Why The Best Alternative To The Mazda 6 Might Be The Mazda 3

2014 Mazda 3
The 2014 Mazda 3 5-door.
Regular TireKicker readers know that we hold Mazda in high regard around here.  The reasons are simple:

They make some very good cars.

They make no mediocre or bad cars.

They are much more fun to drive than the competition.

In fact, we've always been more than a bit puzzled that Mazda isn't a lot further up the sales charts in America.  Some wondered if Mazda could go it alone after its separation from longtime semi-partner Ford, but the fact is, the product has only gotten better...see the current Mazda 6, which occupies a fairly high ranking in the TireKicker Best Cars in the right sidebar of this very website, and which, for our money, is the best family sedan you can buy (which is saying something, since both the Nissan Altima and Honda Accord are good enough to land on that same top ten list).

So now, we have an all-new Mazda 3...and it is every bit as good as the Mazda 6, just smaller.


Why The Hyundai Santa Fe Is Bigger Than It Used To Be

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe
The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe.
For all its rapid advancement in the automotive world, the one place where Hyundai hasn't been able to score and score fairly big is in the 7-passenger crossover category.  The Veracruz, on sale from 2007-2012, was decent and competent, but in that incredibly competitive segment, those are less selling points than they are damning with faint praise.

But now, Hyundai appears to have hit on a strategy.  Take the strong-selling 5-passenger Santa Fe, give it the name Santa Fe Sport, and then put the Santa Fe badge on an all-new 7-passenger crossover.

This Is The 2015 Ford Mustang.

2015 Ford Mustang
The real deal: The 2015 Ford Mustang's first official photo.

And it's not the revolutionary step away from the past that many had predicted.   But it's also not merely an evolution of the current car.

Did Ford get the 2015 Mustang right?  As always, I'll have to see it in the metal to give a firm opinion.  I will say that the slanted taillamp panel has always said "'76 Toyota Celica" more than "Mustang" to me.  Otherwise....

Well, what do you think?  Comments are always welcome.