IAA 2017: A Culinary Perspective

Despite this particular group of people hardly being renowned connoisseurs of the finer things in life, manufacturers try their utmost to make the Frankfurt Motor Show a palatable experience for the press. Do they succeed?

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The IAA press days are all about hustle and bustle. Most attendees have appointments to make or deadlines to meet, which – coupled with the distances that need to be covered at Messe Frankfurt, not to mention the above average levels of dehydration, (courtesy of the halls’ air conditioning) one is afflicted with – can render grabbing a bite to eat a difficult necessity. Continue reading “IAA 2017: A Culinary Perspective”

Paint News Digest

Driventowrite leaves no corner of the automotive world unexamined. Today we look a bit at paint, Mazda paint, Toyota paint, Opel paint…

Soul red crystal paint: source
Soul red crystal paint: source

Mazda presented their new colour in November, ending their press release with the memorable line: “colour is an element of form”.

Soul Red Crystal is a development of an existing Mazda colour,  Soul Red that “balances vibrant energy and vividness with clear depth and gloss.” So, it’s rich and shiny. Mazda estimate that it has 20 percent higher colour saturation and 50 percent more depth”. I don’t know how the depth is estimated. There is no insight here. There might be some here.

Continue reading “Paint News Digest”

Long Term Test – Mazda 3 Fastback 2.2 diesel SportNav

Pre-facelift Mazda 3 and Post-facelift Mazda 3: spot the difference!

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The Mazda 3 has been featuring in UK-based car magazines recently, partly as one of the weeklies has been running one as a LTT car (a Fastback 1.5L Diesel SportNav) and also because the 3 has just been given an very mild facelift and tech update. I thought I’d use this as an excuse to impart the news on the facelifted car and also throw in an update on how my own car has been running. Continue reading “Long Term Test – Mazda 3 Fastback 2.2 diesel SportNav”

Brochure du jour: 1998 Mazda Xedos 9 Miller

Three years: that’s how long this car lasted in the market. It’s broadly a Mazda 929 with a different (and longer badge) and an unusual Miller-cycle 2.3 litre V6 supercharged engine.

2001 Mazda Xedos 9 Miller
2001 Mazda Xedos 9 Miller

Nothing if not responsive to the caprices and whims of our dear readers, I dug out this little nugget to satisfy those who have been stalking the Miller engine lately. The photo is not as good as a scan but then again I avoided a walk to my local print shop and all the tedium that would entail. Pistonheads wrote about the car here. It can be considered a BMW 5-series competitor but is somewhat larger. The rounded forms conceal the bulk. Continue reading “Brochure du jour: 1998 Mazda Xedos 9 Miller”

Theme: Japan – 2015 Mazda3 Fastback, 2.2L Diesel SportNav

In recognition of this month’s theme, I thought I would provide a short update on progress with my current car: it’s Japanese.

Mazda3 Fastback - brochure pic

I have now completed over 12,500 miles in the 3. It had its first service just over a week ago, which set me back just a little under £200, most of which went on labour (the going hourly rate is high around here), oil and filters. The car had an engine software upgrade, which apparently was part of a recall that never found its way to my post-box. This was described as a “rough idle recall”, which was not a problem that I ever noticed. It does seem to have improved the fuel economy of the car (the last two tanks-full have averaged just over 60 MPG – up from about 57). Continue reading “Theme: Japan – 2015 Mazda3 Fastback, 2.2L Diesel SportNav”

Theme: Japan – 1981 To 1989 Mazda 929 coupe

We may have dealt with this car before. Today it’s here as a photoseries courtesy of our good friends at Autoscout24 where the cars shown here are on sale.

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The images tell most of the story. The bit I want to write about here is the baffling habit the Japanese brands had of multiple names for the same cars. We know this one as the Mazda 929 coupe because that was its European name. In Japan it was either a Cosmo or a Luce. Why the difference? Mazda has a chain of dealerships (Mazda Auto) they owned directly. At Mazda Auto the car you see here had Cosmo badges and could be purchased as a coupe or saloon. Continue reading “Theme: Japan – 1981 To 1989 Mazda 929 coupe”

Geneva Bites – Japanese Concepts: The Bad

Roving reporter, Robertas Parazitas continues his trawl through the fleshpots of Geneva. Two concepts in particular captured his ire.

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Mazda RX-Vision:  A woefully silly car from a manufacturer which is getting so much right.

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Lexus LF-FC:  A certain appealing lairiness, but they need to try harder.

2015 Mazda CX-3 and Its C-pillar

A reader suggested the Mazda CX-3 as being a good example of the phenomenon of the blacked-out C-pillar. 

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Here is the original followed by my hasty remodelling of the car. The way I see it, the c-pillar of the actual car is just painted black. This is what Citroen does on cars such as the C1. The next step is to Continue reading “2015 Mazda CX-3 and Its C-pillar”

Any Colour So Long As It’s Red (except the bottom line)

Mazda brought in more cash than expected so far this year. That means three operating profits in a row. How will they spend all that money?

2015 Mazda MX-5, yours for €22,000: Mazda.de
2015 Mazda MX-5, yours for €22,000: Mazda.de

Three cars helped out Mazda’s bottom line: The Mazda2, the CX3 and the MX-5. The older cars in the Mazda showroom all continue to sell well too. Europe’s part in this to contribute a 21% increase in vehicle turnover. Japan – despite a two decade doldrum of historic dimensions – provided a 33% increase. China did well as well (but for how much longer. Will China be able to keep providing sales volume for Mazda? Continue reading “Any Colour So Long As It’s Red (except the bottom line)”

Just How Good Is It For Mazda? Rather, But From a Low Base.

We take a look at a press release from Mazda and see if it’s interesting. Here are the best bits paraphrased and commented upon.

A popular Mazda, the 2105 CX-5: www.omniauto.it
A popular Mazda, the 2105 CX-5: http://www.omniauto.it

Mazda has increased unit sales by 29% year-on-year and has grown for 12 consecutive quarters. Between July and last month, Mazda sold nearly 60,000 vehicles which explains why there are so many 3’s roaming around my neck of the woods, though no new 1’s have been sighted. The overall market has grown by 10.6% so Mazda have done better than the average. I suppose this might be from a smaller base but creditable nonetheless. The net effect of all this stupendous growth is to Continue reading “Just How Good Is It For Mazda? Rather, But From a Low Base.”

Mazda Sent Driven to Write An e-mail Today!

In it they explained that they are unveiling a new concept car, the Koeru. What else did they say?

2016 Mazda Koeru unveilled at the IAA: Mazda Press UK
2016 Mazda Koeru unveilled at the IAA: Mazda Press UK

That’s not the only bit of news: “Mazda’s IAA exhibition also features the all-new Mazda MX-5 roadster complete with a range of specially developed accessories. Among these are a space age boot-lid mounted luggage carrier in a solid yet ultra-lightweight carbon construction (to be offered with a matching Moncabas suitcase) and exclusive 17-inch alloy wheels in an asymmetrical diamond-cut look.” Continue reading “Mazda Sent Driven to Write An e-mail Today!”

Long Term Test: Mazda3 Fastback 2.2d Sport Nav – The View from the Back Seat

In this third instalment, I thought I’d provide my views on some of the more practical aspects of the Mazda3.

View from the rear-seat of the Mazda3 - dark and de-contented.
View from the rear-seat of the Mazda3 – dark and de-contented.

I’ve previously alluded to the fact that the 3 is not as popular with my family members as it is with me.  In fact, the mood during the test drive we all went on together chilled the atmosphere in the car more than the air-con will ever manage. This resulted in pressure to consider various larger (new Mondeo), more expensive (A3 Saloon) and mainstream (Passat) alternatives from those in the rear in particular. My 15 year old son was particularly vociferous, although I suspected that the fact that he really wanted me to Continue reading “Long Term Test: Mazda3 Fastback 2.2d Sport Nav – The View from the Back Seat”

Looking back: 2001 Mazda RX-8

In April 2001 the first reports about Mazda’s rotary engine coupe-saloon RX-8 appeared. Production started in 2002. What happened then?

2003 Mazda RX-8: car and driver.com
2003 Mazda RX-8: car and driver.com

Behind the idea of the four-door coupe was that people wanted something more practical than a two-door coupe but liked the image and appearance of the classic hardtop sports car. The use of a compact rotary engine and a complex door concept allowed more space inside the cabin and the means to get at it without gymnastics. Continue reading “Looking back: 2001 Mazda RX-8”

Long Term Test: Mazda3 Fastback 2.2d Sport Nav

In this second instalment, I thought I’d provide my views on how the Mazda3 drives.

Mazda3 - view from the driver's seat
Mazda3 – view from the driver’s seat

I count myself as someone who is normally immune to whatever slogan/ brand strap-line nonsense a company’s marketing team and/ or agency throws at a product or service that they are trying to sell. Actually, that’s not quite correct as a statement; normally such nonsense prejudices me against whatever is being advertised, promoted or sold. I may be showing my bias towards my new purchase, or just indulging in a little subconscious post-purchase decision re-enforcement, but, after recent drives in the 3, I have twice found myself trying to recall marketing messages in the various pieces of Mazda brochure-ware I have lately consumed. Continue reading “Long Term Test: Mazda3 Fastback 2.2d Sport Nav”

Long Term Test – Mazda3 Fastback 2.2d Sport Nav

The other day I wrote as a comment to someone else’s blog bemoaning the fact that car magazines don’t write truly long term tests anymore. This morning, I realised on my drive to work that I had the perfect opportunity to right that wrong.

Mazda 3 Fastback - SVR photo
Mazda 3 Fastback – SVR photo

So, change of working circumstance (and those of this website!?) aside, here’s my statement of intent – to write an irregular progress report on my new Mazda for as long as I keep it. I bought the car as a means by which I get to work and back 3-4 days per week. I live 65 miles away from my place of work, over a mix of the M1, A43 and B4525 (otherwise known as the” Welsh Lanes”). This journey will form the bulk of the miles that I cover in the new car, but there will be exceptions. Previously, this had been the work of my other means of transport, the much referenced Citroen C6, which has become a little too inconsistent of recent months.

Following a pitiful valuation and much encouragement from my family, I have kept “the QE2” as it is known at home, at least for the time being. It feels very decadent and almost ridiculous to me to Continue reading “Long Term Test – Mazda3 Fastback 2.2d Sport Nav”

Theme : Evolution – The Missing Links 3

THE NON-BOXY HATCHBACK

Mazda 323F

Today, there is a dearth of truly practical hatchbacks. VW’s excellent Golf routinely gets lambasted by various enthusiasts as ‘boring’. Everyone wants their family runabout to look like it belongs at the ‘Ring, and much of what is now on the market seems designed to flatter the driver’s self-image whilst ignoring their passengers needs. The lack of rear headroom, visibility and easy access in so many current bread and butter vehicles in the quest for someone’s idea of a cool exterior is now the norm, rather that the exception. But, if I wanted to point at a car that, at the time seemed rather refreshing for breaking away from the ubiquitous boxiness, I’d nominate the Mazda 323F from 1989..

The European D-Sector – So Long, Farewell…Sayonara

Having sniffed the exhaust pipes of the French and German marques within Europe’s D-segment, we make one last visit to wave a fond adieu to our friends from Japan. 

Toyota Avensis - get 'em while they're hot - image via infoziare
Toyota Avensis – get ’em while they’re still hot – image via infoziare

A facelifted Toyota Avensis bowed in at Geneva, featuring front-end styling eerily familiar to current Auris and Corolla owners. It probably represents the last opportunity to purchase one of these while they’re still warm because Toyota has broadly hinted that they may not replace the model once it breathes its last in a couple of year’s time. Continue reading “The European D-Sector – So Long, Farewell…Sayonara”

Theme – Benchmarks: Glovebox Capacities

What one remembers often has little to do with what is important. I clearly recall James Ruppert deriding the 1998 Mazda 626 as being a car whose sole claim to fame was that it had the biggest glove box in its class.

2010 Toyota Prius glove boxes. Neat. Rattly.
2010 Toyota Prius glove boxes. Neat. Rattly.

This small and apparently modest claim is a good example of the problem of epistemology. That relates to how we know what we know and how much faith we can have in our beliefs. On the face of it, a glovebox is a simple structure with measurable dimensions. It ought to be easy to determine which glove box is biggest.

However, on closer examination the claim turns out to Continue reading “Theme – Benchmarks: Glovebox Capacities”

Cars I Can’t Write About: Mazda

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.

2015 Mazda montage

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. Continue reading “Cars I Can’t Write About: Mazda”

Theme: Advertising -1978 Mazda 1300 DL

Advertising that mentions potential problems draws customers’ attention to them. Mazda’s advert from 1973 does just this. And it uses weasel wording too.

1973 Mazda 1300 DL
1978 Mazda 1300 DL

As I said in the introduction, advertising addresses people’s worries. Just as Rover handled the problem that their 1993 620 saloon was a Honda Accord in tweed  (“Above all, it´s a Rover”), this ad from 1978 attacks the common prejudice that Japanese cars were vulnerable to rust. I tried to find one of these cars for sale and found only the precursor to the Mazda 626, the 616 LN. It’s from 1975 and probably the only one left.

Continue reading “Theme: Advertising -1978 Mazda 1300 DL”

Cars I Can’t Write About 1: 1996-2002 Mazda Demio

Some cars defy one’s capacity to describe or discuss them except in the most general terms. One of them is the 1996 Mazda Demio.

1996 Mada demio

Here at DTW we spend a lot of time staring into the walls trying to fight off the ideas that spring up. The problem is that there are more ideas than time to do them justice. I’ve just blown three hours of my life penning a tract about Buicks and Opels. This was based on half a thought about the Opel Astra saloon that nobody cares about. How then can I Continue reading “Cars I Can’t Write About 1: 1996-2002 Mazda Demio”