• Aug 12, 2008
Since the Mazda3 hit the streets in 2004, it's proven to be a very strong contender in the small car segment. The compact sedan and hatch has been winning customers over with great styling, athletic ride characteristics, and equipment that typically isn't found in small cars. Its rich mix of standard features and options has helped keep transaction prices high, which will be very important as the self-proclaimed Zoom-Zoom automaker looks to downsize its lineup and make as much money as possible from every sale.

Mazda will now execute the Mazda3 strategy across its entire line to boost profits while giving customers the standard features they crave. For example, the all-new 2009 Mazda6 will be equipped with disc brakes at all four corners in every trim level while some of the competition continues to use rear drum brakes on their base models. Mazda has already proven that adding standard content can raise transaction prices while at the same time increasing sales, now the Ford-controlled automaker needs to prove that it can accomplish the same feat across its lineup. If Mazda makes all of its vehicles as competent as the Mazda3, that shouldn't be a problem.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]


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  • 32 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I read this and said...what is the story here, why was it written? Its empty of any details whatsoever. Just like most Ford marketing babble. Am I missing something?
      • 6 Years Ago
      So, what are some of these "premium touches" that Mazda is adding?

      I hope someone points out that the disc brakes thing is total bull. All Accords come with discs. Same for Camry. So does Altima. And Passat, too. I'm pretty sure Sonata's got 'em.

      Based on my experience with a last-gen Mazda 6s, let's hope some of those "premium features" include "no rattles," "CD player that works," "engine that doesn't have problems," "parking brake that works," etc. Cause all of those were features I thought I would get on a $27,000 car, but sure as heck didn't.

      I'd also love dealers who actually fixed problems, instead of trying to charge me for warranty work or simply pushed me off to another dealer. That might be a nice "premium feature," too.

      Never again, Mazda.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Kitko -

        Huh? How the heck did I ruin my car? Rattles started - badly - within 1500mi. and were worse than the 15 year old Honda I had beforehand. Parking brake never held tightly, soft enough that the car would roll with ebrake on. Two dealers tell me it is "within spec." Bose CD system was worked on three times and replaced once, but still would regularly cut the sound out of the right speakers on the car (front and rear) for no reason. Engine developed a stumbling/stalling problem at 12,000 miles, rather troubling when you are in traffic at 45mph and the engine stalls. Six trips to the dealer could not fix it, second dealer wanted to charge to fix it, on a two year old car under warranty!

        I have no clue if it was because the car was Michigan-made or not. But those sure as heck aren't things that I did to my (former) car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      'and equipment that typically isn't found in small cars.'

      What is this equipment that the Mazda 3 has that typically isn't found in small cars? I like the Mazda 3 and all, but I can't think of a single thing it has that other cars in its class don't have. Heck, the Versa comes with Bluetooth (optional?) and I don't think the Mazda 3 offers it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, even many larger cars do not have ABS as standard, stability control is still rare and rear disc brakes are not really common. I have a Mazda3, European model, which in a mid trim level, was better equipped than any comparable car available in Europe. Same goes for US Mazda3. Top trim 2.3 liter hatch for 22K... do the math, compare the specs, throw in superior reliability (Mazda3 is official the most reliable car in Europe - declared by German's audit body TUV) and driving which non of the rivals can match. There you go...
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ kitko -

        Maybe it's because you are not from the US(I assume), but there is a fair amount of incorrect info in your assumption.


        I personally can't think of too many larger cars in the US that don't have ABS. There may be some, but off the top of my head none come up. A quick search turned up that the Kia Rio has optional ABS, though their other cars have it standard. The Chevy Aveo also has it as an option. It is also an option on the two lowest Cobalt models and the lower models of the HHR(which shares its chassis with the Cobalt). ABS is an option across all models of the Ford Focus and is an option on the V6 Mustangs

        There may be more, but those were the few I found and none would be considered a larger car by virtually anyone.

        Additionally, we in the US will soon be faced with a requirement that all vehicles come equipped standard with stability control(Mandated to be on any vehicle for sale by Sept 1, 2011). From my understanding, stability control should require the use of ABS as well(just by the nature of how ESC systems work). So, a vehicle not having ABS or stability control will soon become a moot point since it will become a requirement.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think that in 2004 when the model came out, it had optional features that you could not get on a lot of cars in its segment.

      I bought my '04 in early '05, and when shopping I seem to recall the HID lights stood out as a option that wasn't available.

      I actually think the Mazda3 was a game changer and that is why we are seeing other makers offering better packages in their small cars today.

      I could be full of BS but I am not going back to check feature lists on Civic and Corollas from 2004, just going off memory.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The new 6 has Blind Spot Monitoring available, is that a premium feature? I thought it had nice touches, like the SmartKey, (I know Nissan is pushing this in almost their entire line up, but it's still a premium feature), etc.
      • 6 Years Ago
      How about the things that my 2007 Mazda3i sedan DOESN'T have:
      lighted visor mirrors,
      daytime running lights, and
      A BUTTON ON THE KEY FOB TO POP THE TRUNK!
        • 6 Years Ago
        i think for 2009 - they added the remote trunk lid release.

        Things other cars in the class dont have are the auto-wipers. I love that feature + auto-headlights.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The lighted vanity mirror was just a nit-picky thing.

        However, DRL was not even an option for me (in the US), nor was the key fob trunk release. THAT one really bugs me.

        Otherwise, besides the crappy OEM tires, I love my 3.
        • 6 Years Ago
        p.s. the 3 now has lighted mirrors , and btw all cars now have daytime running lights , so does the mazda3 , .... at least in canada, but wich car in that category has electric trunk release ????
      • 6 Years Ago
      I saw the new 6 this weekend and was NOT impressed. This is coming from someone who loves his Millennia.

      Its huge and very cartoony/bubbly looking, and the interior didn't stand out against the competition either. I wish they kept the size down and brought over the Euro version...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Mazda needs to do something about the mileage on the new Mazda6 V6. That will add mroe value than a standard iPod jack.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Are you kidding? Granted I've only put about 500 or so miles on my 09 Mazda6 V6 but with rated highway mileage of 25 I've been quite impressed that my mix of city/highway has averaged 24.7 according to the info computer and the real time fuel economy during highway has consistently been 26-29MPG...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mazda should use the Ford 6 speed automatic.

        That would allow for improved mileage without compromising acceleration.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Just opt for the 4-cylinder engine instead. 270 horses don't come without a penalty.
      • 6 Years Ago
      One step closer to being able to get rid of that set of brake spoons.
      • 6 Years Ago
      WAIT, so your saying by adding features customers want....people are more likely to buy a car and pay more for it???




      Business School FAIL
      • 6 Years Ago
      Does it really matter to the average consumer whether a car has disc or drum brakes? Or is this just the concern of gear-heads? I currently couldn't tell you which type of brakes my car has, but I know it stops when I apply the brakes. And I wouldn't be able to tell you whether that would be due to whatever kind is better or if they improved the kind that wasn't as good before. The point is -- I can't see the brake components. I just trust them to work.

      What other content is added that the average consumer can discern by just looking at the car and, thereby, justifying the higher price?
        • 6 Years Ago
        naardvark:

        The 6 also has EBD which should under most circumstances shifts some of the braking duties to the rears... Hence, a benefit in discs also.
        • 6 Years Ago
        naardvark:
        You've hit it spot on, however, I would say that on larger cars rear discs are a necessity. As the weight goes up, the rear brakes do more.

        On a car like the Mazda 3 or similar sized (Civic, Cobalt, etc.), rear drums work fine for street use.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, you can see the brakes on the new 6- it isn't even come with steel wheels and wheel covers(if I'm not mistaken)- so it can matter, if seeing the hardware is your thing. And disc brakes are way better than drum brakes in terms of fade and ease of servicing (among many other things), and think about it- if they point out this safety feature, and then point out that the competitors don't have discs, that's another feature the 6 has over competition. Also, this eliminates the need for drums from the production line, and having only one type of brake available reduces cost. It's a win-win.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @JD
        The 6i comes standard with 16in STEEL wheels with covers.

        If Mazda is going to do this across the line they should add an AUX input on ALL cars, have standard rear disc on Tribute and B-series (doubt it, can you even GET a Ranger with rear discs?) since they are the only cars without them standard, and fix thier muddy crap radios on anything that doesn't have Bose.

        Surely having all that standard will limit options and therefore make the cars cheaper, right?

        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes it absolutely matter that new cars have rear discs. [or it will by the time ESP is mandated]
        I don't want to have my ESP to operate with drum brakes.
        I don't want to have EBD with drum brakes.
        [check out the new Honda fit]

        If you have a 60/40 car with a normal ride height, you probably are at 80/20 at 1g deceleration (if you can hit that with your tires)

        But in a sportier front wheel drive, still 60/40, and you decelerate at 1g, you can improve weight distribution from 80/20 to 75/25.

        I am not saying that vented rear rotors are necessary for a pedestrian front wheel drive car [Ford did that with the Contour V6, many years ago-in the pre EBD days], because if/when the rear brakes fade, you have more stability (see LS2-7 above)
      • 6 Years Ago
      "The compact sedan and hatch has been winning customers over with great styling, athletic ride characteristics, and equipment that typically isn't found in small cars." - Autoblog

      This statement is true for North America, where small cars have traditionally been little more than four wheels and a seat ... however the statement doesn't apply anywhere else. The 3 is a great car, but it certainly doesn't stand out in the C-segment crowd in many markets.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I would've gone for the singular "isn't" instead of plural.
        • 6 Years Ago
        For a minute there, I thought you were going to point out the run-on sentence construction.
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