and not the interior quality. This is a major safety concern.

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    13. Some models such as the new Mazda6 has it integrated into the headlamp cluster if I’m not mistaken. This is a similar move done by the likes of Mercedes-Benz when implementing the AMG bumper treatment.

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    14. Ignorant honda fanbois getting roasted.

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    15. Mazda fanboys getting roasted in their overheating Mazda's. LOL

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    16. Mazda needs some profit too. Its cheaper to just incorporate it or remove it. Whichever is true. Rather than making a whole hardware of fog lamps. Lets take it away and call it an innovation in design "less is more after all"

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    17. Less is more? LOL. Fog lamps was developed for a reason, it has a purpose. Try driving in a rainy night or just simply night time driving in a dark road, let's say NLEX. You'll swear that you'll need it.

      It's a major cause of concern for informed buyers. Mazda may produce good looking cars but they have a lot of compromises in return.

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    18. Dude, the guy before you is being sarcastic. Chill.

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    19. Indeed i was we need foglights

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  7. Now let us talk about the interior, specifically the infotainment screen that is not as seamless as one could hope for. Maybe make it wider, less bezel and have the option retract / hide it?

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    1. Less mechanisms, the better. But I do agree that the infotainment system itself needs some work!

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  8. I'm not sure if this is CarGuide's intention but CarGuide did prove that all Mazda's look the same lol

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    1. Strong familial look but they don’t look the same. It’s the proportions and subtleties. Imagine a Rolex. Same family look, but there are differences that make each line different.

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    2. These honda fanbois are dumb as a rock. Their comprehension and brains are too small to comprehend that.

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    3. But if theyre not side by side the chances of interchanging them is quite big sir Uly. And thats the problem here.

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    4. Well all lambos and porsches offered within the same year looks the same to me since I don't plan to buy one. All mercs and bimmers also looks the same if you don't pay attention same as mazda, audi and vw.

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  9. WTF SIR ULY DELETE THIS!!!

    IT MAKES ALL MAZDA'S LOOK ALIKE!!!

    I WOULD HARAKIRI JINBAI ITTAI STYLE IN SHAME NOW!!!

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  10. Mazda 1 - 0 Honda

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  11. This topic is lively.

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  12. TOYOTA Champs, CRISPA Laspag!April 24, 2018 at 10:44 AM

    TOYOTA... para sa lalaking walang kailangang patunayan.

    PANIS!

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  13. off-topic question lang po sir uly...

    i'm thinking of owning a brand-new car for at least 6yrs, at sa 1.4m budget i'm down to either TOTL mazda3 hb or TOTL ford focus hb. hatchback po kasi wala namang pasahero, but weekly cargo hauls made my soon-to-retire first car a valuable workhorse, the 1st-gen jazz.

    kayo po sir, kung only car at daily driver for 6+yrs ano ang best choice available.

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    1. If its between TOTL models, mazda 3 wins. No question.

      But if its between the base models, the ford focus wins and beats the mazda 3 hands down. Its the best bang for the buck. Less than 1.1M but with a turbo, torque vectoring and leather seats.

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  14. For the record, wag idamay ang lahat ng models ng Mazda, CX9 only. With that said, all are great cars in terms of sheer driving pleasure and dynamics in a budget.

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