Mazda Road Tests

High-­achieving engine gives Mazda3 wings

High-­achieving engine gives Mazda3 wings

The quality of a given technology is surely proven when a key rival is driven to seek to buy into it.

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All-star motoring in Mazda 6 sedan

All-star motoring in Mazda 6 sedan

The new Mazda 6 diesel wagon secured a rave review when it was tested in these pages a few weeks back in flagship $60,795 Limited guise.

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Mazda6 of the best

Mazda6 of the best

The third-generation Mazda6 is dressed to impress with a bold new look, an impressive array of standard equipment and cutting-edge technology. David Thomson puts it to the test.

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More MX-5 magic from Mazda

More MX-5 magic from Mazda

Mazda has updated its timeless MX-5 Roadster, and David Thomson has been taking advantage of some superb recent weather to use it in the manner intended.

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Mazda makes an impact with new CX-5

Mazda makes an impact with new CX-5

Back in the 1970s, and well into the 1980s, rotary engines and the RX2, RX3 and RX7 cars they powered, set Mazda apart as one of Japan's quirkier, yet most innovative brands.

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Mazda's innovators are on an economy drive

Mazda's innovators are on an economy drive

As far as mid-life facelifts go, this is a radical rethink. Not visually, you understand, for aside from a new grille and other small styling tweaks about the nose and tail, this updated version of Mazda's best-selling model looks much like the neatly styled car it has replaced in showrooms since late last year.

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Mazda 6 takes the next step

Mazda 6 takes the next step

Exterior styling tweaks, a cabin upgrade, and revisions to the suspension and steering are the key features introduced as part of this year's midlife upgrade of the Mazda 6.

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Mazda CX-7 good on road, but thirsty

Mazda CX-7 good on road, but thirsty

A new chrome-accented grin and an updated more practical interior are the key features of a midlife upgrade for Mazda's road-focused CX-7 crossover.

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Mazda3 MPS: Still wild at heart

Mazda3 MPS: Still wild at heart

The bad boy of the Mazda family is growing up, but don't be fooled by his more refined demeanour and flash new wardrobe; this generously powered front-drive tearaway remains a hooligan at heart.

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Mazda MX-5: The automatic choice

Mazda MX-5: The automatic choice

Does the Mazda MX-5 gain more than it loses when fitted with a folding metal roof and automatic transmission in place of the traditional soft-top and manual gearbox? David Thomson tests the latest version of this iconic Japanese sports car to find out.

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Snapshot - Townie packs plenty of punch

Snapshot - Townie packs plenty of punch

Utes come in a bewildering range of configurations: single cabs, twin cabs, and double cabs; wellsides and flat-decks behind; diesel and petrol engines under the bonnet; two and four-wheel-drive.

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Lighter, smaller Mazda 2 delivers more

Lighter, smaller Mazda 2 delivers more

As you would expect, the vehicle that has just scooped New Zealand's premier car of the year award is rather special.

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Thrifty supermini has big ideas

Thrifty supermini has big ideas

Thinking thrift? You’ll soon be expected to, if the Government moves to knobble the big drinkers on our roads.

To elevate awareness about emissions and economy, expect compulsory fuel efficiency labelling on vehicles, an emission trading scheme and a tougher line on exhaust nasties.

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SUV crossover laps up twists and turns

SUV crossover laps up twists and turns

DRIVING onto a gravel riverbed to take the photographs that accompany this story was as close as the CX-7 came to off-roading in my hands. Decidedly lacking in rigour, this gentle traction test was selected intentionally, with the CX-7 in mind.

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MX-5 coupe and hot hatch ‘toys to enjoy’

MX-5 coupe and hot hatch ‘toys to enjoy’

The Mazda MX-5 Coupe is a bit of a misnomer.

For a start, the coupe describes the steel fold-away lid that Mazda has used instead of the more traditional soft top.

It also costs more - starting at $51,900 for the six-speed manual, it is almost $7000 more than the "base" MX-5.

But, who cares? I don't - it's an MX-5 - a car I have always loved.

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New Mazda hot hatch fun to drive

New Mazda hot hatch fun to drive

STANDING for Mazda Performance Series, the MPS moniker has already been applied to a turbocharged four-wheel-drive version of the larger Mazda 6 saloon. The Mazda 3 MPS uses the same hearty turbocharged 190kW/380Nm 2.3-litre engine and six-speed manual gearbox as its larger cousin, but misses out on the four-wheel-drive treatment.

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New Mazda a strong performer

New Mazda a strong performer

Subaru, so long the undisputed king of mid-sized mainstream high-performance saloons, is facing a new performance challenge from Mazda.

Part one of that challenge, which is the subject of this test, is mounted by the turbo-charged 2.3-litre Mazda 6 MPS, which takes a serious tilt at Subaru's Legacy GT and 3.0R models.

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Nimble new Mazda MX-5 already winning trophies

Nimble new Mazda MX-5 already winning trophies

I can remember my first drive of a Mazda MX-5 with vivid clarity. It was some 15 years ago, at the Castle Coombe racetrack in England; I was there as a very junior member on the panel deciding Britain's best-handling car.

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Mazda takes step 3 in its rejuvenation

Mazda takes step 3 in its rejuvenation

A little over a decade ago, Mazda was producing some exciting cars.

They were different, ranging from the cheeky 121 through the Astina to the wide-bodied 626.

Then the company choked, and its cars became competent and conservative, styling bordering on the bland.

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New arrival meets high expectations

New arrival meets high expectations

Engines of 1.6 and 1.8 litres are dropped, leaving 2- and 2.3-litre power to become the new standards in Mazda's medium-small range with this weekend's launch of the long-awaited 323 replacement.

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