Mazda Boutique Image Is Based On An Unbeatable Value Proposition

Charting the path of Mazda in an increasingly competitive automotive marketplace there is an obvious disconnect. This relatively small but influential Japanese automaker has distinguished itself with excellent design, efficiency and value ratings and enthusiastic reviews from critics and owners.

And yet in 2017 Mazda slid to 16th place in the ranking of world automakers by sales, down from 14th the previous year.

Having just test driven the Mazda3 Grand Touring compact hatchback and the Mazda CX-9 upscale large scale crossover SUV, back to back, the elasticity of quality from the lower range model to higher end offering was quite impressive.

The Mazda CX-9 rolls in well-equipped for about $45,000, brisk and energetic with a 2.5-liter turbo-four 227 horsepower engine, with excellent road manners and agility in demanding driving maneuvers. The interior quality and finishes of the CX-9 rival more costly premium brand SUVs.

Similarly the small but serious performing Mazda3 Grand Touring at about $27,000 over delivers in style, comfort, value and performance with a confident 2.5 liter 184 horsepower 4 cylinder.

The challenge for Mazda is turning this quality and value into improved sales.