First Gear - 2016.5 Mazda CX-5 Review and Test Drive


Get a closer look at a 2016.5 Mazda CX-5. I explore the exterior and interior of the vehicle before taking it for a brief test drive. 

I love the color of this CX-5. The exterior is called Jet Black Mica, and while we get a nice close up in the video, it really doesn't do it justice. You need to see it sparkle in person. The black has bits of blue, green and purple mixed in, giving it a dynamic depth that is so cool looking. It's almost cosmic, I called it "space."

What makes our First Gear series different from some other review shows is that I'm not a "car guy" or a salesman. I just like to push buttons and search for secret compartments to see what I can discover. You'll see me give my initial impressions of each vehicle, and follow up with any questions to a Smail sales representative.

If you want more information about our available Mazda CX-5 at Smail, visit our website here. And don't forget to check out this playlist of all of our First Gear episodes.

All-New Mazda CX-9 Wins Big in Texas


 More than 70 automotive journalists from across the country gathered at Longhorn River Ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas, for the Texas Auto Writers Association’s (TAWA) annual Texas Truck Rodeo. Over the two-day event, more than 70 vehicles were evaluated in 17 competitive categories, with the all-new 2016 Mazda CX-9 taking home top prize in the full-size CUV (crossover utility vehicle) segment.

“Mazda’s all-new CX-9 earned class-leading marks from our judges particularly in exterior styling, premium interior finishes, the performance of the new SKYACTIV-G 2.5T powertrain and overall personal appeal in the highly competitive full-size CUV category,” said Nic Phillips, Texas Auto Writers Association President. “Mazda’s CX-9 is a combination of sleek style with exciting, driver rewarding dynamics and family efficiency which makes for an award winning package, one that carried the CX-9 to be our runner-up for the overall CUV of Texas award.”

In the decade since the first Mazda CX-9 made its world debut, it has transformed the full-size CUV segment and is the brand’s grandest expression of KODO – Soul of Motion design. The 2016 model year offers innovative technologies, premium and authentic materials and is simply fun to drive with a focus on overall driver experience.

The Texas Truck Rodeo win comes on the heels of the announcement that the 2016 Mazda CX-9 made the shortlist of nominees for the 2017 World Car of the Year. It’s great momentum for the Mazda brand considering the 2016 MX-5 won two awards for World Car of the Year and World Car Design of the Year earlier this year.

Mazda North American Operations is proud of its award-winning vehicle line-up. The 2016 model year vehicles have already earned more than 100 industry accolades.

For more information about the CX-9, visit

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10 New Things You Should Be Excited for on the 2017 Mazda3

The new 2017 Mazda3 will soon be making its way to dealerships nationwide, and there are significant improvements in refinement, packaging and handling. Here's a list of the 10 new things you should be excited about seeing in the new 2017 Mazda3.



  1. The new Mazda3 will come standard with G-Vectoring Control (GVC), an all-new, Mazda-exclusive technology that "uses the engine in conjunction with the steering, throttle inputs and suspension to provide sharper chassis control, leading to a need for fewer steering corrections and greater driver- and passenger-confidence."
  2. Electronic parking brake now comes standard. And the extra interior space allows for more front seat storage.
  3. Improved sound insulation throughout vehicle, making the 2017 model 3dB quieter 25 mph over rough roads, thanks to tighter body gaps, improved sound insulation and redesigned weather stripping versus its 2016 predecessor.
  4. Redesigned leather-wrapped steering wheel for a more comfortable grip, with available heating elements.
  5. An updated sliding covered center console design, (borrowed from its big brother, the Mazda6.)
  6. Exterior upgrades are minimal, but include a bolder grille, and a redesigned rear bumper on 5-door models
  7. Three new shades of colors available. Subtle differences in color shades can have dramatic impact on cars. This year, Machine Gray, Eternal Blue Mica, and Sonic Silver Metallic replace Meteor Gray, Blue Relfex Mica and Liquid Silver Metallic.
  8. Available Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring and Traffic Sign Recognition as well as a new, full-color Active Driving Display.
  9. Revamped "Popular Equipment Package" available, which includes a moonroof, Bose 9-speaker surround sound system, 4 month trial subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio, and more.
  10. Three new package options with variety of performance and safety features: "Premium Equipment Package," "i-ACTIVSENSE Safety Package," and "i-ELOOP Package."

For more information, please visit


One-Millionth Mazda MX-5 Miata Continues Celebration with US Tour


The one-millionth Mazda MX-5 Miata was built April 22, 2016, and since then it has traveled the globe as part of a celebration tour that has recently landed in the United States. With recent stops in Philadelphia and the Chicago area, the one-millionth MX-5 likely traveled through our area, but no Pittsburgh event was planned. The car will head to Texas later this month, before several stops on the West Coast before it heads to Australia. At the end of its journey, the vehicle will be retired to the Mazda Museum in Hiroshima, Japan, where it will be covered with more than 20,000 signatures from enthusiasts worldwide. 

“From first-time MX-5 owners to longtime, multiple-Miata families; and from driving everything from original-condition 1990 cars with just a few thousand miles to heavily modified MX-5s with hundreds of thousands of miles, we’ve seen an outpouring of enthusiasts come to sign the one-millionth MX-5,” said Robert Davis, senior VP, U.S. Operations, MNAO. “Everyone has had a unique story with their car, but all of those stories come back to a common theme: Falling in love with open-top driving.”

The one-millionth MX-5 is accompanied around the U.S. by one of the earliest-produced Miatas, a Classic Red 1990 model that was one of the first three shown to the world at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show. It is the 15th ever built.

“MX-5 carries a lot of heritage for Mazda, from its inception to winning the 2016 World Car of the Year Award,” added Davis. “It may be the smallest car we make, but it is the torchbearer for Mazda’s entire lineup of performance vehicles.”

More information on the Millionth Miata Celebration Tour can be found here. Also please visit


Exclusive Mazda Miata RX-5 RF Launch Edition


Mazda will be producing an exclusive run of 1,000 RX-5 vehicles they will be dubbing the "Launch Edition." This run will be the only available in Machine Gray Metallic paint color, and Auburn Nappa leather interior trim with a hand-painted black roof panel, based on the Grand Touring trim level. Mazda will be emailing a select group of customers with an invitation to order with a specific window of time to order before sales are opened up to the general public. 

In addition to the exclusive color combination, MX-5 RF Launch Edition customers will receive a custom-designed, numbered 42mm Tourneau watch to complement their cars. 

For those who may miss out on purchasing an MX-5 RF Launch Edition, other retractable fastback models will be available with many of the same colors and interior combinations—just not the Machine Gray Metallic exterior color on the Grand Touring trim level with the black roof, Auburn Nappa leather interior and badging. While the 2017 MX-5 RF Launch Edition is based on the Grand Touring trim level, other MX-5 RF models are expected to arrive at U.S. dealerships in the first quarter of 2017 in either Grand Touring or Club trim levels.

For more information, please visit


New 2017 Mazda6 Makes Global Debut with Upgraded Refinements

2017 Mazda6 - Smail Mazda Blog - Greensburg PA

Mazda recently debuted the all-new 2017 Mazda6, which has gained further premium refinements such as the all-new G-Vectoring Control (GVC), greatly enhanced sound insulation, and available Nappa leather seating surfaces with contrast-color piping.

GVC is Mazda's first use of SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS technologies, and it gives drivers with more precise control of their vehicles, helping reduce the need for steering corrections, which leads to greater confidence and control both in day-to-day and spirited driving.

Using improved door seals, tighter tolerance between panels and sound insulation materials added to the underbody, rear console, headliner and doors, the aim for Mazda6 was to outclass common midsize-segment cars with its attractive design and establish a unique “Mazda Premium” positioning. Further improvements include thicker front glass to block wind noise, and Grand Touring models receive laminated front side windows.

Grand Touring models equipped with the Premium Package will feature available Nappa leather seating surfaces with contrast-color piping, along with other Premium Package contents such as a black headliner and heated steering wheel with traditional Japanese chidori stitching, heated rear outboard seats, i-ELOOP regenerative braking technology and a bright metallic finish to switches and trim throughout the interior.

Other improvements include a newly available full-color Active Driving Display, with a 4.6-inch, full-color TFT meter display in Grand Touring models; Traffic Sign Recognition, Lane-Keep Assist and Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring. Entry Mazda6 Sport models now come equipped with MAZDA CONNECTTM when equipped with a SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission as well as the available SKYACTIV-DRIVE six-speed automatic.

The 2017 Mazda6 is scheduled to start hitting dealerships in September, so be sure to visits for updates.

2017 Mazda6 - Smail Mazda - Greensburg PA

Another Back-to-School List for 2016 Mazda3, This Time Joined by 2016 CX-3

Mazda CX-3 - Named to KBB's 10 Best Back-to-School Cars 2016 list. - Smail Mazda Blog

It's the time of year when school is on everyone's minds. Some kids are dreading its impending return, while some parents are counting down the days with excited relief. In the car industry, all want to make sure that these students are driving the safest and most reliable cars they can. So around this time you'll often find lists compiled of the "best" cars for students, which often means that these are the cars that are best in its class for features like safety, affordability, practicality and style.

Kelley Blue Book handpicked ten cars starting under $20,000 for their 10 Best Back-to-School Cars of 2016, and both the Mazda3 and CX-3 were named to the list. 

Gaining accolades from KBB is familiar territory for the 2016 Mazda3, as it has already appeared at the top of their list of 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000 (the 13th time in a row it's been on that list!) And specifically for back to school, the Mazda3 also been named to US News & World Report's "Best Cars for Teens" list earlier this summer. Students tend to look for something fun and good looking, and KBB calls the Mazda3 "quite possibly the most stylish and most fun-to-drive car in the segment." Parents, who look for something more practical, affordable and safe will be comforted with the available safety technologies like blindspot monitoring, brake support, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and more.

New to KBB's back-to-school list this year is the 2016 CX-3. Again striking a balance of fun and practical, parents will be happy to hear that Mazda’s new subcompact SUV is one of the 10 most affordable and 10 most fuel-efficient SUVs on the market. Their kids will be more impressed that the CX-3 also made our lists of 10 Favorite New Cars of 2016 and 10 Coolest Cars Under $25,000. KBB calls it "the best-looking, most fun-to-drive entry in the burgeoning subcompact SUV segment."

Find more information about the Mazda CX-3 and the Mazda3 at

Mazda3 - KBB Best Back-to-School Cars of 2016 List - Smail Mazda Blog

2016 Mazda3 Named to "Best Cars for Teens" List from US News & World Report

2016 Mazda3 Named to Best Cars for Teens by US News & World Report - Smail Mazda Blog

 If you're in the market for a new car for your teen, or even one for yourself that a teen may be driving from time to time, you will want to take a look at the 2016 Mazda3. The 2016 Mazda3 was just named to the US News & World Report list of "Best Cars for Teens" in the $25k - $35k price category. The overall quality and advanced safety features makes it one of the best options for teens on the road today. 

“Although it’s expensive, parents should consider investing in newer models because they have many more safety features than cars made just five years ago,” said Jamie Page Deaton, managing editor of U.S. News Best Cars. “The 2016 Best Cars for Teens are some of the safest options on the road.”

The Mazda3 sports plenty of cargo space and nice fuel efficiency, and tech lovers and teens will love the ease of the infotainment system compatibility with smartphones. Where it really scores is the available safety features.  With the i-ACTIVESENSE technology suite, the Mazda3 has available safety technologies like blindspot monitoring, brake support, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and more.

While ideal, it may not be financially possible for some families to afford a brand new car, especially if it is meant to be a primary vehicle for a teen driver. If that is the case, it is recommended that you still look for a newer model that still has available safety features that older cars wouldn't be able to offer. “Look at cars from 2011 and newer, because in 2011 crash test standards were changed. Crash tests became much more stringent,” said Page Deaton. “You want one of those cars that was built for those more stringent crash tests that are going to offer more crash protection.”

For parents on a budget, U.S. News’ advice is simple: Choose the car with the most safety features that a family can afford.
Please visit us at for available vehicles, or schedule an appointment to go over options with one of our sales consultants.


Mazda Foundation and Challenged Athletes Foundation Team Up for Another 620-Mile Journey

CAF - million dollar challenge

The Mazda Foundation (USA), Inc and the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) are teaming up once again for a seven-day, 620-mile bicycle journey taking place October 15th to the 21st, 2016. And for the third year in a row, Mazda is proud to be the title sponsor of this, the 11th Annual Mazda Foundation Million Dollar Challenge.

The goal of the event is to raise funds and awareness for challenged athletes and CAF. This event is unique because it allows the bicyclists participating to ride side-by-side with challenged athletes, the same people who their fundraising is supporting.

The epic journey takes place down the coast of California, from San Francisco to San Diego. It is a week filled with iconic scenery, including stops in California's most stunning coastal towns. Participation includes a 20-week training program, service from a team of ride support professionals, first-class accommodations, meals and amenities. At the conclusion of the ride, participants receive tickets to the Celebration of Abilities dinner and an opportunity to ride a final bike stage at CAF's San Diego Triathlon Challenge.

“We are very grateful for the continued support from the Mazda Foundation that directly puts CAF’s mission into action," says Challenged Athletes Foundation CEO Ken Wheatley. "Individuals participating not only experience a ride of a lifetime, but through Mazda Foundation’s efforts, we are able to provide grants to individuals with physical challenges so they can pursue an active lifestyle through sport and physical fitness.”

To learn more about the Mazda Foundation Million Dollar Challenge and registration information, click here or contact Julia Duggan at or (858) 210- 3511. Registration is limited to 100 riders.

SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS: A Series of New-Generation Vehicle Motion Control Technologies

SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS, a series of new-generation vehicle motion control technologies soon to be available at Smail Mazda in Greensburg PA

Mazda Motor Corporation is launching a new series of vehicle motion control technologies, SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS, across its entire model range beginning with G-Vectoring Control in the 2017 Mazda6 available later this year. As part of the SKYACTIV suite, SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS will provide integrated control of the engine, transmission, chassis and body to enhance the car’s sense of connectedness between car and driver that distinguishes Mazda vehicles.

G-Vectoring Control (GVC) reflects Mazda’s human-centered development philosophy, and uses the engine to enhance chassis performance. It is the world’s first control system to vary engine torque in response to steering inputs in order to provide integrated control of lateral and longitudinal acceleration forces and optimize the vertical load on each wheel for smooth and efficient vehicle motion.

Optimizing the load on each tire brings the movements of the car more in line with the driver’s intentions, reducing the need for steering corrections, including many that are made unconsciously. Changes in the acceleration forces acting upon vehicle occupants are smoother, reducing torso sway and making for a more comfortable ride. In addition, GVC significantly improves handling and stability on wet, snowy and unpaved roads. GVC benefits drivers of all skill levels in a wide range of situations: from low-speed urban commutes to highway driving, winding roads, and even emergency maneuvers.

For more information about G-Vectoring Control, please visit the online Mazda Newsroom on Inside Mazda at: And visit for more information about available Mazda vehicles in your area.