Mazda Puts on a Happy Face
On Mazda's car lineup, the new look fits and gives the cars an inviting look. Taking a few stylish cues from the redesigned MAZDA6, Mazda enlarged the grille and headlight treatment to an almost cartoonish level. The best use of the new front end is probably found on the redesigned 2009 RX-8. This rotary-powered sports coupe help define the wide-fendered look that Mazda is now switching to, but the larger grill openings and side air intakes give this quick car and even meaner look and stance. For the refreshed Miata and the all-new MAZDA3, the new front end adds to the cute factor of both cars without being offensive. Despite the slight design update, the 2009 Mazda MX-5 stays true to the original Mazda Miata that first debuted in 1989 and helped redefine what a roadster should be. For the all-new 2010 MAZDA3, both the five-door hatchback and sedan variants now get a fun and sportier image to match the driving pleasure of both vehicles.
While the new design looked fresh and stylish on Mazda's smaller cars, the same can't be said for the company's bigger vehicles such as the CX-7 and CX-9. Redesigned for the 2010 model year, both vehicles get the same treatment as the car's but on a bigger scale the new design seems overly forced and rather unsettling. When Mazda's crossover duo debuted in 2007, they were both flawless execution of vehicle designs. Good news for both vehicles is that updated interiors are also on the way. If there was anything to complain about on the 2007-2009 CX-7 and CX-9, it would be the blocky, linear cabin layout. The new CX-7 now will get an instrument panel and center stack that flow much better and give a smoother overall look. The refreshed CX-9 will debut next week at the 2009 New York International Auto Show.
Regardless of design and who thinks what of it, there is no doubting that Mazda probably has one of the best lineups it has ever had with solid competition in just about every vehicle segment.