Mazda is known for wrapping up speed and performance in a car that’s fun to drive. Throughout their lineage, they have produced their fair share of performance non-luxury vehicles. Check out these 2016 production models you’ll want to test drive, on a race track if possible.
6-Speed Manual – Top Speed: 140 MPH
Mazda’s sporty flagship sedan housing a 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G engine, is a rarity when it comes to family cars. It combines the quickness and exhilaration of a sports car into a full-size sedan able to achieve 0 to 60 in about 7.5 seconds. The engine generates 184 horsepower and 185 lbs-ft. of torque. Fuel efficiency comes in at a respectable 25 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.
2016 Mazda3 Grand Touring Hatchback
6-Speed Manual – Top Speed: 132 MPH
Mazda’s powerhouse small sedan pushes performance limits at every opportunity. Car and Driver tested the 2016 five-door hatchback model at 132 mph to their delight. The 2.5-liter 16-valve inline-4 Skyactiv unit puts out 184 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque, making this car a strong competitor to Volkswagen’s turbocharged GTI. As with all Mazda’s cars, fuel efficiency is a welcome 26 mpg and 35 mpg for city and highway in this configuration. Be on the lookout for the 2016 Mazdaspeed 3, the high-performance sibling to this car, expected for release in 2016 with a top speed of around 155 mph!
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata
6-Speed Manual – Top Speed: 130 MPH
Now in its fourth generation, which debuted in September 2014, Mazda’s signature two-seater roadster is a natural for a high-performance list. Topping out at 130 mph, the latest gen model runs on a 2.0-liter inline-4 Skyactiv engine. It’s slightly smaller and lighter than the third generation taking some design cues from Mazda’s KODO language. It reaches 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, and puts out 155 horsepower and 148 lbs-ft of torque. The Miata boasts fuel efficiency at an EPA-estimated 27 mpg and 34 mpg for city and highway, respectively.
2016 Mazda CX-5
6-Speed Manual – Top Speed: 125 MPH
First introduced to the market for the 2013 production year, the CX-5 is one of the newest crossovers available now. It shares the mid-size sedan platform of the Mazda3 and 6 models, and was the model to introduce Mazda’s KODO design language and Skyactiv technology. The 2016 edition sees the models first facelift. It runs on a 2.0-liter engine that goes from 0 to 60 in 7.5 seconds, not bad for a CUV, generating 155 horsepower and 150 lbs-ft or torque. Following Mazda’s fuel efficiency standards for their whole line, the CX-5 claims an impressive 26 mpg around town and 35 mpg on the highway.
Mazda has come a long distance in a short few years since their departure from the Ford partnership. Every car they have produced since then has been nothing short of excellent in terms of design, efficiency, performance, and all out fun. If you haven’t already done so, take a few test drives. You may never want to drive another brand again.