Mazda Hazumi concept is a promising look at a next-gen subcompact

GENEVA -- Take a long look at the new Mazda Hazumi concept. You now have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the 2015 Mazda2 when it's announced later this year.

The concept is a small five-door hatchback that features the same Kodo design language that you'll find on all new Mazda models, including the Mazda3, Mazda6, and the CX-5. Carbon-fiber accents can be found all over the Hazumi's exterior: on the front bumper, on the headlamp brows, composing the side mirror stalks, and on the rear spoiler and diffuser. The headlamps feature integrated LED … Read more

Mercedes-Benz CLA250: Just too little Mercedes? (CNET On Cars, Episode 36)


iTunes (HD)iTunes (SD)iTunes (HQ)


In this episode:

Mercedes CLA250 explored Glance technique: The driving basic you probably forgot. Mazda Skyactiv gas engine technology explained Top 5: MORE fuel economy myths!

As always, e-mail me your thoughts, suggestions, and comments.

Economical Mazda3 offers premium feel and tech

In recent years, luxury automakers such as Lexus and Mercedes-Benz launched compact cars at the low ends of their lineups, betting on the idea that urban-dwelling, well-heeled buyers would prefer a car with smaller dimensions. Mazda reaches up-market with the 2014 Mazda3, pushing the latest generation of this economy car to compete with the luxury compacts.

But where the luxury makers set a base of about $30,000 for their offerings, the Mazda3's price remains solidly amongst the economy set.

Mazda managed to make the Mazda3 look and drive as well as the new cars from the luxury competition. … Read more

CES 2014 will showcase the near future of driving

Auto shows make great places to see the cars coming to showrooms in the next year, but CES shows how we will be driving by 2020. Automakers and suppliers are participating in CES 2014 to show off their latest tech concepts, designed to make driving safer and easier than ever.

At CES 2013, both Lexus and Audi made important announcements about their efforts to develop autonomous vehicles. While those efforts have not come to dealers yet, Audi will be demonstrating its test vehicles at CES, showing how the future car will drop off its passengers, then go find a parking … Read more

Car Guy: Buying a Car

Narrowing the choice down from many to one is a tough enough task at the best of times, but an enforced ceiling of £2,000 reduces the motoring selection box to unloved flavours closer to their sell-by date.

Interesting cars past their prime are worth a punt if you've got deep pockets, but I'm tighter than a Yorkshireman's grip around a 50 pence piece.

So, what to buy? Another Alfa? No, dubious electrics and tin worm. A fourth Citroen? Ditto the electrics with the added potential of hydropneumatic ills.

This time pragmatism kicked in, to a … Read more

The mild and wild custom debuts of SEMA 2013

LAS VEGAS -- The SEMA Show is always a bit of a madhouse, and the 2013 SEMA Show was no exception. There are thousands of parts to customize with for as far as the eye can see. There are suppliers for custom headlamp LEDs, premium paints, vinyl wrap, and speakers and wheels bigger than what makes practical sense.

But what we're interested in are the custom cars that are built from these parts. The show is crammed with hundreds of cars, many of which are commissioned or showcased by the automakers themselves using blends of OEM accessories and third-party … Read more

No electrics among Green Car of the Year finalists

Every year at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Green Car Journal announces the winner of its Green Car of the Year award. As a teaser to this year's announcement on November 21, the publication released its list of five finalists for the prize.

This year's finalists are:

Audi A6 TDI BMW 328d Honda Accord Mazda3 Toyota Corolla

The Audi A6 and the BMW 328d represent diesel-fueled cars, a technology that has improved quite a bit in cleaner emissions and general drivability. Green Car Journal includes the Honda Accord for its new direct injection engine and hybrid variant. The … Read more

New Mazda3 sheds pounds, gains connected features

Editors' note: This article has been updated to reflect new reports of an upcoming Mazda3 sedan version.

Today, Mazda pulled the covers off its bread-and-butter hatchback, the Mazda3, which receives a major update for 2014. The car gets a new engine, styling, and cabin electronics, along with a unique head-up display.

Some years ago, the company set off on a program, named Skyactiv, to re-engineer all of its models, giving them modern looks and electronics and greater efficiency. The Mazda3 takes advantage of every facet of the Skyactiv program.

The 2012 Mazda3 benefited from the new 2-liter Skyactiv engine, using … Read more

Winter is over -- time to consider a convertible

I distrust convertible cars. A thin covering of cloth over my head when driving down the freeway in a rainstorm does not inspire confidence. Driving with the top down on a sunny day seems like a recipe for skin cancer. Those concerns, however, mysteriously disappear whenever I get behind the wheel of a convertible, put the top down, and go for a cruise in the country. The open top experience engenders a carefree feeling, an enjoyment of the surroundings impossible with a metal roof overhead. The envious looks of other drivers and pedestrians as I cruise by confirm the wonder that is driving a convertible.

With the end of winter, we have rounded up five convertibles to consider for your driving pleasure. … Read more

Speed camera gives ticket to stationary car

Something's wonky about technology in Baltimore.

Earlier this week, I shivered at the idea that the city had been at the forefront of putting audio surveillance in its buses.

Now I hear that its speed cameras appear to have been buying street drugs from extremely disreputable sorts.

You see, a Baltimore camera issued a ticket to Daniel Doty. It claimed that he and his Mazda wagon were going 38 mph in a 25 mph zone.

I hadn't been aware that Mazda wagons could go that fast. Doty, on the other hand, hadn't been aware that you can go 38 mph while standing completely still.… Read more