For 2013, the largest automotive media association in North America—the Motor Press Guild, headquartered in Los Angeles—decided to retune its annual “Vehicle of the Year” prize for a new generation of drivers; and to start, the Guild has given its first-ever Innovation Vehicle of the Year (IVY) Awards to the new-generation 2014 Mazda Mazda3 and 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray. The recognition program “recognizes vehicles that represent segment-busting technology, engineering, and other significant factors that move the industry in a notable direction,” and awards are presented to one vehicle priced under $29,000 (the Mazda3) and one that starts above that point (the Corvette).
Now, both cars are certainly worthy choices. The Stingray, for example, manages to combine the model’s most powerful entry-level engine with its highest-ever fuel-economy marks, delivering 455 hp under the hood and 29 mpg on the highway. But frankly, with the Bowtie Brand’s supercar already taking up plenty of Autobytel.com bandwith, we’re going to let the 2014 Mazda Mazda3 hog the spotlight here.
After all, according to John Dinkel, chair of the IVY committee for the Motor Press Guild: "The 2014 Mazda3 is the compact car with a difference, which is SKYACTIV technology. This family of advanced technologies takes us down a path of a future of highly efficient but still fun-to-drive affordable cars. The 2014 Mazda3 offers a whole family of safety innovations previously only available on much more expensive cars and is the best-built and most refined compact Mazda has ever produced."
Added Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations: "The 2014 Mazda3's success continues to show that compact no longer means cheap, that non-luxury no longer means non-premium. It's a great honor to be awarded MPG's first-ever IVY. We are proud to offer consumers—and critics—a vehicle that exceeds expectations and innovation not only in driving excitement but also in safety, fuel economy, technology and value. It's no secret that Mazda3 is our best-selling vehicle worldwide, and it's no secret as to why."
But on the odd chance you haven’t been let in on the news yet, note that the 2014 Mazda Mazda3 allows drivers to top 40 mpg in highway driving, and have fun doing it, while also wearing one of the year’s most striking new exterior designs. And it’s on sale now, with MSRPs that start at $16,945.