Time truly flies when you’re having fun. I can’t believe that I have been with the Mazda brand for a complete year. When I began I wasn’t too familiar with the brand or the vehicles. I immediately consumed everything Mazda that I could. I was surprised about what I learned about the company and the vehicles. I’ve also determined that this is the best time to be driving a Mazda and working with Mazda. I’m thankful for my opportunity and career with such a great company. I share what I’ve discovered below.
Always Be Learning
I’ve always been interested in the specifications, options, and features of automobiles. From an early age, I would try to pick out the make and model of vehicles that I rode passed on the road. This interest has come in handy for my career in automotive sales. I’ve become the “product” guy to those I work with by committing to learning everything I can about current and future vehicles and options. This was an awkward twist for me when I began working at Mitchell Mazda and really had no current knowledge of the Mazda brand. I knew that I had to jump head first into the knowledge pool of Mazda.
I’m so thankful for Google Alerts and all social media! I was able to tailor my newsfeeds to the Mazda brand and be alerted of all the latest news. I also spent the initial free time on learning each of the available vehicles. The real fun came when I began driving them. I’ll share more about those experiences later. Mazda is a fairly well-known name, but I don’t think many people understand the brand nor the vehicle line as its models have steadily changed over the last decade to decade and a half.
Impressive Mazda Vehicles
There were many surprises in store for me over the first few weeks of learning more about Mazda. The first thing I noticed is how nice their vehicles are. When you compare Mazda vehicles to other mainline import brands like Toyota and Honda, one can notice that Mazda has chosen to offer standard features that other brands save for model upgrades. At the sacrifice of a higher price, Mazda has chosen to include a lot of features that most consumers want on their vehicles. The Mazda CX-5 Sport for example, has standard 17 inch painted alloy wheels. Some other import brands still offer steel wheels with hubcaps (wheel covers) on their standard models. To notice these nice features as I walked up to the vehicle was impressive, and I hadn’t even opened the door yet.
Mazda refers to itself as a “near premium” brand. This means that although it is a mainline brand, it committed to offering features and experiences similar to highline, luxury brands. This commitment is readily noticed inside each vehicle. The materials used offer a level of comfort that you wouldn’t expect in a typical automobile. Most Mazda vehicles include accented stitching of the seating surfaces and soft touch materials on the door panels and dashboard areas. Some of these areas, like the leather-wrapped steering wheels, are hand stitched in production adding extra attention to the details. I appreciate this as a consumer and a salesperson. The nicer materials are very nice to see considering the continual price increases of automobiles over the last twenty years. The Mazda3 compact-class sedan offers full synthetic leather seating in the Select model that is one trim step up from the entry (base) model. For comparison, the Toyota Corolla traditionally doesn’t offer that upgrade until the third trim level or Sport/SE model.
I was attracted to each Mazda vehicle by the premium exterior and interior features, however the best was yet to come. Every Mazda vehicle is designed and produced with the driver in mind. Mazda refers to this relationship as Jinba ittai or horse and rider as one. They want every vehicle to be an extension of the driver to offer a fluid and comfortable driving experience. From the moment you sit in and start a Mazda vehicle you recognize there’s something different than every other vehicle you’ve ever driven.
The drive and feel behind the wheel was the greatest surprise of the Mazda brand for me. Over the last several years I’ve battled lower back inflammation that has required slight behavior modification including seating position and duration. Although I haven’t experienced extended driving of an hour plus in every model, the ones I have are comfortable and not stressful on my lumbar area. I have driven every Mazda vehicle for less than an hour, and can say that the seating and driving positions are well thought out and designed for me.
The actual drive is very tight and responsive. The application of G vectoring control allows for smooth cornering without having to compensate with constant steering adjustments. I have enjoyed every model and still surprised with the output of the entire line’s 4 cylinder engines. Mazda has relied more and more on their Skyactiv-G 2.5L 4 cylinder, and it never disappoints. It is peppy and reliable in every vehicle, and the turbo charged version is more than enough power to the point of being overwhelming for everyday driving needs. The turbo charged 2.5L is available in Mazda6, Mazda CX-5, and Mazda CX-9.
The engines are typically matched with 6-speed automatic transmissions. Mazda has continued with a more traditional “gear shift” transmission in all current models. This adds to the feel and enjoyment of driving with traditional shifts at just the right time for acceleration and economy. The Mazda MX-5 Miata still offers a 6-speed manual for more fun in that sporty roadster. People often think just of the Miata when they think of Mazda, and it’s a thirty-year heritage of fun driving. Likewise, every Mazda model has focused emphasis on the drive, and that makes them all fun.
The Mazda Future is Bright
It’s been several years since Mazda changed its strategy to manufacture vehicles that are closer to premium and highline brands. I believe the first step that direction was the current generation Mazda6 in 2012. Coming in to this year we have seen the releases of the Mazda CX-3 (2014), MX-5 Miata (2016), Mazda CX-9 (2016), and Mazda CX-5 (2017). All have seen shifts towards premium materials and construction. The Mazda CX-5 specifically has seen dramatic increases in market share, and is over 50% of the entire brands North American sales volume. In 2019, Mazda brought in a new Mazda3, added the Mazda CX-30, and is making needed changes to the Mazda CX-9. I am fortunate to be with Mazda at such a pivotal time. We are close to a new design of Mazda6 with potentially a new strait 6 cylinder engine. The new plant near Huntsville, Alabama is going to produce a new Crossover SUV or two. Also just last month, Mazda announced an electric vehicle (EV) Crossover. With new models and redesigns Mazda is poised to grab more attention and sales in the coming years. The vehicles are more and more impressive with every release.
Great to be in the Driver’s Seat
All of this is exciting information for someone that loves cars as much as I do. The real “pinch me” feelings come from the opportunities I have with my job at Mitchell Mazda in Enterprise, Alabama. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be with such a great organization (Mitchell Automotive Group). I have a front row seat to everything Mazda, and get immediate hands on to the new products and information.
I really do have to pinch myself to accept that all of these great things took place in my very first year with Mazda. The second year is truly going to fly by from all the fun there will be. I am still studying and learning the Mazda products. I haven’t quite got to know them like the back of my hand. I will still be surprised by new features, technologies, beautiful colors, and designs. I am glad to be here, now for what I think will be the biggest and best years of Mazda and our dealership. I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with a company that is dedicated to serving our clients the best way, every time. Mazda makes great vehicles for drivers, and Mitchell Mazda takes care of those drivers.
Check back for more great news of year number two…I can’t wait!
Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments on the information I shared here. I love talking about vehicles and Mazda specifically. You can call or text me at 334-718-0504 or email me at email@example.com.