No Need to Think, Just Drive
LOS ANGELES, California - Every auto manufacturer is searching for the best way to go green and reduce fuel consumption in their vehicles. Some companies are embracing hybrid technology while others have opted to go electric with battery-powered cars.
Even as a ‘car person’, I find some of these approaches a bit confusing. I admit that I feel overwhelmed with all the information out there and I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to the average consumer.
As exciting as some of the changes are, I know that most of us just want to get into a car and drive it. When you’re looking for an investment that will service your needs – comfortable, functional, reliable and affordable – how your car does what it does is less important than the fact that it gets the job done.
Mazda is sticking to something more traditional. They have decided to introduce a new generation of affordable gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles. Believing that the best solution for now is to reduce carbon emissions, and oil dependency is one of the ideas behind SKYACTIV technology.
Globally, the Mazda3 is the number one selling car in the Mazda line-up, selling over 3 million copies since it first hit the market in 2004, with just under 400,000 of them being sold here in Canada. These numbers are high for a good reason; anyone who spent time behind the wheel of the 3 will know that it is a wonderful car to drive. The one thing that Mazda needed to be very careful about was making sure that they kept this car appealing and only make it better.
I am in Los Angeles to take the new 2012 Mazda3, equipped with SKYACTIV technology, for a test drive. Mazda has stressed that even though the changes under the hood will produce an almost 30% improvement in fuel consumption, nothing has really changed in the way the driver feels behind the wheel of this compact car.
Their have been a few small changes in the styling. At first glance, it’s not that noticeable, which is a good thing. In my opinion, the Mazda3 is still one of the best looking cars in this class. The exterior sees a few small upgrades like a new fascia and fog light design. The interior upgrades include new trim and tailored gauge displays (blue for SKYACTIV, red for Mazdaspeed3). A blind-spot monitoring system is a first in this segment, and is now available as an option on some trim levels.
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