Advertisement

"Could Mazda's World Car of the Year win be the start of something big?"

Mazda stole the show at the awards ceremony - one that's usually dominated by German brands, says Steve Fowler

After years of coming close, Mazda has won the 2016 World Car of the Year Award for the new MX-5, presented at the New York Motor Show last week.

Myself and columnist Mike Rutherford joined 70 other jurors in this increasingly influential awards ceremony – one that’s usually dominated by big German brands.

With BMW’s 7 Series winning Luxury Car of the Year and Audi’s R8 winning Performance Car of the Year, there was still something for the usual suspects to celebrate – and deservedly so with those models. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

"Mazda, Suzuki, SsangYong and Subaru - destined for glory?"

But little Mazda stole the show – as it did at the New York show itself. The stunning MX-5 RF with its Targa-esque folding roof wowed the crowds – and provided more reasons why the MX-5 also won the World Car Design of the Year trophy.

The Mazda team, with MX-5 programme manager Nobuhiro Yamamoto and Mazda’s US boss Masahiro Moro collecting the award above, has every right to be happy. The MX-5 has always been the star of Mazda’s line-up, but now the rest of the model range is shining brightly, too. 

Mazda MX-5 RF - roof opening

As a former Mazda owner (I loved the 323 that was my second car), I’ve enjoyed seeing how the company has carved its niche in today’s market. It’s obsessed with two things: style and weight. There’s no denying the cars look great, while its unique approach to taking weight out of its cars, improving efficiency and driver appeal, is clearly working.

WCotY finalists list

So Mazda has all the ingredients to be a major hit and sales are up, yet it’s a brand that seems to punch below its weight – sales of 50,000 a year in the UK are good, not great, especially when you look at the cars. Awareness is key, so awards like these help.

Mazda prides itself on offering something different. And I think that different is becoming increasingly appealing.

What do you think about Mazda's successes? Let us know below!

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/mazda/mx-5/352002/limited-edition-mazda-mx-5-100th-anniversary-launched
Mazda MX-5

Limited edition Mazda MX-5 100th Anniversary launched

Mazda marks its centenary with the Mazda MX-5 100th Anniversary edition, launched with a contrasting two-tone colour scheme
3 Apr 2020
Visit/mazda/mx-5/108798/revised-2020-mazda-mx-5-launched
Mazda MX-5 2020 - side
Mazda MX-5

Revised 2020 Mazda MX-5 launched

Mazda has updated its compact sports car, with a range of efficiency tweaks and a new flagship GT Sport Tech trim-level
8 Jan 2020
Visit/mazda/mx-5
Mazda MX-5 1.5 2015 front
Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5 review

The Mazda MX-5 is a legendary small sports car that delivers driving thrills and everyday usability
7 Jan 2020
Visit/106907/best-sports-cars
Mazda MX-5

Best sports cars 2020

From the McLaren 570S to Mazda MX-5, these are the 10 sports cars that we think are the best on sale
2 Jan 2020

Most Popular

Visit/news/102580/hyundai-kona-electric-get-increased-range-july
Hyundai Kona electric front
Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai Kona Electric to get increased range from July

UK-delivered Hyundai Kona Electrics will be outfitted with a handful of mechanical revisions, boosting the SUV’s maximum range to 300 miles
18 Mar 2020
Visit/hyundai/i20/100001/new-hyundai-i20-n-hot-hatchback
Hyundai i20

New 2021 Hyundai i20 N to rival Ford Fiesta ST with 200bhp

New Hyundai i20 N to join i30 N in brand’s hot hatch line-up and our exclusive images preview how it could look
2 Apr 2020
Visit/seat/leon/351998/new-seat-leon-2020-review
SEAT Leon

New SEAT Leon 2020 review

The all-new SEAT Leon hatchback impresses with its blend of sporty handling and cutting-edge technology
3 Apr 2020