Over the course of the past year there has been little doubt as to the increasing importance and the very grown up feel of modern day compact family cars. Sure, the Civic and Corolla have been around for decades but only now do they have real competition from serious contenders from the likes of Hyundai, Chevy, Ford and VW. Soon even Dodge will be able to absolve itself from the sins of the Neon thanks to the upcoming Dart replete with shared technology from none other than Alfa Romeo.
Now, considering how many players there are in this segment and how new most of them are you would think that a model like the 2012 Mazda3 would be an also ran among a field of thoroughbreds. Well, if you think that then you clearly haven’t driven the 2012 Mazda3 with the truly transformative SkyActiv technology. It quite simply has turned a good car at the middle of its production life into a piece of engineering artwork that proves Mazda is an automaker to be reckoned with.
Now, we aren’t saying that Mazda doesn’t face challenges ahead after its split from Ford Motor Company but just as in life it is often times the ones that people expect to fail that wind up becoming the most inspiring success stories. We think Mazda proves it has that potential with not only this SkyActiv Technology but also with upcoming models like our choice for the best 2012 compact SUV—the svelte and style CX-5. Truly, this divorce from Ford didn’t kill Mazda but only served to make it “Stronger.” This is miles beyond regular old “Zoom-Zoom.”