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Inside Mazda

Mazda wrapped up 2016 with a trophy case of awards…a large trophy case

World Car of The Year Mazda MX-5 Miata

Like most industries, the auto industry bestows annual awards for excellence. These awards represent the best of the automotive world, as judged by the automotive press, industrial designers, engineers and consumers.

Mazda is proud to win its fair share of accolades because the people who know recognize the creativity, perseverance and effort that goes into making a truly excellent vehicle.

Last year was a pivotal year for Mazda. For the first time, the entire lineup featured SKYACTIV Technology-equipped vehicles. The following list highlights the awards Mazda has received in 2016 alone.

Automobile Magazine mx5 miata

2016 MX-5 Miata

In its 27-year history, MX-5 Miata has become one of the most awarded cars in the history of the automobile, and it’s no wonder why. While other sports cars and roadsters come and go, the MX-5 Miata stays true to the original vision of a lightweight sports car designed for open-air and exhilarating experience.

2016 World Car of the Year by World Car Awards

The World Car Awards jury is made up of over 70 internationally known automotive journalists who select the Car of the Year from more than 20 nominees. Receiving the award, Masahiro Moro, President and CEO of Mazda North American Operations said, “While I accept this award on behalf of the company, I do so representing every Mazda employee, retail partner and customer around the world who has ever felt the joy of driving a pure roadster.  We say ‘Driving Matters’ in our advertising, and we prove it in our cars.”

2016 World Car Design of the Year by World Car Awards

The World Car Awards title for design is curated by a panel of highly respected design experts from Asia, Europe, and America. The experts issued a statement saying, “The new MX-5 design is exciting, distinct and fresh… An exceptional design in all ways.”

10Best Cars by Car and Driver

The editors of Car and Driver wrote, “The fourth-generation Miata is better than ever. Mazda built the millionth Miata in 2016, cementing its standing as the best-selling roadster of all time… The Miata’s balance, poise, and eagerness are simply unmatched by anything that doesn’t cost twice as much or more.”

2016 Best Sports Car for the Money by U.S. News & World Report

According to U.S. News, the Miata is “one of the sportiest and most fun to drive cars available on the market.” The criteria for this award are as simple as they are challenging. U.S. News states, “the Best Car for the Money award winners have the best combination of long-term value and quality in each of their classes.”


Before you can take home an All-Star award from Automobile, you have to make the editors love your car. “If it doesn’t make our cerebellum sizzle when we drive it, if it doesn’t channel our passion for mechanical splendor, if it doesn’t make us a bit teary-eyed when we switch off the ignition, it’ll never be an Automobile All-Star,” they say.  We must have succeeded, because longtime contributor John Lamm said the Miata was, “more fun than the Ferrari, McLaren, and Porsche.”

2016 Mazda 3 sedan and hatchback

2016 Mazda3

The market for compact sedans is both large and highly competitive. In an arena where most automakers compete on price, Mazda’s strategy for the Mazda3 is to compete on performance and value.

10Best Cars by Car and Driver

Car and Driver named the 2016 Mazda3 as one of its 10Best cars for 2017, stating that Mazda’s basic sedan and 5-door possesses, “fine points considered not in numbers but in nuance, the subtle great-making attributes that separate the merely good from the remarkable. (...) The Mazda3 is the driver’s choice.”

10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000 – Winner by Kelley Blue Book

Kelley Blue Book is one of the most authoritative sources on new cars. They have included the Mazda3 among their 10 Coolest Cars list for 13 straight years. This year, the editors said, “Gorgeous and sporty outside as well as inside, the Mazda3 backs it all up with fun-focused driving dynamics. And now that it’s also fuel-efficient and tech-savvy, we wouldn’t bet on this streak coming to an end anytime soon.”

For more information, visit Kelley Blue Book’s  Kelley Blue Book is a registered trademark of Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc.

Mazda 3 sedan

2016 Mazda6

In a market segment dominated by bland and undistinguished mid-sized family sedans, the Mazda6 stands alone with features like a 6-speed manual transmission and stunning design. Critical acclaim follows, leaving competing sedans far behind.

2016 Editors' Choice Awards by Car and Driver

“If you think all family sedans are created equal, you’re in for a surprise with the nimble and curvaceous Mazda 6,” said the editors, adding, “It lives up to its racy looks, too—a precision-tuned suspension and driver-focused cabin make it the ideal choice for those who enjoy driving.”

Top Rated Vehicle by

The 2016 Mazda 6 is an Top Rated Vehicle. That means that it passed a rigorous testing regimen. According to their website, the Edmunds Testing Team evaluates about 200 cars each year. Each vehicle is driven on a standardized road-test loop and visits a special test track for instrumented testing under controlled conditions. Vehicles that earn an “A” rating receive an Top Rated Award.

Mazda CX-3 crossover

2016 CX-3

The new subcompact SUV market is dramatically competitive, with many automakers fighting for market share. In this developing market, the CX-3 is already a standout with sophisticated design and stylish interior.

2016 Editors' Choice Awards by Car and Driver

Car and Driver’s editors again chose Mazda, saying, “The CX-3 is a fun and feisty runabout with a can-do attitude, offering taut handling paired with edgy styling. The cabin is equally well designed, featuring high-quality materials and modern driving aids.”

10 Coolest Cars Under $25,000 by Kelley Blue Book

The editors at Kelley Blue Book stated, “The new-for-2016 Mazda CX-3 is the best-looking, most fun-to-drive entry in the burgeoning subcompact SUV segment. It’s also the lowest-priced vehicle on this list.”

For more information, visit Kelley Blue Book’s  Kelley Blue Book is a registered trademark of Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc.

Mazda CX-5 crossover

2016 CX-5

Compact SUVs are now the best-selling market segment in America, and the CX-5 leads the competition in accolades from the industry press. With new features and new look for 2017, the praise is likely to continue in the new year.

2016 Editors' Choice Awards by Car and Driver

The editors praised the CX-5 because, “Sharp steering and a poised chassis make it the enthusiast’s pick. The smart cabin, easy-to-use infotainment, and optional safety tech—adaptive cruise, automated emergency braking, and more—underscore the CX-5’s great all-rounder standing.”

Mazda CX-9 SUV

2016 CX-9

The all-new CX-9 garnered awards and appreciation as it was introduced midway through 2016. In the mid-size SUV market, the CX-9 stands out for its design excellence and daring departure from lackluster industry norms making it an ideal driver’s SUV.

Reader's Choice Award Winner: Mazda CX-9 by AutoGuide

AutoGuide had plenty to say when its readers chose the CX-9 as their favorite SUV. “It may be a big crossover, but it is fun, and lives up to Mazda’s ‘Driving Matters’ credo,” they said. “A comfortable utility vehicle that can also entertain on a winding road is a win-win in our books, so hearty congratulations are in order for Mazda!”

10Best Trucks and SUVs – Best Mid-Size SUV by Car and Driver

Once again, Mazda stood out amongst the competition to Car and Driver’s editors, who awarded the new CX-9 the Best Mid-Size SUV as part of its 10Best Trucks and SUVs awards. “In a segment where some automakers are satisfied with delivering little more than anodyne shuttles, Mazda has created a trailblazing alternative to the status quo. The striking exterior is understated yet defined by interesting details, mimicking a formula more often seen in luxury offerings. Inside, the cabin is both airy and roomy while also being cosseting enough to feel like your own private refuge. Upscale materials and trim pieces such as the available rosewood accents are positively luxurious.”

2017 Wards 10-Best Engines by WardsAuto

Mazda’s SKYACTIV engine technology won the day with WardsAuto, who said, “Mazda isn’t known for copying the other guys and took the more difficult, but possibly more rewarding route. Mazda opted to use a 2.5-liter turbocharged, four-cylinder engine in the new 2017 CX-9. One of its first rewards is a Wards Auto 10-Best Engine award.” According to Wards, “Mazda worked some real magic with the new SKYACTIV 2.5L.”

mazda fuel efficient

Awards for the Mazda Brand

Taken individually, Mazda cars and SUVs win plenty awards. But when the industry press and analysts step back and consider automakers for their entire line, the pattern of success for Mazda really becomes clear. Mazda took home the following awards, and others, in 2016.

2017 Best Car Brand by U.S. News and World Report

When U.S. News and World Report looked at the auto industry at the end of 2016 they said, “The Best Car Brand winner is Mazda, which has won plenty of fans for the exciting performance of its lineup, which includes the Mazda3, Mazda6, and Mazda MX-5 Miata. However, Mazda cars are not only a good choice for driving enthusiasts. Our rankings and analysis show that Mazda cars get high marks for interior comfort, tech, and design.”

Most Fuel-Efficient Auto Manufacturer by the United States Environmental Protection Agency

According to the EPA, Mazda attained the highest fleet-wide adjusted fuel economy performance of any automaker in America for the 2015 model year. Mazda products averaged 29.6 miles per gallon (MPG). This is the fourth consecutive year Mazda has achieved this distinction.

2017 Autoweek Constructor Award by Autoweek

Autoweek magazine recognized Mazda’s dominance in amateur auto racing in America, saying, “According to the Sports Car Club of America, the manufacturer holds a 55 percent market share in grassroots racing. Mazda won 10 class championships (out of 28) at the 2016 SCCA Runoffs at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in September. Mazda’s 2016 racing campaign also produced a pair of manufacturers’ championships in the Pirelli World Challenge.”

“I feel like there is so much to be proud of,” said Masahiro Moro, president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations. “As a company, we continue to make great vehicles. Vehicles that we can be proud to sell, vehicles that cement our corporate philosophy of Hashiru Yorokobi—or the unique feeling of exhilaration, joy and well-being that enriches owner’s everyday lives and makes them smile.”