Mazda Motor says "real-world" fuel-efficiency will be one of its core attributes as the Japanese automaker seeks to lift U.S. sales volume some 74 percent by 2015. Don't worry though, 'cause zoom-zoom will remain Mazda's number one raison d'etre.

Step one? Be quick to point out that while some automakers boast 40 miles per gallon on the highway, that number is usually only achievable by using driving techniques that some might say border on hypermiling. That's not the case with the SkyActiv-equipped Mazda3, according to the Japanese automaker.

Next week, Mazda will launch the revamped Mazda3 in the U.S. With its arrival, the Japanese automaker says buyers of the 3 will get a compact vehicle that delivers unmatched "real world" fuel efficiency without even ditching the spare tire, as most rivals have done.

In typical Mazda zoom-zoom fashion, Robert Davis, senior vice-president of U.S. operations, stated of the Mazda3, "It's not acceptable to us to have 40 mpg and sacrifice performance."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      sirvixisvexed
      • 16 Hours Ago
      "that number is usually only achievable by using driving techniques that some might say border on hypermiling." Eric, why do you say this? Am I missing something? I thought the revamped fuel economy standards in 2008 made the testing MORE difficult and brought down the mileage numbers of all cars 15-20%. Now, more than ever, the mileage numbers are NOT pie-in-the-sky, and can be beat. ???
        Greg
        • 16 Hours Ago
        @sirvixisvexed
        Apparently driving at a steady 60 mph on flat ground "borders on hypermiling." Honestly, the reason people don't get or beat the EPA figures is because of the driver, not the car. (However, there are execptions, particularly a few small SUVs, that have EPA numbers that are flat-out wrong.)
      goodoldgorr
      • 16 Hours Ago
      Usually the more mpg for a given size on that test mean less drivability( poor engine responce, spongious gas pedal, uneven accelerations, vibrations and hiccups, difficulty to control speed, etc).
      lne937s
      • 16 Hours Ago
      Here is the big difference. While the EPA test takes a sample of fuel economy, you can optimize to the specific conditions of the test to inflate your rating (using gear ratios, fuel management, etc.). It is like only teaching a kid standardized test questions-- it isn't the test's fault that real world performance varies. If you look at the recent C&D tests, you would think the Honda Fit would be at the back of the pack with an EPA rating of 27/33, but it comes in mid-pack with 32 mpg in the test. You would think the Sonic with an EPA rating of 29/40 would do better, but it fails to meet its combined rating and comes in at 31 mpg in the test. http://www.caranddriver.com/var/ezflow_site/storage/original/application/4c9bac7cfc10dfcdfdfd31ce0baf4799.pdf The US-built Sonic is intended primarily for the US market and was optimized for the US fuel economy test procedure. However, as the Fit is made overseas and sold primarily in overseas markets, it doesn't make sense to optimize the car to US testing procedures. As such, real world fuel economy outperforms what the testing would predict. As Mazda is in a similar position of building cars overseas for largely overseas markets, it also makes sense for them not to optimize their vehicles for US fuel economy testing procedures.
      paulwesterberg
      • 16 Hours Ago
      Mazda's core attribute is marketing. And sparkles.
      HVH20
      • 16 Hours Ago
      Sounds like a sales pitch for snake oil, how about they have someone hypermile it to show what it really can do? The EPA cycle was designed to level the playing field between manufacturers who try to do exactly this. Say it gets super duper awesome MPG w/o driving it like grandma... All vehicles are driven the same for their EPA rating, so 40mpg in a Mazda is the same as 40mpg in a different vehicle, hence the standard. I don't care what new engine technology is in a vehicle (ok yeah I do), but the laws of physics still apply. To get high MPG you need to make a lightweight and aerodynamic vehicle. The efficiency of IC engines is absolutely terrible, and incremental improvements (sky active tech) only help so much.
        Peter
        • 16 Hours Ago
        @HVH20
        The EPA is a game. Yes its the same game (although some may argue that it disadvantages diesels and hybrids and it certainly disadvantages start stop) but what you do to make that all important EPA sticker look good does not always translate off the dynamo... at least when C/D puts 'em cheek to jowl midsized http://www.caranddriver.com/var/ezflow_site/storage/original/application/6692eee051e85377fb6a4926a9d2cbed.pdf compact http://www.caranddriver.com/var/ezflow_site/storage/original/application/885057c7884d97ed3451c1910b11662d.pdf
      • 16 Hours Ago
      P.S. Just to emphasise the lunacy here, if I drive that car like I want to, really enjoying its capability (and it's a fun car) it gets a little over 27 mpg. Yes, US gallons. So if I buy a brand new car that is not capable of this performance and won't take a whole Ikea bedroom in the back then drive it like a sensible (albeit real-world sensible) person I get 50% more miles out of it. That is not such a great benefit.
      • 16 Hours Ago
      With my 2011 KIA Optima, if I set the cruise control at 65 and put in ECO mode my readout indicates an average of 41-42. This is with the AC on. I cannot do better than that without the cruise control and only get in the mid 30s in manual mode. When my wife drives to Cali. she sets the CC to 75 MPH and this drags her down to 32-34 MPG. I would like to see what kind of mileage I get at 55 but in AZ this puts me at risk of being rear ended so that portion of the experiment will have to wait.
      Ford Future
      • 16 Hours Ago
      The Electric Motor is the PERFECT Rotary Engine. Mazda should be all over this.
      • 16 Hours Ago
      Errrmmmm ... what is so special? At the moment my car is reporting it is doing 39 mpg. OK these are Imperial gallons, so it is only 32.5mpg in US gallons, and I am driving almost solely on the highway in modest traffic so at steady but restricted speed, so nothing close is it? Well considering that is in a 12-year-old Ford (Mercury in the US) Cougar V6 with 140,000 miles on the clock ... well how come anyone is surprised that a modern, brand-new, small 4-cylinder car can manage 40 mpg? Have the car makers forgotten to improve conventional cars while concentrating research on the tiny market for hybrids and electric?