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Forget About Driverless Cars, Most People Still Want To Drive?



White Mazda MX-5 Maita Driving

Even in the face of autonomous technology, it seems a large section of people still believe in the joys of driving. A 2017 study sponsored by Mazda found that 71 percent of respondents still preferred to have control of their car rather than have a computer do it for them.

The Japanese automaker seems to be the only mainstream carmarker nowadays still committed to maintaining an entire lineup of fun-to-drive cars that are more than point A-to-B appliances, having doubled down on internal combustion engine tech and spirited handling while the rest of the industry accelerates towards electric and autonomous vehicles.

Mazda, like all enthusiast-leaning automakers, clearly has a strong interest in knowing whether people want to drive or be driven, hence why it hired research firm Ipsos MORI to of 11,008 adults and their motoring preferences. The results speak for themselves:

“A staggering 71 percent of people surveyed would still want to drive, while only 29 percent would actively welcome the arrival of autonomous vehicles.”

In fact, nearly two-thirds of respondents of all age groups — young and old — said they would still keep driving themselves even if self-driving cars were affordable and readily available.

It’s worth pointing out, however, that the study was conducted in Europe, where manual transmission cars still dominate the road. Of the 1,002 respondents surveyed in the United Kingdom in particular, 81 percent cited “independence” as the number one reason for wanting control of the wheel, 62 percent admitted to driving “for fun”, and over 50 percent said there is more to driving than just getting from point A to point B.

A full 70 percent of UK respondents expressed a desire for future generations to have the option to drive themselves, and 39 percent believed driving was becoming a “forgotten pleasure.”

This is not to say Mazda or buyers in general are opposed to technological aids such as crash-avoidance systems, which could help drivers in emergency situations that require fast reaction times. However, it appears for now that humans still want to be in the driver’s seat.

What’s your take on the shift to autonomous cars? Do you see yourself driving your own car 20 years from now? Let us know in the comments section.s

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Mazda Has No Plans For New Mazdaspeed3 Hot Hatch



New 2020 Mazda3 Hatchback, rear quarter

Mazda has no plans to re-enter the hot hatch segment.

The debut of the all-new, fourth-generation Mazda3 at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show had many hoping for the return of the Mazdaspeed3, but a las, there will likely won’t be one.

Speaking to Australia’s , Mazda’s new global boss Akira Marumoto confirmed that there are no plans for a hot version of the Mazda3, citing the Japanese automaker’s small size and, presumably, the shrinking hatchback segment as primary reasons. He stated:

“Mazda is a small player and if [you are asking whether] that segment has a high particular priority for Mazda my answer would be no. Therefore we not planning for MPS in the future.”

Emblematized by its memorable Zoom Zoom tagline, Mazda’s internal philosophy to provide “driving pleasure” for its customer seems to be taking a backseat to its new-found pursuit of establishing itself as a genuine premium alternative to the likes of established European rivals, which Marumoto says will result in improved quality, comfort and refinement of its existing vehicle line-up.

The decision will surely upset driving enthusiasts, but it is what is it. The times are changing and little ol’ Mazda is just trying to stay afloat.

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All-New Mazda3 Ups The Style And Technology



New, 2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback, red

A crisper design, SkyActiv-X tech and AWD highlight the changes this time around.

Mazda has redesigned the Mazda3 from the ground up, giving it a head-turning design, available all-wheel drive, and the first application of its SkyActiv-X technology.

The fourth-generation Mazda3 sedan and hatchback borrow styling cues from the stunning Kai concept introduced at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, but designers took the hatchback in a bolder direction by giving it an unusually steep sloping roof line. It’s clearly one of the most, if not the most, striking vehicles in a compact car segment that includes the much more utilitarian-looking Volkswagen Golf and Subaru Impreza.

Despite adopting a familiar design, the interior is cleaner and more elegant than before. An 8.8-inch screen on top of the dashboard for the infotainment system and can be controlled via a controller dial located just behind the gear selector.

The 2020 Mazda3 can be had with a choice of of a 1.5-, 2.0-, or 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engines, as well as a 1.8-liter turbodiesel engine. The standout powerplant has to be novel SkyActiv-X engine, which uses compression-ignition technology normally found in a diesel engine to burn gasoline and deliver superior fuel economy without sacrificing output.

Earlier report claimed there will also be a mild hybrid powertrain; if true, we suspect it will be launched later in the 3’s product life cycle.

Front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission are standard, while all-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission are optional. That’s right, for the first time ever, the Mazda3 can be had with all-wheel drive!

The list of driving aids has grown and includes front cross traffic alert, a driver awareness monitor, and traffic jam assist with a steering assist function.

The 2020 Mazda3 made its world debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show and goes on sale in early 2019. Are you happy with how it turned out?

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Mazda Adds Apple CarPlay, Android Auto To Older Vehicles



2019 Mazda CX-9 Apple CarPlay

The Japanese automaker was slow to adopt the mobile apps, but now it’s out of the gate running.

Having only recently announced Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for the Mazda6, 2019 CX-5 and CX-9 in 2018, Mazda is now bringing the technology to 2014 model year vehicles and newer equipped with the Mazda Connect infotainment system.

Both can be added as a dealer installed accessory for only $199, cost of labor included. Drives get all hardware and software components, including faster-charging 2.1-amp USB ports and latest version of Mazda Connect.

Mazda says he installation only takes two hour. Owners with qualifying Mazda vehicles can their dealer now to make an appointment.

Yet another reason to get a Mazda, new or used…

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