Mazda is not the largest Japanese car manufacturer, but the Hiroshima-based firm has invested heavily in new technology to have one of the boldest model line-ups on the market.
At the heart of the plan is Mazda’s SkyActiv engine and construction technology, which brings slightly lighter cars featuring efficient motors. The entry-level Mazda 2 is a good example of this; its 1.5-litre petrol engine is much larger than the 1.0-litre three-cylinder offerings in key rivals like the Ford Fiesta, but the 2 still manages strong flexibility and low CO2 emissions.
The rest of the Mazda line-up has also adopted the SkyActiv tech; the Mazda 3 takes on the Ford Focus and VW Golf, while the Mazda 6 is a rival for the VW Passat and Ford Mondeo. The company also has a couple of strong SUVs – the Mazda CX-3 and the Mazda CX-5 – and one of the finest affordable sports cars on the market, the MX-5.
Mazda is also synonymous with rotary engine technology, particularly in its RX-7 and RX-8 sports cars – and the company has confirmed that it is working towards launching a new successor to those vehicles before 2020.