• Feb 22, 2007

The well-known zoom-zoom tag-line in every Mazda commercial is being tested by a flood of crossover vehicles that don't exactly fit the company's sporty persona. To complicate things further, all five vehicles are close in price, with the difference from bottom to top being a mere $11,400.

CX-9: Minivan replacement, seats seven

CX-7: Sporty and quick, seats five

Tribute: Seats five, SUV looks

Mazda5: Seats six, minivan-like

Mazda6 Sport Wagon: Not a crossover, but definitely a people and stuff-hauler

Of course Mazda tells anyone willing to listen that the vehicles all have specific demographic targets. The new CX-9, for example, replaces the slow-selling MPV minivan. The CX-7 has drawn rave reviews for its sporty styling and direct inject turbo engine. In addition, we've yet to come by anyone with bad things to say about the Mazda5. The point, though, is how many people movers in a single lineup constitutes too many?

[Source: AutoWeek]

The Mazda3 is still a great vehicle in its forth model-year

All five vehicles are projected to have combined 135,000 annual sales, which wouldn't beat Ford Escape sales numbers strait-up. The company is based off sporty pretenses. The Mazda3, Mazda6, and RX8 are all four or more model years old. All of these crossovers may be great handling vehicles, but at some point Mazda is going to need to throw in another Sedan or maybe a coupe. We love new product, but we don't all have three kids and a dog.

[Source: AutoWeek]



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  • 14 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      We love our Mazda5. Family of four with a dog, it's perfect. Great mpg, sporty with hot tires/rims, gets a lot of looks. It's just sporty and small enough not to be a wart hog van. Mazda has won me over. I'd but a Mazda3, Mazda6 in a heart beat tho I'm hoping the Mazda2 comes to the states because it would make a great second car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I love Mazda they build great cars. Well i guess more choices for people is a good thing.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I can't say as I'm a fan of Mazda, but I've never had an issue with their designs.

      http://www.internetseriousbiz.com/
      • 7 Years Ago
      #3 has Mazda pretty well pegged. "The poor man's BMW" for the MZ3 is just about right and who really needs true BMW handling and power? Not many speeds unlimited Interstates and no Alps with twisty roads in most states. If you have ever driven over the Swiss Alps you'd understand BMWs much better.

      The next Mazda6 will be larger to fill the gap. As the present model is closer in interior size to the previous Mazda Protegés, although, Mazda claims the MZ3 is larger it is tighter inside, especially the back seat and leg room.

      The Mazda5 is close in size to Honda's first min-van, the 1995-98 Odyssey, but a lot more fun to drive.

      Does Mazda need so many people-haulers? Does Toyota need so many SUVs and pickup trucks? They are meeting a more outdoor-active market's needs. *Utility* is the key word for buyers who are not interested in making an impression. Though, the MZ5 does get a lot of attention due to not many on the roads -- yet. Mazda doesn't even advertise it.

      Once they have launched them they can work on building the their marketshare.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Tribute certainly ought to be the first to go. It and the truck, have absolutely nothing Mazda-like about them, while the rest of the lineup is throughtly infused with Mazda brand attributes.

      I dissagree with Mr. Karesh regarding the CX-7 and CX-9 platforms. He cites increased development costs, but since each vehicle is built from existing platforms (CX-9 from MAZDA6, CX-7 from a MAZDA3/5 combination) there probably wasn't much of a development cost premium while each vehicle sits on a platform more suited to its purpose.

      Outside of the Tribute, I'd hate to see any of these vehicles go, as I think each are arguably the best in their class. I suppose the 6 Wagon would be the next on the chopping block (if, as Vince says, the axe hasn't fallen already) as I suspect there will be a fair amount of canibalization from the CX models, but that would be a shame, as it is a really nice wagon without much in the way of direct competition.
      • 7 Years Ago
      11. Vince:

      My wife has a three year old Mazda3 (GS - 2 litre engine I believe). With the automatic transmission, she gets about 43 mpg. highway (about 35 mpg in US gallons) and in the low 30's around town (again - about 25 mpg US gallons).
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm a mazda fan and I'm really intruiged by the CX-7 and new CX-9. I think they look great, not the standard crossover SUV look. I think we can all agree the Tribute looks terrible, probably thanks to ford. The first gen tribute was way nicer looking.

      All in all I hope it really works for Mazda, they make good cars that are much less bland then their other japanese counterparts. That doesn't necessarily make them BETTER, but regardless they are still great 'niche' cars.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Vince, I average 24mpg with my auto 3 and I drive very aggressively. I would recommend having yours inspected. If you've done the math correctly and aren't driving around with a lot of extra weight, then you may have a mechanical problem.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I own a Mazda6 Sport Wagon, and it has plenty of Zoom Zoom Zoom. Yes, it moves people, but it is not a "people mover".

      I've driven a CX-7 and that thing is pretty friggin zoomtastic too.

      So that leaves 3 cars with little Zoom. Does the RX-8 compensate for the Tribute?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think Mazda's doing a great job. Hopefully the new 3, 6, and RX-8 go above and beyond their predecessors.

      Here's another story for Autoblog to cover, unless I missed it when it was posted earlier: http://media.ford.com/newsroom/feature_display.cfm?release=24804
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Tribute is a Ford hold over and I wouldn’t be surprised if that went away. However it does fill the niche of people looking for a basic small SUV. But then they could just buy a Ford Escape so this rebadge is unnecessary. The CX9 and CX7 are fine. The 5 is a small inexpensive minivan and there aren’t many of those on the market so that’s good too. The 6 wagon is a wagon and there are fewer and fewer of those around and it’s good looking so nothing wrong with that. Mazda knows what its doing and is a fairly focused brand. Offer a variety of vehicles with a focus on sportiness regardless of what you offer. A poor man’s BMW seems to be spot on.

      I do think they could offer a larger vehicle above the 6, smaller than an Avalon for 500 but bigger than the 6. A good RWD coupe like the Kabura would be a nice fit as well. I’d also like to see some sort of convertible besides the Miata.

      I’d expect to see a new 6 sometime soon and hopefully a new RX8 or the Kabura.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Last time I checked, $11,400 was a pretty wide gap for most people. And some of us do have three kids (but not the dog).

      The main mistake here is probably that the CX-7 and CX-9 aren't more closely related. There's very little reason for them to be based on different platforms, they don't even drive all that differently, it just costs Mazda more to develop and build them this way.

      My site's info on Mazda's, including price comparisons and links to my reviews:

      http://www.truedelta.com/models/Mazda.php
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