In the Japanese language, the word “Mazda” means “wisdom.” Before there was ever a Mazda Motor Corporation, the company was founded under the name Toyo Cork Kogyo Co., Ltd, by Jujiro Matsuda. Founded in 1920, the company primarily focused on the production of three-wheeled trucks. Hoping to brighten up the truck’s image, company leaders decided to change its name to Mazda after Ahura Mazda, the God of Light.
In the ’30s, the Mazda-Go auto-rickshaw was introduced, a type of three-wheeled vehicle commonly seen throughout Asia even today. However, during the Second World War, the company focused a lot of its effort manufacturing the series 30 through 35 Type 99 rifle.
Despite every vehicle bearing the name of Mazda since the company’s inception, the name was formalized in 1984. Mazda’s first passenger vehicle was a sports car inspired by the German-made NSU Ro 80: the Mazda Cosmo Sport. So, from day one, the company has designed its cars to be fun to drive.
A reputation for fun and affordable vehicles
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After the Cosmo Sport, the company’s next lightweight sports car was the Mazda MX-5 Miata which was sold as the Mazda Roadster and Eunos in Japan. In 1989, Mazda officially began production of the Miata.
Over the years, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has gone through several redesigns but managed to maintain its distinctive style. Even today it remains one of the most affordable two-door, soft-top sports cars one can buy. It’s also the cheapest and coolest collector’s sports car on the market.
In the early 2000s, Mazda introduced its Mazda6 and Mazda3. The Mazda6 has won numerous awards over the years, including the “Best Family Sedan” in MotorWeek’s 2009 Driver’s Choice Awards.
The Mazda3 has an overall score of 4.9 out of five from Kelley Blue Book (KBB). It ranked especially high in areas such as performance, comfort, and styling. Owners have stated that the Mazda3 is 85 percent BMW 3-series for only 50 percent of the price.
When it comes to SUV crossovers, Mazda ranks among the highest in class for the same things: performance, comfort, and styling. Take the CX-9 SUV for example. Car Buzz gave it a total score of 8.1 out of 10 and called it “one hell of an impressive three-row crossover.”
Crafting a fun-to-drive character into its models
The Mazda Motor Company is well-known for crafting a “fun-to-drive” personality into its vehicles, whether it be a sports car, sedan, or SUV. It constructs its vehicles using lightweight materials and economical engine technology to bolster fuel economy.
By doing this, it’s able to build fuel-efficient cars and SUVs without the need to adopt hybrid powertrains. And even though Mazdas are commonly overlooked by average consumers, the company continues to deliver strong reliability, great safety, and agile handling in each segment it competes in.
Today, the cute and affordable MX-5 Miata roadster is the Japanese carmaker’s benchmark sports car. With the new CX-30 SUV joining the line for 2020, Mazda is poised to become a big hit in the future.
According to a 2020 Consumer Reports article, Mazda ranks among the top brands overall in 2020. Most notably, Mazda is ranked high for being extremely reliable and providing splendid owner satisfaction.
People are calling Mazda the new BMW for motorheads
For anyone who has driven a BMW, they know the quality that comes with it. However, for those who can’t afford to purchase a brand new or even used BMW, Mazda provides enough fun under the hood and in the cabin to come close to the feeling. After all, the company built its first sports car based on inspiration from a German-based auto manufacturer.
With the mid-range 230i M Sport costing nearly $43,000, the average car buyer can’t or won’t afford to spend that much money on a sports car. This holds especially true since most car buyers are active couples with children.
The Mazda team has long driven home the message that technology and autonomy are its core development areas. And we’re sure to see more of this in the future as technology in the automotive industry improves.