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Mazda3 Wins Award, But Sales Don't Always Follow Recognition

Brian Champagne

In the Japanese carmaker Mazda’s latest sales numbers, the Mazda3 is in third place. Those figures came out around the same time the Mazda3 won yet another award from automotive journalists. But awards and sales don’t always go hand in hand.  

The Mazda3 is a hot four-door hatch that gets going from a 2.5-liter turbo, so it can still get 31 miles per gallon on the highway. But all that performance talk has lost some of you already.


That driving fun did get the attention of the local automotive media. The Mazda3 turbo all-wheel drive was chosen as the vehicle of the year by 45 members of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press, or RMAP, which” has influencers and journalists from Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Kansas, and Nebraska. 


“We had about 25 nominations in the sedan side,” said Craig Conover, the president of RMAP. “We narrowed it down to five and the Mazda came out the winner this year. I think the turbo edition this year was huge for everybody. That new Mazda’s a great little car but adding the turbo actually I think kinda takes it back to the Speed3 days.”


That Mazdaspeed3 was beloved by most automotive writers, but not you, and Mazda killed it in 2013. So can the press and the people agree? Probably like writers for wine, stereos, and tech, we are the nerds, the hard cores.


“We probably do a lot of different things with the vehicles we get,” Conover said. Probably drive them a little harder, test them a little further.”


And although I didn’t vote, yeah, the Mazda3 turbo is great. The loaner also had the sensors that are on almost all modern cars, a heated steering wheel, electric parking brake, and all that comfort stuff, and a door lock button on the hatch door which comes in handy every time you unload and go.


Being that most of the major automotive press is in Los Angeles, you could give the RMAP award more credence in your shopping because rocky mountain weather has snow and rain, so we appreciate our all-wheel drives more.


“It’s a great group of people,” Conover said. “We have a lot of fun. It's a very eclectic group of people.”


Brian Champagne grew up in the less-famous Central California but left after starting his television news career there. He worked 22 years in news for NBC, ABC, Fox, and CBS affiliates in four markets. He served as chief photographer for KTXL-TV in Sacramento, but worked in front of the camera, too.