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MAZDA TAKES HOME MOST CATEGORY AWARDS IN 2014 'BEST CARS FOR FAMILIES' BY U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT

- Brand Earns Best Compact, Hatchback, Mid-Size and Compact SUV Vehicle Category Titles -

IRVINE, Calif., March 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2014 Mazda3 compact car (four- and five-door), Mazda6 mid-size sedan and CX-5 compact SUV were today named to U.S. News & World Report's annual list of "Best Cars for Families," earning the top spot in their respective categories.  With the three vehicles tallying four total awards, Mazda earned the most category distinctions of any individual automotive brand.  Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5 led the way, all three models featuring the full suite of SKYACTIV®1 fuel-saving technologies, the confident character of the KODO "Soul of Motion" design language and safety-first elements of the new i-ACTIVSENSE system, which includes active-safety pre-crash detection features. 

Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City. For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at www.mazdausamedia.com

"We are pleasantly surprised and honored to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report as this year's most family-friendly brand," said Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO).  "Raising a family is one of the most daunting, exhausting and rewarding things one can be a part of, so we build vehicles that are of the utmost quality, safety, fuel efficiency and reliability to give parents one less thing to worry about amidst the frenzy of everyday familial duties."

To select the top ranking vehicles in the 19 categories of this year's Best Cars for Families, U.S. News' award methodology combines professional automotive reviews, safety and reliability ratings, seating and cargo volume and the availability of family-friendly features.  The vehicle with the highest composite score of their respective category is then named the Best Car for Families.

"Mazda, a brand known more for delivering sporty performance than family-friendly features, took home four awards, the most of any individual brand," said Jamie Page Deaton, managing editor, U.S. News Best Cars.  "The Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5 were redesigned within the last two years and most reviewers agree that they're among the top performers in each of their classes – proving that a family car doesn't have to be boring to drive."

All-new for 2014, this third-generation Mazda3 features all-new Mazda technology with the debut of MAZDA CONNECT™, a next-generation driving-focused in-vehicle connectivity system, as well as an innovative Active Driving Display.  Available in four- and five-door body styles, Mazda3 starts at $16,9452 MSRP for four-doors and at $18,945 MSRP for the five-door.

2014 Mazda3 vehicles are powered by either a SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter or 2.5-liter gasoline engine.  The SKYACTIV-G 2.0L is standard on i-designated models (SV, Sport, Touring, Grand Touring) and produces 155 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 150 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm, and can be paired with either the SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual or SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic transmission.  Mazda3 i models offer one of the best fuel economy numbers in its class, with four-door models achieving an EPA-estimated 41 highway mpg and five-door models are EPA estimated at 40 highway mpg, regardless of transmission choice.

The larger SKYACTIV-G 2.5L is standard on s-designated models (Touring, Grand Touring) and offers 184 horsepower at 5,700 rpm, 185 lb-ft of torque at 3,250 rpm and currently is only available with the SKYACTIV-Drive automatic transmission.  Four-door models equipped with the 2.5L are EPA-estimated at 39 highway mpg while five-doors are EPA-estimated at up to 38 highway mpg, when equipped with i-ELOOP.  i-ELOOP – a Mazda3 first and segment-exclusive option – is a capacitor-based regenerative engine braking system aimed at improving fuel economy, particularly during stop-and-go traffic. 

Starting at $20,990 MSRP, the 2014 Mazda6 is available in three trim levels – Sport, Touring and Grand Touring – and is currently equipped with the SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter gasoline engine.  Both the manual and automatic transmissions are available for pairing. Fuel economy is EPA estimated at 25 city/37 highway/29 combined mpg when equipped with a manual transmission (Sport, Touring).  All trim levels can be optioned with an automatic and receive an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 26 city/38 highway/30 combined mpg.  When paired with i-ELOOP, these vehicles receive an EPA estimated rating of 28 city/40 highway/32 combined mpg, which is the best highway mpg3 in the segment for gasoline-powered vehicles.

A new-to-market vehicle starting with the 2013 model year, CX-5 was the first Mazda to feature the full suite of SKYACTIV technologies and KODO "Soul of Motion" design language.  Starting at $21,3954 MSRP, CX-5 is available in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trims and offers an EPA-estimated best-in-class highway fuel economy of up to 35 mpg compared to its non-hybrid competitors.  Also available in either FWD or AWD, the 2014 CX-5 can be paired with either a SKYACTIV-G 2.0L (Sport) or 2.5L (Touring, Grand Touring) engine.  The SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual is only available on Sport models. 

All recently earning the highest safety distinction of "Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 2014 Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5 vehicles feature elements of the new i-ACTIVSENSE system, which includes active-safety pre-crash detection features such as Smart City Brake Support.  These technologies use sensing devices such as milliwave radars, lasers and cameras to support the driver in recognizing hazards, avoiding collisions and minimizing damage should accidents occur.  While these systems will not eliminate accidents, their intent is to minimize them and reduce the severity of a crash. 

About U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report is a multi-platform publisher of news and analysis, which includes the digital-only U.S. News Weekly magazine, www.usnews.com and www.rankingsandreviews.com.  Focusing on Health, Personal Finance, Education, Travel, Cars and Public Service/Opinion, U.S. News has earned a reputation as the leading provider of service news and information that improves the quality of life of its readers.  U.S. News & World Report's signature franchise includes its News You Can Use® brand of journalism and its annual "Best" series of consumer Web guides and publications that include rankings of colleges, graduate schools, hospitals, mutual funds, health plans and more.  For more information on U.S. News Best Cars, visit www.usnews.com/cars.

About Mazda North American Operations
Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers.  Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.  For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at www.mazdausamedia.com.

1 SKYACTIV is a registered trademark of Mazda Motor Corporation (MC).
2 Starting price is manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) for lowest trim level. MSRP does not include $795 destination charge (Alaska $840), title, taxes, license, options and dealer charges. Actual prices set by dealer and may vary.
3 2014 Mazda6 Grand Touring models equipped with 6-speed automatic and i-ELOOP.  Sport and Touring models are not available with i-ELOOP and are EPA-estimated to achieve 37 highway mpg (6-speed manual) or 38 highway mpg (6-speed automatic). Actual fuel economy will vary based on driving habits and road conditions.
4 Starting price is manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) for lowest trim level. MSRP does not include $830 destination charge (Alaska $875), title, taxes, license, options and dealer charges. Actual prices set by dealer and may vary.

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SOURCE Mazda North American Operations

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