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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

How Mazda Got Her KODO Back

If interested in a new Mazda, car-buyers can expect a more soul-stirring experience than ever. Hijacking the attention of countless shoppers everywhere, Mazda continues to transform them into satisfied Mazda owners, and are doing so in droves.

While Mazda offerings have long possessed attributes deserving of attention, recent model years have proven even more successful in their ability to captivate prospective buyers. The proverbial bait upon the (equally proverbial) hook? Mazda’s KODO design language.

Translated into English, the Japanese term KODO means the ‘soul of motion’. This breathtaking initiative was inspired by the concept of potential energy (not unlike a crouching animal, poised and ready to attack). Built upon a three-legged conceptual stool, it imbues Mazda offerings with a sense of speed, tension, and allure.

Does it do so effectively? Without a doubt. In fact, this unique design language might be one of the best-ever in terms of realization. Executed consistently across Mazda’s various lines, the aesthetic is as effective in its sedans & hatchbacks, as it is in its crossovers & SUVs, and even echoes across Mazda’s sport car offerings.

Sedans & Hatchbacks

When looking for small (four-door) sedan or (five-door) hatchback, the Mazda 3 is a perfect place to begin your search. And while it may be the most accessible entry point into Mazda’s offerings, it hardly feels that way.

Regardless of which body style you prefer, the Mazda 3 is one of the best representations of sportiness on the road. While some vehicles may be designed with athleticism in mind, and others with a fun sense of playfulness, Mazda chooses to throw both in a blender. The result is a design that has the best of both worlds: a sense of genuine prowess, albeit with a funky twist.

And yet, all of this is balanced with both versatility and practicality. Depending on which powertrain configuration you opt for, the Mazda 3 averages an impressive 28-32 mpg (combined) making it a great choice for spend-conscious drivers. Powered by either a 2.0-liter or 2.5-liter four-cylinder, paired to either a six-speed manual or automatic, it can serve up to 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. Incredibly drivable, the Mazda 3 should be at the top of countless lists of small cars deserving of a test-drive.

Because of Mazda’s impeccable consistency, the Mazda 6 echoes many of these same compelling characteristics (albeit in a midsize sedan styling). The sedan segment has taken some hits in recent years, with many drivers converting to crossover and SUV offerings. While sedan offerings from some automakers have struggled against identity crisis, the Mazda 6 shows the enduring appeal of an affordable sedan when styled with confidence. With that in mind, it becomes easy to appreciate the Mazda 6 as one of the best offerings within its class. And considering that the aforementioned class includes the likes of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, that’s quite an endorsement.

Crossover & SUVs

Speaking of crossover and SUV offerings, Mazda has no interest in shying away from the vast array of competition. If anything Mazda’s confidence is spotlighted by the consistency with which they are designed, and the thoughtfulness with which the offerings are tiered.

Kicking things off with the newcomer CX-3, Mazda’s play for the subcompact crossover market only has a couple of model years to stand on. That said, it has a strong foundation to build upon, as seen in the aforementioned sedan and hatchback offerings. Sporty, funky and modern the CX-3 has quickly earned its place among the best-in-class.

Available in three trim levels, it comes with a well-realized selection of available technologies including voice-control and Bluetooth connectivity. At the (base) Sports Trim, you can expect an infotainment system built around a 7-inch touchscreen (with rearview camera) and six-speaker audio system with CD, USB, auxiliary jack and internet radio compatibility. Jump up the trim levels, and you can enhance the experience further with built-in navigation, as well as a BOSE sound system with both HD and satellite radio capabilities.

Safety features also rank high among notable Mazda technologies, including advanced technologies such as automatic braking and forward collision mitigation. Balancing the playful sportiness of the CX-3’s design, these features provide a compelling argument to all kinds of drivers, especially those utilizing it as a family vehicle.

Next up, the CX-5 might just be the ultimate realization of Mazda’s ideals. Evocative styling? Check? Versatile performance? Check. Spacious and comfortable cabin design? Check. A wealth of available technology? Check. In fact, the most recent refresh of the six-year-old crossover makes it more compelling than ever.

Powered by Mazda’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder, the CX-5 performs confidently with an output of 187 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. With sporty steering, responsive handling and ease of braking it make for a safe choice (and not in a ‘boring’ sort of way). You can also expect a welcoming ride, courtesy of a well-designed suspension and low levels in terms of noise and vibration.

For those whose lives require three-row seating, Mazda’s CX-9 might be the perfect solution. Every characteristic discussed to-date is refined, elevating every amenity and design note to its apex within a definitive KODO styling. In fact, the CX-9 stands out among its stablemates as Mazda’s most inspired design, showing no compulsion to play it safe.

Still equipped with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder paired to a six-speed transmission, the output is ramped up to 250 hp and 310 lb-ft, averaging 23-25 mpg depending on the drivetrain configuration selected.

Explore the four available trim levels, and there’s no shortage of incentives to consider the CX-9. Mazda did their homework, and it shows.

Soul of Motion

While the features of each individual Mazda will speak to individual drivers in different ways, the compelling design of today’s Mazda is near universal in their appeal. Mazda has its own ‘soul of motion’, unique and distinctive…and a perfect fit for Mazda’s KODO.