With few exceptions, 2015 is a year of transition for Mazda, as the company unveiled redesigned versions of a couple of its key players for the 2014 model year and has already announced plans for all-new and totally revamped 2016 models. In the midst of it all, there has been one casualty: the compact Mazda 2 is no longer part of the brand's lineup.
While still on the payroll, the CX-5 crossover returns as a carryover for 2015, and the Mazda 5 minivan is back in identical form, albeit without a manual transmission option. Celebrating a quarter century of sales success, the MX-5 Miata roadster greets 2015 with a limited-availability 25th Anniversary Edition, whereas the largest of Mazdas, the CX-9 crossover, aims to attract buyers with a Recreational Accessories package. Similarly, the 2015 Mazda 6 sedan has been enhanced with a new moonroof and audio package, and the Mazda 3 sports a more generous assortment of standard features, as well as broader availability of its 6-speed manual transmission.
Until the all-new, smaller 2016 Mazda CX-3 arrives, the CX-5 will continue to be Mazda's most diminutive crossover, one that will receive substantial updates for the 2016 model year. For 2015, the 5-passenger CX-5 has been carried over unchanged, meaning it's still available in Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring trim levels with front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) and power coming from a 2.0- or 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine.
Mazda's 3-row crossover hasn't undergone any drastic changes for 2015, though a couple of minor tweaks have been made. They include a new paint color and the Recreational Accessories package, which includes roof rails and cross bars, cargo net, and a stainless steel rear bumper guard. As is the case with other Mazdas, the 2015 CX-9 is offered in Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring trim levels riding on a FWD or AWD platform. A 273-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 engine is standard.
One year after a complete redesign, the popular Mazda 3-available in sedan and 5-door hatchback body styles-returns for 2015 with a number of tweaks, including a 6-speed manual transmission that is now offered with the 155-horsepower 2.0-liter and 184-horsepower, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engines. Buyers also have their choice of a 6-speed automatic. Trim levels are numerous and include the i SV (sedan only), i Sport, i Touring, i Grand Touring, s Touring, and the s Grand Touring. Mazda has upgraded the list of standard features by adding an infotainment system to the Mazda 3 i Sport, rearview camera to the Mazda 3 i Touring, and a power moonroof to the Mazda 3 i Touring.
6-speed manual transmission available with both engines
i Sport trim level adds standard infotainment system
i Touring adds rearview camera, fog lights, and infotainment system
Power moonroof now included in i Touring Technology package
Occupying its own little niche, the FWD 2015 Mazda 5 wagon is essentially a small minivan, complete with rear sliding doors and 3 rows of seats. Available in Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring trim levels, the 2015 Mazda 5 is equipped with a 157-horsepower, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine mated with a 5-speed automatic transmission. Last year's 6-speed manual gearbox is no longer offered.
Like the more compact Mazda 3, the Mazda 6 sedan underwent a complete overhaul for the 2014 model year, so updates for 2015 are few in number and include newly illuminated interior switches with an auto up/down feature for all windows, and introduction of Deep Crystal Blue to the color palette. More noteworthy is the debut of a Touring Moonroof/Bose/Satellite Radio package comprised of, as its name implies, a power moonroof, satellite radio service (with complimentary 4-month subscription), and an 11-speaker Bose surround-sound system. In addition to the Touring variant, the 2015 Mazda 6 can also be ordered in Sport and Grand Touring versions, all fitted with a direct-injection, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 184 horsepower and 185 lb.-ft. of torque. A 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission directs output to the front wheels.
Standard illuminated switches and auto up/down power windows
When you think of iconic sports cars, especially those that have risen to fame during the past couple of decades, the Mazda Miata has to rank near the top. Lightweight, nimble, affordable to the masses, and almost guaranteed to put a smile on the face of most any driver, this 2-passenger roadster epitomizes fun motoring. In recognition of its 25th year-and just before the launch of an all-new 2016 model-the 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata is being offered with a 25th Anniversary Edition package (limited to 100 units) highlighted by Soul Red paint with Brilliant Black trim, 17-in. Dark Gunmetal alloy wheels, Almond leather upholstery, stainless steel scuff plates, hand-painted dashboard, Bilstein shocks, and a limited-slip differential.
Limited-production 25th Anniversary Edition
Premium canvas convertible top available on all trim levels