The compact Mazda3 does it again and again and again… and again. For the fourth time in a row, Mazda3 is perched atop the number 1 spot on Kelley Blue Book’s 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000. “The Mazda3 is widely regarded as the best-looking and most fun-to-drive vehicle in the segment, and we call it one of the coolest cars of all time,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com.
Two longstanding criteria—fun-to-drive and fun-to-own—are critical among the deciding factors of what the KBB.com editors freely admit is a very subjective “cool factor,” the overarching No. 1 criterion for a vehicle to place on this list.
Kelley Blue Book’s list of Coolest Cars Under $18,000 proves that you can find a head-turning vehicle that also suits your needs without breaking the bank.
The compact sedan/hatchback comes standard with Mazda’s industry-exclusive G-Vectoring Control (GVC), leading to smoother, more accurate steering inputs resulting in greater confidence and control for the driver.
The latest model features an interior above its class and a striking design, delivering a more premium appearance. Advanced safety features such as i-ACTIVSENSE, Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring and Smart City Brake Support helped the Mazda3 earn a Top Safety Pick+ honors from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The Mazda3 is offered in sedan and five-door with available six-speed manual in addition to the automatic transmission, providing a sought-after option for purists.
Remarkably, Mazda3 has appeared on KBB.com’s annual affordable cool cars list every year since the car’s inception 14 years ago.
Mazda6 has redefined the midsize sedan segment with superb driving dynamics, handsome design that stands out among its staid competition and craftsmanship that goes a step above expectations. It has charted its path as the family car for discerning drivers who need the practicality provided by a mid-sizer but refuse to give up on driving an engaging, enjoyable car.
Now in its third generation, Mazda6 celebrates its 15th anniversary since going on sale internationally, still setting the benchmark for its segment and for the Mazda brand.
Since 2002, Mazda6 has torn through the throngs of ubiquity that define its class and landed in the spotlight as the go-to for those desiring a better, if not more bespoke, option.
Immediately after going on sale in the U.S., Car and Driver magazine named Mazda6 to its 10Best list in 2003, stating that “…the Mazda6 is a spirited, athletic package that takes Mazda’s zoom-zoom ethos into the mainstream.”
Since then, Mazda6 has earned several other 10Best honors among dozens of awards, comparison wins and commendations for its outstanding safety. Most recently taking home both IIHS Top Safety Pick+ and NHTSA Five-Star ratings.
And yet, Mazda6’s engineers and designers have never been good at leaving well enough alone.
In recent years, Mazda has also made dozens of changes that further elevate it among its peers, no longer waiting for mid-cycle refreshes to make meaningful improvements. For 2015, Mazda6 received subtle refinements to what was already a well-received third-generation model after adopting KODO—Soul of Motion design and lightweight, efficient SKYACTIV Technology in its third generation.
For 2016, its interior is completely redesigned, implementing a clean, modern design with the latest MAZDA CONNECTTM infotainment interface and segment-exclusive Active Driving Display head-up display technologies. The new interior won a Wards 10 Best Interiors award.
Starting in 2016, models equipped with available full-LED auto-leveling headlights also received a redesigned grille, headlights and tail lights.
For the 2017 model year, Mazda6 added many of the premium touches that are in the all-new Mazda CX-9. This includes additional sound insulation by way of thicker door seals and laminated front glass and luxuries like available Nappa leather seating surfaces and rear USB charging ports.
Mazda6 was also the first vehicle in the U.S. to include G-Vectoring Control, a Mazda-exclusive technology. Using throttle and steering inputs it’s able to smooth out steering feel, leading to greater confidence behind the wheel and more sure-footed handling.
Throughout its 15 years, the Mazda6 has remained true to its mission, serving families who want a midsize car without compromise. Now, as in 2002, Mazda6 continues to over-deliver.
Accolades at a glance:
Having previously won a spot on the prestigious list of Wards 10 Best Engines Award just a few months ago, the 2017 Mazda CX-9 earned its place with its turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine delivering standout performance and efficiency. Now, Mazda’s designers get to join the engineering team with another accolade of their own, as CX-9 has earned a 2017 Wards 10 Best Interiors award.
“We designed Mazda CX-9’s interior from the onset with a concept of ‘Smart Indulgence,’ recognizing that there’s a balance between needs and wants,” said Julien Montousse, director of design, Mazda Design Americas, who personally led the design of the Mazda CX-9 interior. Read the rest of this entry »
Any automaker can build a midsize sedan or a two-seat sports car, but only Mazda can deliver both vehicles with the verve that can enthrall the everyday driver as much as the ardent enthusiast. That’s why both the 2017 Mazda6 midsize sedan and Mazda MX-5 Miata RF retractable fastback roadster have been awarded with Popular Mechanics 2017 Automotive Excellence awards. Standouts in their segments, Mazda’s two representatives were chosen among every vehicle in their respective categories.
Read the rest of this entry »
Attention to details and obsession with perfection has paid off for Mazda yet again. The automaker is the proud recipient of Kelley Blue Book’s 2017 Brand Image Award for “Best Car Styling Brand.”
Mazda vehicles are designed to look pure and refined, with distinct design cues shared across the stylish lineup. The design of the compact Mazda3, midsize Mazda6 and MX-5 Miata roadster and RF retractable fast back sports car were more than enough to take the style crown!
Read the rest of this entry »
The 2017 Mazda6 has won a New York Daily News automotive award for the second year in a row, as chosen by its editors. Mazda6 is only one of four repeat winners from last year.
Read the rest of this entry »
It’s no wonder the 2017 MX-5 RF was recognized as the “Best Bang for the Buck” at the 2017 Atlanta International Auto Show. The 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF makes it possible to have everything you’d want in a sports car without spending a fortune. Read the rest of this entry »
Add another feather in the cap for Mazda and its KODO – Soul of Motion styling. The new Mazda MX-5 RF has won the “Red Dot: Best of the Best” prize at the 2017 Red Dot product design awards. The highest honor available from the internationally acclaimed annual competition is bestowed only for truly outstanding and ground-breaking designs. Read the rest of this entry »
We’re gonna need a bigger trophy case, as accolades continue to pour in for Mazda’s hottest SUV. The 2017 CX-9 is the winner of Autotrader’s prestigious 2017 Must Test Drive Award.
“Overall best three-row crossover in the market,” “rare combination of luxury, efficiency and driving dynamics“, “100% worth the wait” are just some of the ways Autotrader experts describe the 2017 CX-9. And after testing driving hundreds of vehicles, the 2017 CX-9 came out on top of the competition. Read the rest of this entry »
The Mazda CX-3 is among the safest in its class. It joins the Mazda3, Mazda6, and Mazda CX-5 as 2016 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick+.
Safety is paramount for Mazda and it’s evident in the accolades from the IIHS. Read the rest of this entry »