One of our favorite car companies seems to be in trouble. The auto press regards Mazdas, for the most part, as excellent cars to drive. The Mazda 3 won a number of awards this year for example. But Mazda thinks Americans don't like the way their cars drive and the company is making changes. AutoWeek points out a number of problems customers had with the vehicles but doesn't offer where these suggestions came from (surveys, research etc.) Among the problems are small cupholders, subpar climate controls, smallish seats, too firm a ride and no techno help for iPod, Bluetooth, satellite radio and navigation systems. All these things tell Mazda they need to change their product. That would be a big mistake.
Mazda needs to address the climate controls for sure, but not many vehicles out there were equipped for iPod or Bluetooth and are adjusting through aftermarket integration. Most of all the ride in the 3 and 6 are terrific. How much bump absorption do people want? The 3 is near silent on the highway and is a blast to drive. And we don?t think there?s anything wrong with the seats either. Mazda should know it can?t compete with Honda and Toyota as an appliance and with Mitsubishi floundering they could take over as the sporting Japanese brand. Somehow Mazda just isn?t reaching folks with their vehicle line-up. In Chicago the 3 is multiplying fast as a hip urban car and Ford obviously believes enough in the 6 to base seemingly dozens of platforms off of it but for some reason folks aren?t buying as many as Mazda expected. Maybe adding options our readers want like stability and traction control makes more sense. But go ahead and fix the cupholders and A/C, widen the seats for American-sized asses but don?t mess with the spirit of these cars. That will be a huge mistake.