The new Mazda CX-30 will arrive in Ireland by the end of 2019

2019 Mazda CX-30 First Drive Review

The new Mazda CX-30 will arrive in Ireland by the end of 2019
The new Mazda CX-30 will arrive in Ireland by the end of 2019

The Mazda CX-30 is a new compact SUV from Mazda that will slot between the CX-3 and CX-5 in the brand’s SUV line-up. The CX-30 is one of the new generation of Mazda vehicles alongside new Mazda3 and features the latest in Mazda design and technology, including the exciting new Skyactiv X engine. Caroline travelled to Girona, Spain, to test drive the new Mazda CX-30 ahead of its arrival in Ireland at the end of the year.

Styling

The new Mazda CX-30 features an evolution of Mazda’s famed KODO designed language with more refined surfaces. Mazda use clay modelling to achieve the beautiful curved surfaces that distinguish Mazdas from other mainstream manufacturers. The CX-30 has a neat, compact profile and unique design features that make it stand out. In fact it’s more of a high riding hatchback in the metal than a chunky SUV. A thick piece of grey plastic cladding around the lower sills and wheel arches gives the CX-30 the attitude of a modern compact crossover. 16” alloy wheels and LED headlights feature as standard. Signature colours include Soul Red Crystal, Machine Grey and Polymetal Grey.

Watch a video of the new Mazda CX-30:

Interior

The interior of the Mazda CX-30 is a sophisticated and premium offering that is hard to find in this class of vehicle. The dashboard has a horizontal, minimalist design characterised by plenty of good quality soft dashboard panelling. The CX-30 features the latest Mazda infotainment system that comes with a slick looking, wide screen 8.8 inch central display that is controlled by a rotary controller with shortcut buttons to access different menus. A digital driver information panel is also included as standard. The new CX-30 is available in two colour schemes: Dark Brown or Dark Blue. Leather is available in Black or Pure White.

The interior of the new CX-30
The interior of the new CX-30

Practicality

The CX-30 is a five seat SUV. Mazda has delivered on the promise of creating a roomier SUV. The CX-30 is a more spacious and practical vehicle when compared to the CX-3, though there are other SUVs in this segment that feel more spacious in the rear. Access and egress is easy thanks to generous door openings and the positioning and shape of the seats in the vehicle. There is 430 litres of boot space, which is more than in the equivalent Mazda3 hatchback. A powered tailgate is available.

Engines

There are two petrol engines (Skyactiv G and Skyactiv X) and one diesel engine (Skyactiv D) available for new CX-30. CX-30 is a front wheel drive SUV, with all wheel drive (AWD) available as an option.

Skyactiv G is a 2.0-litre petrol engine with new Mazda M Hybrid Technology and Cylinder Deactivation systems. Skyactiv G has 122hp and is available with automatic and manual gearboxes. On the road, the Skyactiv G works well in the CX-30 being both refined and delivering smooth power. Over a short test drive over rural roads and a short motorway stint we averaged 6.8l per 100km.

Skyactiv D is a 1.8-litre diesel putting out 116hp and 270Nm of torque. The torque of the diesel offers a pleasant punch and this engine offers superb economy in the CX-30. We averaged 4.8l per 100km over a long, mixed test route. Skyactiv D is available with automatic and manual gearboxes.

We also had an opportunity to take Mazda’s exciting new Skyactiv X on a short test loop in pre-production vehicles. Mazda claims this engine combines the benefits of a spark-ignition petrol engine with those of a compression-ignition diesel engine, and is both fuel efficient and powerful. Skyactiv X also comes with the new Mazda M Hybrid System. The extra power is evident on the road (180hp) but we are still on the fence as to whether this engine fully delivers. We will reserve judgement until we have had an opportunity to take this car for a longer drive on Irish roads!

The new Mazda CX-30 is available with petrol and diesel engines
The new Mazda CX-30 is available with petrol and diesel engines

On the road

The new Mazda CX-30 is based on a new generation of Mazda’s Skyactiv Vehicle Architecture that also underpins the new Mazda3 hatchback. Front wheel drive models feature G-Vectoring Control Plus for better handling. A torsion beam at the rear provides better refinement over a variety of road surfaces. On the road the Mazda CX-30 is easily one of the most quiet and refined cars in its class with minimal road and wind noise entering the cabin. It's comfortable and good fun to drive with excellent composure through bends and well judged steering.

Equipment

For Ireland there will be a choice of four trim levels: GS, GS-L, GT and GT Sport. Standard equipment is expected to include air con, an 8.8-inch colour entertainment screen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, 7-inch digital dashboard, rear parking sensor, window projected colour Active Driving Display, 16” alloys, LED headlights with High Beam Control, Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring with rear traffic alert, Traffic Sign Recognition, E-Call and Lane Keep Assist.

GS-L includes a reversing camera, smart keyless entry, front parking sensors, powered tailgate, dual zone climate control and heated front seats.

The GT model is equipped with 18” alloy wheels, heated steering wheel, power adjustable driver’s seat and a black leather interior.

At the top of the range the GT Sport adds adaptive LED headlights, front and rear signature LED lighting, frameless rear view mirror, rear privacy glass, piano black exterior detailing and Bose® twelve speaker audio system.

Pricing

Mazda Ireland is yet to confirm pricing for the new CX-30 range however the company has indicated that the CX-30 will carry a €2000 premium over the current Mazda3 range, which retails from €26,295.

Rivals

The new Mazda CX-30 will go head to head with the Volkswagen Tiguan, Peugeot 3008, Toyota C-HR and segment leaders, Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tucson.

Verdict

The Mazda CX-30 fills a niche for customers seeking the compact dimensions of the CX-3 but with a more spacious and practical interior. The CX-30 delivers on that and features the same high-end design and finish that we have come to expect from Mazda.

It’s also one of the most fun and engaging crossovers to drive with excellent refinement on the move.

The CX-30 is now one of the most modern and advanced models in the Mazda range and features the full complement of Mazda engine technology – Skyactiv G, Skyactiv D and the new Skyactiv X.

Mazda Ireland expect the CX-30 to become its bestselling model and we can see why. This is the sweet spot of the market and the CX-30 is high in desirability.

We look forward to bringing you a full road test in 2020.

The new Mazda CX-30 will be in dealers from the December
The new Mazda CX-30 is expected be in dealers from December

Caroline Kidd


The new Mazda3 is now on sale in Ireland priced from €26,295

2019 Mazda3 2.0 Petrol Skyactiv-G Review

The new Mazda3 is now on sale in Ireland priced from €26,295
The new Mazda3 is now on sale in Ireland priced from €26,295

Caroline drives the new Mazda3!

Mazda has recently launched an all-new generation of the Mazda3 hatchback and saloon. Since I began testing cars, the Mazda3 has always been one of my favourite cars in the compact class for its stylish looks, high quality cabin and fun, sporty drive.

But it was time for a change. Reflecting the current move in the industry to integrating hybrid technology to boost efficiency, the news is that Mazda has also launched the Mazda3 with mild hybrid technology. There’s also a revolutionary new petrol engine due to arrive shortly (‘Skyactiv-X’) that promises the free-revving performance of a petrol engine with the response and fuel economy of a diesel.

Mazda has gently progressed the styling of the Mazda3 with stunning results. The curvature of the sheet metal around the rear quarters of the hatchback is particularly interesting. The new Mazda3 is clearly one of the style icons of its class!

The Mazda3 2.0-litre petrol engine now features mild hybrid technology to boost efficiency and reduce emissions
The Mazda3 2.0-litre petrol engine now features mild hybrid technology to boost efficiency and reduce emissions

The interior of the new Mazda3

Inside, the interior has progressed to a more cohesive and stylish design. The material quality is excellent and the new digital instrument panel is modern and easy to read. The infotainment has also been updated and improved with a new screen and rotary controller on the centre console. In terms of space, the new Mazda3 will seat five and is reasonably spacious in the rear for this class of vehicle. At 351 litres, the boot is about average for the compact class.

For Ireland there will be a choice of four trim levels for the hatchback: GS, GS-L, GT and GT Sport. Standard equipment includes air con, an 8.8-inch colour entertainment screen, 7-inch digital dashboard, window projected colour Active Driving Display, 16” alloys, LED headlights with High Beam Control, Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring with rear traffic alert, E-Call and Lane Keep Assist. Every model in the line-up also features navigation, Apple CarPlay™/Android Auto™ and an eight speaker audio system.

GS-L includes a reversing camera, smart keyless entry and heated front seats, while the GT model is equipped with 18” alloy wheels and a black leather interior. At the top of the range the GT Sport sees an enhanced cabin with additional chrome detailing, a frameless rear view mirror, rear privacy glass and Bose® twelve speaker audio system.

At launch the new Mazda3 is available with the 2.0 Skyactiv-G petrol (122hp) and the 1.8 Skyactiv-D diesel (116hp). These are not new engines, but the 2.0-litre petrol now has support from a 24 volt mild hybrid system and cylinder deactivation to improve efficiency. The new 2.0-litre petrol Skyactiv-X will join later with 180hp. Manual and automatic gearboxes are available.

My test car was a Mazda3 2.0 Skyactiv-G GT Sport with a list price of €30,795.

The interior of the new Mazda3
The interior of the new Mazda3

On the road in the new Mazda3

The new Mazda3 has been built upon a new vehicle architecture that promises better handling, ride comfort and refinement. According to Mazda, every element of the car - the seats, body, tyres and suspension - has been developed with “a human centred approach” to ensure that Mazda’s famous ‘Jinba Ittai’ sense of oneness between car and driver is more finely balanced than ever before.

A torsion beam rear suspension has been used to improve refinement over a variety of road surfaces and we can say that is has worked because road noise is gone in this new generation. The Mazda3 is comfortable for the most part but doesn’t take the edge off potholes, manhole covers and other bumps and ridges in the road surface you will encounter around town. The car feels sporty and flat through bends and the steering is also well-weighted.

Bucking the trend for small turbocharged petrol engines, the 2.0-litre petrol in the Mazda3 is a naturally aspirated affair because Mazda believe this is still the best way to get good fuel efficiency from a petrol engine. It is certainly more efficient than what one might think for an engine of this capacity. Over a week of driving my average fuel consumption was 6.6l/100km, while motor tax is €200 per year. However, it does deliver its power differently and I did miss the in-gear punch of a turbo unit. It can feel a little more lazy, though it is very quiet and refined on the move!

The new Mazda3 is positioned near the top of the compact class in terms of price but it comes with a high-quality interior and plenty of standard equipment. The Mazda3 offers an excellent drive and cabin experience. Engine choice is a little bit left field in the Mazda3 range but in terms of power and efficiency, perfectly acceptable.

The new Mazda3 is a sophisticated machine that looks good just about anywhere!

The Mazda3 is a stylish and sporty hatchback for the compact class
The Mazda3 is a stylish and sporty hatchback for the compact class

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Mazda3 2.0 Skyactiv-G GT Sport
Price:
€30,795 (Range from €26,295)
Engine: 2.0-litre petrol mild hybrid
Power: 
122 hp
Torque: 213 Nm
0-100km/h: 
10.4 seconds
Top speed: 197 km/h
Fuel economy:
6.3 l/100km
CO2 emissions: 
142 g/km
Motor tax: 
€200 per year


The new Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition

Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition!

The new Mazda MX-5 Anniversary Edition
The new Mazda MX-5 Anniversary Edition

Mazda Ireland has introduced the Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition MX-5, priced at €40,995 and available from selected Mazda dealerships.

Unveiled for the first time at the 2019 Chicago Motor Show, three decades after its debut at the very same motor show in 1989, this special anniversary edition has been produced to celebrate 30 years of the world's bestselling two-seat roadster.

Global production of the MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition are limited to 3000 models, with only 10 cars coming to Ireland.

The 30th Anniversary Edition is exclusively offered in the newly developed Racing Orange body paint and also features forged aluminium Rays wheels and a 30th anniversary badge displaying the model’s serial number. Other unique features include orange brake calipers with Nissin brakes on the rear and Brembo brakes on the front wheels.

Inside there are orange accents on the seats, door trim, dashboard, steering wheel, air vents and gear lever, as well as Recaro seats with Alcantara trim. The 30th Anniversary Edition also features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.

The Mazda MX-5 range is available from €28,195 in Ireland.

Commenting on the launch of 30th Anniversary MX-5, Mazda Motors Ireland Managing Director, John Perry, said: “The MX-5 is the very essence of the Jinba Ittai driver-and-car-as-one philosophy that goes into every Mazda. With its unique detailing, generous equipment levels, exclusivity and bold Racing Orange paint, the 30th Anniversary Edition is the perfect way to celebrate three decades of this iconic sports car”.

The Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition features the new 184 ps version of the 2.0 Skyactiv-G petrol engine, and is available only as a roadster. There's also a six-speed manual gearbox, Bilstein dampers, strut-brace and limited slip differential.


The exciting new Mazda3 SkyActiv-X will be in Ireland before the end of the year!

Mazda3 SkyActiv-X Orders Begin!

 

The exciting new Mazda3 SkyActiv-X will be in Ireland before the end of the year!
The exciting new Mazda3 SkyActiv-X will be in Ireland before the end of the year!azda

Mazda Ireland has announced that customers can now pre-order the new Mazda3 Skyactiv-X.

The revolutionary Skyactiv-X petrol engine features Mazda’s unique Spark Plug Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI) technology. The 2.0 litre, four-cylinder Skyactiv-X engine is the world’s first commercial petrol unit to combine the spark ignition of a petrol engine with the compression ignition of a diesel.

Providing drivers with the free-revving performance of a petrol engine and the superior response of a diesel, Skyactiv-X models will have 180 PS and 224 Nm of torque.

In emissions tests, the new Mazda3 Skyactiv-X Saloon was rated at 96 g/km CO2 and achieved a fuel economy of 4.3 l/100km.

Skyactiv-X models are also equipped with Mazda M Hybrid technology, fitted as standard. The intelligent 24V mild-hybrid system minimises fuel consumption, increasing fuel economy and lowering emissions by recycling energy recovered during deceleration that powers an electric motor that assists the engine.

The Skyactiv-X engine is available on both the Mazda3 hatchback and saloon models, with a choice of six-speed Skyactiv-MT manual or six-speed Skyactiv-Drive automatic transmissions.

It is expected to reach Irish showrooms by the fourth quarter of 2019.


New Mazda3 available now from €26,295

2019 Mazda3 Now On Sale In Ireland

New Mazda3 available now from €26,295
New Mazda3 available now from €26,295

The Mazda3 has arrived in Ireland and is available now from €26,295. It's available in two body-types, Hatchback and Saloon, with the latter arriving in June.

At launch there are two engines available for the Mazda3: the 2.0 Petrol Skyactiv-G and the 1.8 Diesel Skyactiv-D.

An innovative new 2.0 Petrol Skyactiv-X will be added to the range later this year.

Mild hybrid technology and cylinder-deactivation are standard on the 2.0 petrol engine to boost fuel economy.

Commenting on the new launch, John Perry, Managing Director of Mazda Ireland said, “These truly are exciting times for the brand. Reactions to All-New Mazda3 from first customer test drives and press reviews have been phenomenal. Mazda3 has always been a successful model for the brand but this next-generation Mazda3 has further raised the bar within an already competitive segment. By focusing on driving pleasure and creating a bond between car and driver, Mazda don’t just engineer cars to deliver high levels of quality and safety but to the enjoyment and emotional feeling experienced behind the wheel.”


The 2019 Mazda3 hatchback will arrive in Ireland in April priced from €26,295

2019 Mazda3 Pricing For Ireland

The 2019 Mazda3 hatchback will arrive in Ireland in April priced from €26,295
The 2019 Mazda3 hatchback will arrive in Ireland in April priced from €26,295

Mazda Ireland has announced pricing and specifications for the new Mazda3 hatchback and saloon. The 2019 Mazda3 is the first of Mazda's next-generation vehicles and reflects the very latest in Mazda’s engineering, design and manufacturing. It's available to order now, with the first cars arriving in showrooms in late April.

The new Mazda3 will go on sale in Ireland priced from €26,295. At launch the Mazda3 hatchback will be available with a choice of 2.0 litre SkyActiv-G (122hp) petrol engine or 1.8 litre SkyActiv-D (116hp) diesel engine. A Mazda3 saloon will join the range in June and will be sold solely as a diesel (from €28,715).

Mazda’s innovative SkyActiv-X, Spark Controlled Compression Ignition engine will arrive later in the year.

For Ireland there will be a choice of four trim levels: GS, GS-L, GT and GT Sport for the hatchback, while the saloon will be available as GS, GS-L, Platinum and Platinum Sport.

Standard equipment will include air con, an 8.8-inch colour entertainment screen, 7-inch digital dashboard, window projected colour Active Driving Display, LED headlights with High Beam Control, Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring with rear traffic alert, E-Call and Lane Keep Assist. Every model in the line-up also features navigation, Apple CarPlay™/Android Auto™ and an eight speaker audio system.

The interior of the new Mazda3
The interior of the new Mazda3

GS-L includes a reversing camera, smart keyless entry and heated front seats, while the GT model is equipped with 18” alloy wheels and a black leather interior. At the top of the range the GT Sport/Platinum Sport sees an enhanced cabin with additional chrome detailing, a frameless rear view mirror, rear privacy glass and Bose® twelve speaker audio system.

GS and GS-L cars feature 16-inch silver alloy wheels, while from GT/Platinum upwards, 18-inch Grey/Silver Metallic wheels feature. Rear privacy glass and piano black window garnish distinguish the top of the range GT Sport/Platinum Sport model.

Mazda’s newest paint colour Polymetal Grey makes its debut on the new Mazda3 (hatchback only).

All trims are offered with both diesel and petrol engines, with a choice between manual and automatic gearboxes.

The 2019 Mazda3 has been built upon Mazda’s next generation of Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture. The Skyactiv-G petrol engine now features cylinder deactivation and Mazda’s M Hybrid 24V mild hybrid system to improve fuel economy.

The new Mazda3 will be available with a petrol and diesel engine from launch
The new Mazda3 will be available with a petrol and diesel engine from launch

The Mazda CX-5 range has had a few updates for 2019

2019 Mazda CX-5 Goes On Sale

The Mazda CX-5 range has had a few updates for 2019
The Mazda CX-5 range has had a few updates for 2019

Mazda Ireland has announced a number of changes for 2019 to the popular Mazda CX-5 SUV. The 2019 Mazda CX-5 goes on sale from €29,495.

The CX-5 is now available in Platinum Plus specification, previously reserved for their flagship Mazda6 model. Apple Car Play and Android Auto are also now standard from Executive SE trim.

The Platinum Plus trim adds Nappa leather seats, decorative wooden panels, interior LED lighting, rear heated seats, front ventilated seats and and a 7” digital meter set.

The latest additions to the i-Activesense range of safety technologies include Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring, projected Active Driving Display and Driver Attention Alert.

Mazda Ireland M.D. John Perry, said: “Since the launch of CX-5 it has continuously witnessed year on year sales growth in a very competitive segment. This is reflective of the continuously received praise in its segment, aesthetically and as a driving experience. The 2019 Mazda CX-5 with its stunning exterior Kodo design complimented with Mazda human-centric interior design and new Platinum Plus model raises its profile as a segment leader and a true alternative to premium rivals.”


The 2019 Mazda6

2019 Mazda6 2.2 Diesel Review

The 2019 Mazda6
The 2019 Mazda6

Caroline drives the 2019 Mazda6!

The Mazda6 just keeps on evolving and towards the end of 2018 it was time for another update. Arguably the Mazda6 has always been a great example of a large saloon, but to a refined nose the gentle tweaks do keep the car current and fresh.

In 2012, the Mazda6 ushered in a new era with its striking KODO ‘Soul of Motion’ design philosophy. Over the years, Mazda have made some minor refinements but you would have to be eagle-eyed to spot any major styling changes in the Mazda6’s sensuous silhouette.

But we are reliably informed that there is a new ‘3D’ grille with mesh positioned deeper within the surround. The LED headlamps integrate new signature ‘wing tips’ from the grille surround. The lower bumper has also been redesigned for a sleeker profile and an aerodynamically efficient air intake.

At the rear, the 2019 Mazda6 Saloon has a remodelled boot lid, while both the Saloon and Tourer have cleaner rear bumper styling with more body coloured areas. Soul Red Crystal is available for the first time, a deeper and enhanced version of the signature Soul Red the car was launched with.

The interior of the 2019 Mazda6
The interior of the 2019 Mazda6

Inside the 2019 Mazda6

The cabin of the 2019 Mazda6 has also been reworked a little to include upgraded seats, instrument panel, door trim and materials. Can we pause for just a second to appreciate the refined sophistication of the cabin of the Mazda6? It just keeps getting better and better inside the Mazda6 - even more premium. This current iteration is a fine mix of upmarket materials and stylish, refined design. There is an 8” centre screen for infotainment and it’s compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

There is space for five inside though the rear legroom does not appear as generous as in some rivals. At 480 litres, the boot comes in a little behind rivals also but by most standards that’s still a lot of space.

In Ireland the updated Mazda6 goes on sale from €31,945 with three equipment levels: Executive SE, Platinum and Platinum+. New features for the 2019 Mazda6 range include ventilated seats, projection active driving display and 360° parking display. The range of i-ACTIVSENSE safety systems now include Radar Cruise Control.

What are my engine options?

Engine options for Ireland include the 2.2-litre SKYACTIV-D diesel with 150hp or 184hp and the 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G petrol engine with 165hp. Both petrol and diesel engines are available with either a manual or automatic transmission. The 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G has been enhanced with new intake ports, new pistons and revised fuel injection and cooling. In its highest output, the popular 2.2-litre SKYACTIV-D diesel now produces 184hp (up from 175hp).

The new Mazda6 has some changes to the styling, interior, equipment, engines, suspension and sound proofing
The new Mazda6 has some changes to the styling, interior, equipment, engines, suspension and sound insulation

My test car was a 2.2 diesel manual with 184hp in Platinum+ trim, retailing from €42,865. Active Driving Display with integrated Satellite Navigation, Adaptive LED Headlights and Blind Spot Monitoring come as standard. All models now feature Blind Spot Monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist and Advanced Smart City Brake Support.

Other features on my test car included leather interior, dual zone climate control, 19” alloys, keyless entry and Bose sound system.

What else is new in the 2019 Mazda6?

Under the skin, Mazda has made some adjustments including suspension fine tuning and component upgrades, designed to improve ride comfort while maintaining the Mazda6’s famed driver engagement. Bump stop characteristics have been revised, the front dampers have increased in diameter and rebound springs have been added, while a new urethane rear damper top mount has been fitted for smoother vehicle behaviour and improved ride quality. The steering knuckles have been lowered for more neutral steering characteristics and rigid mounts now attach the steering gear to the suspension cross-member for a more precise response to subtle steering wheel actions.

Mazda has also made some refinements to improve cabin insulation with thicker body panels, natural sound smoother technology and noise absorbing materials. New vibration absorbing material has also been added to the centre tunnel and the roof lining. A flatter underbody, plus new bumper and engine undercovers claim to streamline airflow under the car, while ducts introduced in place of the fog lights in the front bumper create a flow of air to the front wheels, improving aerodynamic performance. SKYACTIV-G models are also fitted with an active air shutter that closes when the engine does not need cooling to improve real-world efficiency.

The Mazda6 goes on sale in Ireland priced from €31,945
The Mazda6 goes on sale in Ireland priced from €31,945

So what does all this translate to on the road?

Well, it’s all good for the Mazda6. The diesel model tested is super smooth to drive, with a lovely spread of power and works effortlessly with the manual gearbox. The engine is not too noisy and the Mazda6 makes a refined and comfortable long-distance cruiser, with just a whisper of road noise. It’s economical too and over a week of driving my fuel consumption was 5.5/100km.

But the real marvel of the Mazda is just how much fun it is to drive for a large saloon – at times I was having so much fun I thought I might be driving an MX-5! The handling is superb with pleasant agility and steering that’s sharp and communicative.

Refinements to the new Mazda6 raise its profile even more as a segment leader in terms of driving dynamics and cabin ambience. This car is also a true alternative to premium rivals like a Mercedes-Benz C-Class or Jaguar XE in my opinion.

The Mazda6 is the large executive car for all seasons: the one you will enjoy driving day in, day out.

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Mazda6 2.2 SKYACTIV-D Platinum
Price: 
€42,865 (Range from €31,945)
Engine: 2.2-litre turbo diesel
Power:
184 hp
Torque: 445 Nm
0-100km/h: 
8.5 seconds
Top speed: 227 km/h
Economy: 
4.7l/100km
CO2 emissions:
124 g/km
Motor tax: 
€270 per year

The Mazda6 is the one for posh cabin ambience and driving fun
The Mazda6 is the one for posh cabin ambience and driving fun

Mazda CX-5

Mazda: "European Drivers Still Want The Internal Combustion Engine"

New research by Mazda has revealed that almost 60 per cent of European drivers, see a positive future for petrol and diesel engines.

The Mazda Driver Project research – commissioned together with Ipsos MORI – polled 11,008 people across key European markets and an average of 58 per cent believe there is “a lot of innovation and improvement still to come with petrol and diesel engines”.

The findings arrive as Mazda ramps up its ‘Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030’ vision to combine the best of internal combustion engines with effective electrification technologies. Central to this ambition is SKYACTIV-X, the world’s first commercial petrol engine to use compression ignition.

According to Mazda, this new engine "combines the advantages of petrol and diesel engines to achieve outstanding environmental performance, power and acceleration performance".

Mazda Motor Europe’s President and CEO Jeff Guyton said, “The research findings are fascinating. The whole basis of our long-running Drive Together campaign is to celebrate the sheer joy of driving, and it appears that European drivers see a long road ahead for the internal combustion engine – we are working hard to make that road an even better experience for drivers everywhere.

“We recently launched ‘Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030’, our long-term vision for technology development.  In it, we set out how we plan to use driving pleasure to help solve issues facing people, the earth and society. In the case of greenhouse gas emissions, we believe it’s necessary to have the right solution at the right time.

For us this means taking a well-to-wheel view, and therefore today’s most rational offering is a combination of internal combustion engines and electric devices which consider each market’s energy situation and power generation methods. In this context, we are determined to perfect the internal combustion engine."

Technical note: Data from the consumer research conducted by Ipsos MORI is based on a survey conducted among 11,008 adults across 11 European markets, with at least 1,000 interviews in each market. All interviews were conducted between 7th – 22nd September 2017. The consumer survey data is weighted to the known population proportions of each country‘s adults by age, gender, and home region.


Mazda MX-5 RF review ireland

Mazda MX-5 RF Review

The Mazda MX-5 needs little introduction being one of the most iconic and influential sports cars of the last 30 years.

There are few cars that are as fun and extrovert as the Mazda MX-5 roadster. With pricing starting from €27,995, the Mazda MX-5 remains utterly desirable for men and women of all ages.

Recently, I test drove the Mazda MX-5 RF. This model ditches the canvas roof for a more sophisticated folding metal roof. In the brochure the RF may just seem like a more expensive MX-5 – it’s priced from €31,495 – but as I found out during my time with this car, it offers much more for the sports car connoisseur.

My test car was finished in exclusive Machine Grey, which shows off the slick fastback styling to great effect. The RF model is altogether more masculine looking. My GT model was powered by a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol unit with 160hp (from €36,695). The Mazda MX-5 RF is also available with the 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine with 131hp.

Inside, the metal roof adds more comfort and insulation to the cabin of the Mazda MX-5 RF. The cabin is small and entry and exit can be challenging (!), but once seated there is no doubt you are at the helm of an exciting sports car!

Mazda MX-5 RF review ireland
The interior of the Mazda MX-5 RF

There is the option of tan leather, which adds even more sophistication. There’s no glovebox or door pockets and storage is slim. There is a token 127 litre boot for the shopping or two small suitcases, but this is not a car you buy for space! You buy it for fun!

The dash has a nice layout and the quality is good in the cabin. Standard equipment includes alloy wheels, LED headlights, MZD Connect, cruise control and auto aircon. The 2.0-litre GT is differentiated by 17-inch bright alloys wheels and body coloured wing mirrors. GT models also feature rain sensing wipers, rear parking sensors, smart keyless entry, 9 Premium Bose® Surround-Sound and heated leather seats.

The 2.0-litre engine roars into life when you press the start stop button and the novelty never wears off thereafter. The 2.0 sounds meaty in the diminutive sports car and it’s pure joy extracting every last rev through the short throw of the excellent 6-speed manual gearbox.

The 2.0 GT adds a limited slip differential as well as Bilstein dampers and strut brace. The car moves beautifully laterally through corners with perfect balance and quick responses. The feedback from the steering is nothing special yet it’s impossible not to feel fully engaged with the car. Sitting low means that you feel like you’re flying all the time and there is a wonderful purity and abandon to driving the MX-5 that can brighten up the dullest of commutes.

Mazda MX-5 RF review ireland
The Mazda MX-5 RF is one of the best sports cars you can buy

The hard top gives the feeling of more security in our harsh Irish winters and adds refinement while not diluting any of the fun. The roof folds back electrically when stationary or at speeds below 10kmh.

The addition of a hard top to the Mazda MX-5 RF is no gimmick and adds a more refined and sophisticated character to the Mazda MX-5. The power and execution of this car makes it an absolute must for anyone looking for a genuine sports car.

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Mazda MX-5 RF GT 2.0 SKYACTIV-G
Price: 
€37,745 as tested (RF range from €31,495)
Engine: 2.0-litre petrol
Power: 
160hp
Torque: 200Nm
0-100km/h:  
7.4 seconds
Top speed: 215km/h
Economy: 
6.9/100km
CO2 emissions:  
161g/km
Motor tax: 
€570 per year