While pondering the content of this website, I realised I’ve said very little about Mazda. That means it’s time to say why I can’t write about them.
Having typed that, I remembered I devoted some space to the new Miata. Apart from that, I seem to not want to say much about the 3 or the 6 even if they would appear to be quite good cars. If I was in the market for a C-D class car, I ought to go and look at the Mazda 6 and not just go along to Opel and see how much Insignia I could get for my imaginary money.
Perhaps rarely among car enthusiasts, I have a strong fondness for the Insignia in its 4×4 guise. But it’s the Mazda 6 that has got the plaudits for its confident styling and pleasing road manners. But the car doesn’t speak to me at all. I don’t dislike it (apart from the front wing) but I don’t get any vibes from this car other than I have the impression that the interior is very, very dark indeed.
What are Mazda selling? In the UK they have nine vehicles: the old MX5, the outgoing 2, the new 2, the 3, the 5, the 6, the CX-5, the new MX-5 and something of which I was not aware, the CX-3. It’s a cross-over and presumably will attempt to compete with the Nissan Juke. Interestingly, Mazda Germany doesn’t mention the CX-3.
That previous paragraph was a blizzard of numbers. Is that part of Mazda’s problem? I can’t attach any personality or character to these cars, other than the MX-5. The rest of the range, despite the rather good styling, is missing a hook onto which I can hang ideas and notions. Ford’s Mondeo, Opel’s Insignia, Toyota’s Avensis and Honda’s Accord all suggest something to me.
Mazda doesn’t other than that the 6 is really a very big car. I’d be more curious about driving an Accord or a Skoda Superb than I would be about a Mazda 6. In fact, the only reason I’d want to test a Mazda 6 would be to try to find out why I didn’t want to try it. The Mazda 3 has got good reviews: “The Mazda 3 proves that economical, fuel-efficient cars need not be dull to look at or to drive—and these are just a
couple of the many reasons we named it to our 10 Best list for 2015,” wrote Car and Driver. My impression is that I preferred the last car, inasmuch as I noticed it at all. Autocar love the Mazda 6: “The Mazda 6 has long been considered a worthy but uninspiring mid-sized saloon or estate – but no longer, because the latest generation of the car is now good enough to rank among the best.”
For me the 1997 626 is more charming because of its excellent package, nice seats and terrific zig-zag crease on the C-pillar. The estate looks really useful too. Maybe I will come back to the current cars in 15 years time when whatever they are about sinks home.