With its latest Kodo design language and “Car as Art” design philosophy, Mazda showed us that cars really can be rolling works of art, and it’s paid off for them in spades. In the past year, they’ve earned a spot on Kelley Blue Book’s “10 Coolest Cars Under $20,000” list, have been awarded “2020 Best Car Brand” by U.S. News, and have been named a Car and Driver “10 Best” for four years in a row. And they just took home yet another award.
Which award did they win?
Announced at this year’s World Car Awards, the Mazda3 won the “World Car Design of the Year” besting the Porsche Taycan and the Peugeot 208. The award is well-deserved considering Mazda3’s exterior aesthetic makes others in its class look a little dull, thanks to the steady evolution of the brand’s Kodo design language.
The Mazda3’s futuristic transformation started in its third generation (2013-2018) and was based on the brand’s Kai Concept car. Throughout the years, the Mazda3 has used its stylishly artistic design to set itself apart from its competitors using swooping character lines and soft edges to create an aesthetic that looks timeless. We don’t see why they would change it anytime soon.
More than what’s on the outside
The Mazda3’s elegance extends into the interior of the car as Mazda went with a “less is more” approach. The simplistic dashboard design exudes enough elegance and simplicity that you would think it was from a class above. The fit and finish are superb compared to its past generations and made with more premium materials. It’s no wonder it beat out a Porsche; anyone would expect elegance and pristine craftsmanship out of a car that costs well over $100,000, but not from a car that costs under $30,000.
Looks aside, the Mazda3 was imbued with much more than good looks for its latest iteration. Under the hood lies a 2.5-liter SkyActiv engine that puts out 186 horsepower and is mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. We think that some of its beauty lies in the fact that it’s also now available in all-wheel drive in addition to a front wheel configuration.
While good looks and great driving dynamics and capability might make a car a joy to drive, safety is of the utmost importance when traveling spiritedly. Every Mazda3 includes driver-assist features like adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, and lane-departure warning and they are also available with blind-spot monitors and rear-cross traffic alert. These safety features, coupled with stellar crash test results, earned the Mazda3 a 5-star safety rating from NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
A bright future
It looks like Mazda is headed in the right direction with the Mazda3, as well as the rest of the lineup. The MX-5 was that last model to take home the “World Car Design of the Year” award back in 2016. If Mazda keeps churning out good-looking products, then we won’t be surprised when they take home even more awards in the years to come.