2011 Suzuki GSX-R600 Specs, News, and Review...

The Incredible 2011 Suzuki GSX-R600. Impressive performance, exceptional handling and remarkable modern sport-styling prove the all-new redesigned 2011 Suzuki GSX-R600 is a class-leading sport bike worthy of its race-winning GSX-R heritage. The 2011 Suzuki GSX-R600's responsive and agile ride results from a new lightweight chassis with a compact wheelbase and race-developed suspension. Whether you�re tearing up the streets or dominating the racetrack, the all-new Suzuki GSX-R600 is designed to offer unparalleled performance for all riding levels. A compact, powerful 599cc 4-cylinder engine demonstrates the advanced race-proven technology of the GSX-R line when you hit the throttle and push the RPMs to the redline. The 2011 Suzuki GSX-R600. Designed to be the top performer in its class�it�s the total package ready to Own The Racetrack.

2011 Suzuki GSX-R600 Features

Engine Features

599cc Engine. The GSX-R is outfitted with a 599cc 4-cylinder engine with a race-proven oversquare bore/stroke ratio for an efficient, high-revving design.
Camshaft profiles feature an aggressive valve-lift curve, developed using proven Suzuki race team engine technology-its first use on a production Suzuki.
The engine employs shot-peened conrods, chrome-nitride-coated upper compression and oil control rings, and pentagonal ventilation holes.
4-into-1 stainless-steel exhaust system with a titanium muffler, carrying a Suzuki Exhaust Tuning (SET) valve maximizing torque and improving throttle response, especially in the low-to-mid RPM range.
Advanced, Suzuki race team developed transistorized ignition control circuit helps maintain more precise ignition timing across the range of engine temperature.
Lightweight, durable forged pistons designed using Finite Element Method (FEM) and fatigue analysis technology used in Suzuki race team racing engines.

Suzuki Drive Mode Selector

Suzuki Drive Mode Selector (S-DMS) offers push-button selection of two racing-developed engine control maps to suit road conditions and personal tastes.
Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve (SDTV) fuel injection, uses fine-spray 8-hole injectors for improved fuel atomization, which contributes to more complete combustion.

Transmission Features

The crankcase carries a six-speed close-ratio transmission with vertically staggered shafts, to reduce overall engine length.
A race-proven back-torque-limiting clutch contributes to smoother downshifting and corner entry.


Showa Big-Piston front Fork. Race-developed, lightweight Showa Big Piston front-Fork (BPF) delivers superb feedback and consistent performance.

Rear Shock

Single Showa rear shock features externally adjustable rebound and compression damping, along with adjustable ride height.

Chassis Features

Twin-spar aluminum cradle frame. Lightweight and compact twin-spar aluminum cradle frame made of five cast sections and cast swingarm. 

3-way adjustable footpegs

Three-way adjustable footpegs, adjustable shift lever, and short fuel tank help compose a comfortable riding position. Small, simple and lightweight bodywork featuring exciting, aerodynamic styling.

Front Brakes

Front brakes with fully floating 310mm discs and radial-mounted, four-piston Brembo monoblock calipers.

Instrument Cluster

Compact, lightweight instrument cluster with a built-in lap timer/stopwatch and programmable engine RPM indicator.
Instrument cluster features an analog tachometer with LCD readouts of the speedometer, odometer, dual trip meter, reserve trip meter, clock, coolant temperature/oil pressure indicator, S-DMS and gear position indicators.

Steering Damper

Electronically controlled steering damper provides lighter steering at slower speeds and more damping force on the racetrack and at highway speeds.

2011 Suzuki GSX-R600 - United States of America Specifications
USA MSRP - $11,599 USD

  • Color White, Blue/White
  • Brakes Front Radial mounted, four-piston Brembo monoblock calipers, with dual fully floating 310 mm discs 
  • Brakes Rear Disc brake 
  • Curb Weight 187 kg (412 lbs) 
  • Final Drive RK525SMOZ8, 114 links 
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 17.0 L (4.5/3.7 US/Imp gal) 
  • Ground Clearance 130 mm (5.12 in) 
  • Overall Length 2030 mm (80.0 in) 
  • Overall Width 710 mm (28.0 in) 
  • Seat Height 810 mm (31.9 in) 
  • Suspension Front Showa Big Piston front-Fork (BPF) 
  • Suspension Rear Link type, coil spring, oil damped 
  • Tires Front 120/70ZR17M/C (58W), tubeless 
  • Tires Rear 180/55ZR17M/C (73W), tubeless 
  • Transmission 6-speed constant mesh 
  • Wheelbase 1385 mm (54.5 in)
  • Bore Stroke 67.0 mm (2.638 in) x 42.5 mm (1.673 in)
  • Compression Ratio 12.9 : 1 
  • Engine 599cc (36.5 cu. In), 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC 
  • Fuel System Fuel injection 
  • Ignition Electronic ignition (Transistorized) 
  • Lubrication Wet sump 
  • Starter Electric
  • Warranty 12 Month Limited Warranty
American Suzuki Motor Corporation makes every effort to present the most current specifications and product features. Because of our policy of continual improvement, changes may be made in equipment, availability, specifications and features without notice or obligation.

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2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Specifications prices Modifications and Image 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Even those who don't know much about automobiles associate the three-pointed star with engineering excellence and superb construction. While it's true that Mercedes-Benz let quality slip at the beginning of the decade (largely due to electronics reliability), its current offerings show a return to the company's long-standing glory. A solid example would be the 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which provides much of the luxury, performance and refinement of its large-size sedan siblings but in a more affordable package.

Within the C-Class lineup, buyers can choose from three very distinct versions of this compact sedan. The C300 Luxury offers a plush, quiet ride along with a few classic styling cues such as the traditional Mercedes grille with its stand-up hood ornament. The C300 Sport and C350 Sport models cater to the driving enthusiast with a firmer suspension, a Mercedes SL-style grille, LED running lights and darker wood accents within the cabin. The C63, Mercedes' answer to BMW's M3, is in another league altogether with its thundering 451-horsepower V8, ultra sport-tuned suspension and aggressively bolstered sport seats.

Whichever version you consider, the C-Class will impress you with excellent fit and finish, good build quality, user-friendly high-tech features and a refined ride (even the C63 is relatively comfy). The few demerits include the C300's acceleration, as this model's V6 is outgunned by a few rivals, notably the Audi A4's turbocharged four-cylinder. And the C-Class can be pricey alongside comparably equipped competitors such as the Infiniti G37 and Lexus IS. It's also worth noting that the BMW 3 Series offers a more involving drive for the enthusiast. Still, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class remains a shining star, offering luxury sport sedan intenders a well-rounded, well-regarded choice.

Just tugging on the door handle makes you feel as if you've cracked open an impenetrable vault. The C-Class's interior is beautifully crafted, though its austere ambience and angular design may convey a less luxurious feel to some. Opting for wood trim or a two-tone color scheme at least introduces a small amount of warmth.

The controls are straightforward for this class of car, and Mercedes' optional COMAND electronics interface is fairly easy to use. The iPod interface is particularly user-friendly.

Though the current-generation C-Class is bigger than previous editions, it's hardly the best choice for growing families. Some might find a child seat difficult to install in the narrow, bucketlike backseat positions, and the 12.4-cubic-foot trunk is on the small side.

Whether you go with the Luxury or Sport models, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz comes as a well-equipped luxury sedan. All 2011 C-Class models get Bluetooth connectivity; a power sunroof; dual-zone climate control; power windows/locks/mirrors; a leather-wrapped steering wheel; power front seats; and cruise control. And options include a music hard-drive system, nav system, panoramic sunroof, heated seats, and xenon headlamps.

The C63 AMG includes leather upholstery; an AMG gauge pack; a sunroof; dual-zone climate control; Bluetooth; Sirius; a telescoping steering wheel; cruise control; and a garage door opener.
While there's only a single sedan body style available in the C-Class, it's anything but a one-trick pony. C300 and C350 models are both offered in both Sport and Luxury guise, and there's quite the aesthetic difference between them. The Luxury models carry the familiar Mercedes-Benz grille and a three-pointed star as a hood ornament, along with trim and wheels that give you that austere classic Benz look, if that's what you're in to. Sport models forgo the ornamentation for a flat badge on the grille, as well as a different, less glitzy front-end look�and, for 2011, get new LED running lamps (in bi-xenon-equipped models) instead of fog lamps. The differences between Sport and Luxury models carries through to the interior as well, though it's mainly a matter of trims; in the Luxury, you'll find burled walnut, chrome, and a four-spoke wheel that lives up to the austere Benz image of yore. If you want something more in line with BMW, the Sport is the pick.

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class models provide the utmost comfort for front occupants, but those in back, even if they can get in, will be left wedging their legs against the back of the front seats. In all fairness, when looking at rival models like the Audi A4 or BMW 3-Series, that's just how it is in this class. While the base C300 does include some barely luxury-grade plastics, overall the C-Class models come with distinctive materials and excellent fits and finishes. Cabins are well hushed from road and wind noise, though you do hear the engine more than some might expect in a luxury car (Luxury models are quieter).

The so-called Sport models are distinguished by a grille-mounted star badge and AMG body styling, with deeper front and rear aprons, under-door rocker panels, and twin-spoke 17-inch wheels of staggered width or optional 18-inch wheels.

Sport models also feature firmer suspension, a three-spoke steering wheel, a titanium-colored instrument cluster, and a different choice of interior materials.

The C300 Sport can be ordered with a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed automatic. The other two models come with the automatic only. Of course, the auto is no slouch -- it can skip gears for quicker acceleration and offers a manual control mode.

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz C300 is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 that produces 228 hp and 221 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard equipment for the C300 Luxury and optional on the C300 Sport, which comes standard with a six-speed manual. Rear-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional.

In Edmunds performance testing, the C300 Sport with the automatic went from zero to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined with rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive drops these estimates to 18/25/20.

The C350 Sport gets a 3.5-liter V6 good for 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive and the seven-speed auto is the only drivetrain combo offered. The C350 did the 0-60 sprint in 6.3 seconds, which is off the pace of more potent competitors but still plenty quick. Estimated fuel economy is 17/25/20.

The C63 AMG gets a burly 6.2-liter V8 that delivers 451 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic with three different shift modes. In Edmunds testing, the C63 reached 60 mph in a scant 4.4 seconds. Fuel economy estimates are 12/19/15.
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class comes standard with front side airbags, side curtain airbags, front-seat-mounted pelvic airbags, a driver knee airbag, active front head restraints, stability control, traction control and adaptive antilock brakes (that feature brake assist, brake drying, pre-pressure and hill-start assist). Rear side airbags are optional.

In government crash testing, the C-Class received four out of five stars for frontal crash protection and five stars for front and rear side protection. In testing done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the C-Class received top marks, including a "Good" rating for frontal-offset, side impact and roof-strength tests.

Driving Impressions
In a straight line, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz C300 and C350 won't set any records. But steering and handling are precise, and in terms of overall dynamics, the car measures up just fine compared to others in this segment. Despite their somewhat sporty character, the Sport variants are never harsh on the road and can tackle long road trips with ease. The C300 Luxury rides a little softer than the Sport model and has a quieter exhaust system, resulting in a more serene driving environment.

The C63 is a completely different species. Packing a ferocious V8, the C63 is the German equivalent to a muscle car. While not quite as tactile or agile as the BMW M3, the C63 responds to driver inputs with added sharpness and a degree of communication few Mercedes-Benz models have ever offered.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

Specifications prices Modifications and Image 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class
Mercedes-Benz has finally debuted the replacement for its original four-door coupe, the CLS. At first glance one should notice a similar silhouette to the outgoing model, but there are also an extensive number of fresh and highly accentuated lines that gives this four-door coupe a very bold, new look.

More aggressive both front and rear, the CLS is considerably more styled than its rather understated predecessor as Mercedes-Benz continues to hone the modern four-door coupe segment it essentially invented.

From the rear, we can easily see the automaker�s Bentley-esque rear "hips" that take the E-Class sedan�s look to a whole new level. A much flashier pair of tailights adorn the rear as well.
Those sweeping exterior lines continue right into the CLS interior, even visually linking the dash and the doors to the rear of the vehicle. The center console and transmission tunnel merge toward the rear, deftly dividing the two rear seats.

Larger outside dimensions mean more room inside the new CLS. In particular, there�s 0.8 inches more shoulder room in front and 0.5 inches in back, while there�s 0.3 inches more elbow room up front and 0.8 inches in the back seat.

Large rear doors are by far the most striking feature of the new coupe-like model. The rear doors represent tangible added value that complements its comfortable rear seating area. Leather and wood cover most of the interior surfaces, with natural-grain leather and a choice of wood trimming the dash.

Flowing Lines From the Outside In
The flowing lines of the dashboard are complemented by its surface, made from a soft-touch polyurethane skin sprayed onto the base material to provide a luxurious feel and high-quality appearance. This production technique enables a smoother integration of such elements as air outlets into the surface and eliminates unattractive panel seams. Even the passenger-side front air bag cover has an invisible seam.

The dashboard itself has a sound-dampening design and is insulated at the front to prevent engine noise from entering the passenger compartment. Cable and wire openings between the interior and the engine compartment have airtight seals to eliminate so-called sound bridges.

A steel cross member forms a strong anchor for the dashboard and its components. The radio, automatic climate control, instrument cluster and steering column are all attached to this solid structure, which both minimizes vibration and helps achieve low noise levels inside the new CLS.

New Cockpit Design
Looking through the steering wheel, a three-tube instrument cluster includes an analog speedometer in the center that incorporates a versatile color display. The left tube houses analog gauges for fuel level and coolant temperature, while an analog tachometer is on the right. A large display for the COMAND system sits atop a sweeping console, with an analog clock below it, flanked by fresh air vents. Next is a panel of switches for features such as heated seats, hazard warning lights or PARKTRONIC. Below the switches is a panel for the climate control system. The COMAND central controller � a rotary push-button similar to a computer mouse � is located between the seats, along with a large double cupholder and a stowage compartment that incorporates a 12-volt socket, an audio AUX-IN jack and the optional iPod-MP3 media interface.

The AMG Interior
Entering the cabin of the new CLS63 AMG, the driver is greeted by AMG door sill panels and AMG sport pedals with rubber studs � both in brushed stainless steel. When the door is opened, the three-dimensional TFT display in the speedometer welcomes the driver with a striking AMG logo.

The AMG menus include a �Warm Up� mode with oil and coolant temperature, while �Set Up� indicates the current ESP mode, the suspension setting (Comfort or Sport) and the transmission mode (�C,� �S�, �S+�, �M�). In �RACE,� a race timer is ready to record race track lap times.

A special AMG DRIVE UNIT on the console is angled toward the driver for easy access. With its E-SELECT shift lever in the center, the unit includes controls to choose the MCT sports transmission modes, ESP functions, the suspension setup and AMG drive modes. A park lock can be engaged by touching the �P� button.

In Command with COMAND
COMAND features a seven-inch TFT color display screen and a set of easy-to-use controls for the audio system, which includes AM/FM/weatherband/satellite/HD digital radio, Bluetooth, MP3 capability with Music Register, a PCMCIA card slot and GPS satellite navigation. The system also includes a six-disc CD-DVD player that�s connected to the Gracenote database, which allows the system to display the artist�s name, music genre, track titles and lengths. The navigation computer uses its own separate hard drive for the map database that covers all of North America.

An optional rear-view camera recessed in the trunk lid displays the area behind the vehicle in the COMAND screen whenever reverse is engaged. Improved optics minimizes the usual fish-eye view, and static lines projected on the screen make it easier to park and maneuver, for example, over hilly terrain.

Sound Studio On Wheels
A standard harman/kardon Logic 7 digital surround-sound system with Dolby Surround 5.1 uses two 610-watt amplifiers to power 14 speakers and a sub-woofer for a luxurious soundstudio listening experience. All amplifier channels have individually tuned frequency response, and the system includes speed-dependent volume control.

Antennas for the radio, GPS navigation, mbrace system and telephone are mounted on the roof in front of the rear window. A second radio antenna is built into the rear window glass, and phase diversity within the audio system chooses the best signal.
The four- and six-cylinder variants of the CLS feature 17-inch wheels fitted with 245/45 R 17 tyres as standard. The CLS 500 BlueEFFICIENCY is factory-fitted with 18-inch wheels and tyres in size 255/40 R 18 - this combination is available as an option for four- and six-cylinder models. Alternatively, 18-inch wheels fitted with tyres in size 255/40 R 18 at the front and 285/35 R 18 at the rear are available for all models. The 19-inch wheels which are available for the first time lend the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class an even sportier appearance. These wheels are fitted with tyres in size 255/35 R 19 at the front and 285/30 R 19 at the rear.

The electronic stability programme which features as standard also monitors the tyre pressure and displays a warning in case of any sudden loss of pressure in a tyre. For this purpose the system continuously compares the rotational speeds of the wheels, which are primarily dependent on the vehicle's speed, the load and the tyre pressure. The control unit additionally refers to other driving dynamics-related ESP� sensor signals, such as lateral acceleration, yaw rate and wheel torques, in order to diagnose pressure loss in a tyre. In this way the system is able to establish any deviations, informing the driver accordingly on the central display.

Another distinguishing feature comes in the form of the LED High Performance headlamps, which are the world's first to offer all of the regular dynamic light functions using LED technology. This innovation boasts an impressive design - inside it is divided into three arrow-shaped layers from top to bottom: the upper layer contains an LED indicator, beneath which is a striking LED side light offering LED low beam functions. The side light can also be seen when the dipped beam function is switched on, thereby creating a novel and separate night-time design as a distinctive look. The lowest level of the headlamp houses the main beam and nightview functions. A total of 71 LEDs not only provide an unmistakable appearance, but also offer a significantly enhanced view of the road compared with previous systems.

The typical Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class outline, with its elegantly long proportions, is the dominating attribute of the new model. The effect of the dynamic, athletic form has been enhanced with a new interplay of lines and areas. The front edge of the structure above the wings slopes off towards the rear. This novel design feature, called the dropping line by designers, represents a new interpretation of a formal design element harking back to the uniquely rich wealth of forms present in historic Mercedes sports cars.

A distinctive and muscular sports car-like shoulder line above the rear axle highlights the athletic character of the new CLS. The flared wheel arches resemble the powerful thighs of a feline predator waiting to pounce.

The side view is rounded off with wide wrap-around tail lights featuring LED technology which are arranged in the form of a linking element to the rear of the vehicle. The shape is emphasized by the broad shoulder line, which is clearly visible from behind and supports the flat hardtop. A wide metal insert adds a further visual highlight at the rear.
When it hits the U.S. market in June 2011, the 2012 CLS line will offer a choice of two exciting models, both powered by new biturbo, direct-injection V8 engines. The 4.6-liter CLS550 engine produces 402 horsepower and 443 lb-ft. of torque, and the high-performance CLS63 AMG model is powered by a 5.5-liter version of the new V8 that�s rated at 518 hp and 516 lb.-ft of torque.

While both CLS models are fitted with seven-speed automatic transmissions, the CLS63 AMG features an MCT (multi-clutch technology) sports transmission with an innovative start-up clutch that replaces the conventional torque converter. Providing the direct feedback of a manual transmission with the total convenience of an automatic, the MCT transmission offers impressive versatility and faster shift times.

Motivation for this new CLS comes from a new twin-turbocharged 4.6-liter V8, good for 402 horsepower and 443 lb-ft. of torque. This is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission, like the AMG CLS63 AMG variant, which swaps the automatic for an AMG Speedshift transmission with paddle shifters.
Drivers of Mercedes vehicles are safer on the road than drivers of other car brands. This is the result of a study by Mercedes-Benz accident research based on official, anonymous data samples from the Federal Office of Statistics. Having looked at 18,748 accidents resulting in personal injury during the period from 2003 to 2007, the study found that the risk of being seriously or fatally injured as the driver of a Mercedes is 9.6 percent lower than for vehicles of other brands. The result represents clear evidence of the contribution made by the passive safety systems of Mercedes-Benz to reducing the consequences of an accident.

The main prerequisites for this include a stable body structure (see the section entitled "The Bodywork") as well as a whole host of sophisticated restraint systems. With nine airbags fitted as standard, not to mention four seat-belt tensioners and belt-force limiters as well as NECK-PRO crash-responsive head restraints for the driver and front passenger, the new CLS offers an even more extensive package of safety equipment than the previous model. The airbags, which can deploy in a matter of milliseconds in the event of an accident, include two adaptive airbags for the driver and front passenger, a kneebag for the driver, two sidebags in the front-seat backrests and two large windowbags which extend from the A-pillar to the C-pillar during a side impact. For the first time, pelvisbags are included as standard for front seat passengers, which in the event of a side collision can help to reduce loads in the pelvic area. Sidebags are also available for the rear as an optional extra, which means that the new CLS makes a total of eleven airbags available for occupant protection.

Three-point automatic safety belts with belt tensioners and belt force limiters are fitted as standard for the driver, front passenger and rear passengers. Mercedes-Benz is offering adaptive belt force limiters for the rear seats as an option. These adapt to the size of passengers automatically. The system detects whether the rear seat passenger is large or small as soon as the seat belt is put on, based on the length of the pulled-out seat belt, and can adapt its protective effect accordingly. The maximum belt force is activated immediately if the rear passenger is large in size, while in the case of smaller occupants the force exerted by the belt is initially set to a lower level.
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2011 Mazda Tribute

Specifications prices Modifications and Image 2011 Mazda Tribute
It must be tough for the 2011 Mazda Tribute at family get-togethers. Like the red-headed stepchild, this compact crossover sticks out as the oddball among its fellow Mazdas with their rakish profiles, beefy fender flares and wide-mouth grilles. That's because the Tribute has been adopted from a different family. Remove the badges from the Mazda Tribute and what you have is a Ford Escape, except without the Ford's many appealing high-tech features.

The Tribute and its Ford twin date back to the turn of the millennium, and you can tell, as this vehicle's blocky shape and upright driving position are indicative of the truck-based SUVs that used to rule back in Y2K. The Tribute has been thoroughly updated since then with refreshed styling, dramatically improved interior quality and more potent engines, but the underlying vehicle has remained the same. That means it lacks new, now-common features like a telescoping steering wheel or a reclining and sliding rear seat. And it drives with a truck-ish demeanor that seems very un-Mazda-like.

More important, it's also a little hard to fathom why someone would opt for a 2011 Mazda Tribute instead of a Ford Escape, since the Ford can be equipped with a state-of-the-art navigation system, excellent self-parking technology and the innovative Sync electronics interface, which includes cell phone and iPod connectivity along with voice controls.

However, note that the Escape is far from a top pick among compact crossovers. It might have the admittedly appealing option of Sync, but it's still an aging design that lacks many of the beneficial attributes of competitors like the Chevy Equinox, Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV-4. Either way you cut it, though, this 2011 Mazda is a Tribute to neither its adopted nor birth families.
The well-equipped, entry-level Sport trim offers all the convenience, safety and utility today�s young SUV buyers demand. Standard features include automatic headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, air conditioning, AM/FM/CD audio system, ambient temperature gauge, remote keyless entry system and power mirrors, door locks and windows. Cruise control is standard on vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions. A roof rack and auto-dimming rear view mirror complete with compass, or Homelink� are also available.

The mid-level Touring trim builds on the Sport trim with the addition of privacy glass, a standard roof rack, six-way power adjustable driver�s seat with manual adjustable lumbar support, overhead console with dual storage bins and front seatback map pockets.

Offering the highest level of comfort and convenience found in the Tribute lineup, the fully loaded Grand Touring trim comes standard with everything found on the Sport and Touring trims, plus Satellite radio and much more. Additional standard exterior features include heated side-view mirrors and a power-sliding moonroof. A more sophisticated and cozy interior features leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats, garage door opener, electrochromatic mirror with rearview backup camera display and leather-wrapped steering wheel.

For the most part, the Tribute's cabin is virtually identical to that of the Ford Escape. This isn't really a bad thing, as the control layout and build quality are generally impressive. The straightforward climate and stereo controls are split, with readouts placed high atop the dash in legible blue and white characters. Unfortunately, the Tribute does not offer the Escape's excellent available navigation system or the innovative Sync electronics interface, which includes Bluetooth, iPod interface and voice controls.

The Tribute's front seats are well-bolstered and comfortable, though a tilt-only steering wheel might prevent some from finding an ideal driving position. The rear seat, although roomy enough for adults, has an uncomfortably flat bottom cushion in order to create a flat load floor when the seatback is laid down, and the seat itself is devoid of reclining and sliding adjustments. Folding down the seat is a bit of a chore, as the headrests must be removed and the bottom cushions tipped forward before the seatbacks can be lowered (it's that flat load floor thing again).

Cargo space stands at 31.4 cubic feet behind the second row and 67.2 cubes with the 60/40-split second row folded. This is a bit larger than Mazda's own CX-7 and smaller crossovers like the Hyundai Tucson, but the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4 are bigger.
The Tribute�s sporty behavior also comes from its unibody construction and the fully independent coil-sprung suspension, as used on many sports cars. Many rival SUVs use truck-like body-on-frame chassis, which flex more and provide a much less stable platform for the suspension. The Tribute�s unibody construction provides superb structural rigidity, improving ride and handling, as well as contributing to fewer rattles and a much tauter driving feel.

The fully independent coil-sprung suspension � MacPherson struts at the front, multi-link at the rear � ensures each wheel responds independently to road conditions, increasing the sure-footedness of the vehicle, improving handling and road holding. It gives the vehicle more poise in difficult conditions, including at high-speeds and on unpaved surfaces, and also improves ride comfort.

The track, front (60.7 inches) and rear (60.2 inches) is wide, which also benefits stability, handling and road holding. Nitrogen gas-charged shock absorbers give superb wheel control, on- or off-road, and maintain their composure even after tough use. The Tribute handles like a well-sorted sedan, but with all the extra benefits of an SUV.

Another sports car touch is the use of rack-and-pinion steering for greater steering precision and response. Variable power assistance means low-speed maneuvering, such as parking, is easy. Yet at higher speeds, reduced power assistance preserves road feel and steering feedback. Electric Power Steering (EPS), which improves vehicle sensitivity, is standard, and, improves NVH and fuel economy by eliminating the power steering pump.

All Tributes have ventilated 11.9-inch front discs for strong heat dissipation which improves braking performance after repeated use, such as a long downhill stretch with many bends. Both Tribute i and s models are equipped with standard Anti-lock Brakes (ABS) to prevent wheel lock-up and skids, and to help maintain steering control under braking. The four-channel system is more advanced than a conventional three-channel set-up, as every wheel has its own sensor to provide individual braking control. Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) varies the distribution of braking force between the front and rear wheels depending on the load to stop the vehicle as quickly as possible.
The Tribute takes some naming queues from the Mazda6 utilizing " i " and " s " monikers to designate which engine is under the hood. Perspective Tribute owners have their choice between a 171 horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine which comes with models dubbed " i " and an " s " model which comes with a 3.0-liter V6 model providing 240 horsepower.

Most other vehicles in this small SUV segment have similar four-cylinder or V6 engine options available. The Tribute's main competition comes from the Toyota RAV4, the Hyundai Tucson, and of course its Ford and Mercury half-brothers.

Like other Mazda models the Tribute has three trim levels available. A base "Sport" trim, an upgraded "Touring" trim, and the top of the line "Grand Touring" trim are offered.

The standard drive train for the Tribute is front-wheel drive. An electronic four-wheel drive option is available with any trim level as well. Standard safety features consist of six airbags, stability and traction control systems, and Anti-lock brakes with brake force distribution.
The 2011 Mazda Tribute comes with standard antilock brakes (front disc, rear drum), stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing of the Tribute's twin, the Ford Escape, we found that it came to a stop from 60 mph in an unacceptably long 154 feet, which is about 30 feet longer than it should be.

Thankfully, the Tribute and Escape's crash ratings are strong. The government gave them a perfect five stars in all front and side crash categories. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Tribute the top mark of "Good" in the frontal-offset and side crash tests, but the second-lowest rating of "Marginal" in the roof strength test.
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2011 Mazda Miata

Specifications prices Modifications and Image 2011 Mazda Miata
The 2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata is an affordable, two-seat roadster that combines performance with riding enjoyment. An awesome, fun and sweet-looking ride, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has always managed to make reviewers purr with contentment. Ranked as #1 among 5 Affordable Sports Cars by U.S. News Rankings and Reviews for 2010, the Mazda MX-5 Miata carries over into 2011 with few changes.
For sports car enthusiasts who don�t have a lot of pocket money to spend on a high-falutin� Ferrari or Maserati or even a Porsche or Corvette, the sub $30,000 MX-5 Miata represents a wonderful opportunity to look like a champ and drive like one as well. For 2010, the MX-5 Miata also scored as one of Car and Driver�s �10 Best�. The 2011 MX-5 Miata is due to hit dealerships in the Fall 2010.
Sitting behind the wheel of a 2011 Mazda Miata, you'll get the feeling that you're wearing the car, rather than sitting in it. The fit is snug for average-sized adults, but not cramped. Taller drivers, however, have found that the seat runs out of rearward travel, although there's loads more room than in previous-generation Miatas. As always, this Miata features simple, legible gauges along with well-placed, user-friendly controls.

The manual convertible top's operation is as simple as it gets -- push a button, pull a lever and toss the top over your shoulder. Dropping the top takes only a few seconds and raising it is just as easy. With practice, some longer- and stronger-limbed drivers can raise the roof without even leaving the seat. The power-retractable hardtop takes a bit longer to transform from coupe to roadster, but the added convenience, noise isolation and security make it a good choice as a daily driver.

One of the biggest drawbacks for small convertibles is a lack of trunk space, and the Miata is no exception. The 5.3 cubic feet of trunk space is barely enough for a weekend getaway and golf bags take quite a bit of wrestling to stow -- if they fit at all. Points are also deducted for the disappointing top-down stereo performance. Even the upgraded Bose system suffers from poorly aimed speakers that fail to envelop the occupants.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata is a two-seat roadster that is offered in three trim levels: base Sport, well-equipped Touring and premium Grand Touring. All come standard with a manually operated soft top, while the top two trims can be had with a power-retractable hardtop (PRHT).

In Sport trim, standard features include 16-inch cast-aluminum wheels, a black vinyl convertible top with a glass rear window, air-conditioning, cloth seats, a six-speaker sound system with a CD/MP3 player and an auxiliary audio jack, a height-adjustable driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and power windows and mirrors.

The Touring model adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a shock tower brace for the front suspension, foglights, cruise control, power door locks, keyless entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a trip computer, a six-CD changer, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and a leather-wrapped shift knob. The Grand Touring steps up with the choice of a black or beige cloth top, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated seats, a seven-speaker Bose audio system and silver interior accents. The PRHT models are identically equipped.

Most options are grouped in packages. Sport models can be equipped with the Convenience package that includes most of the Touring upgrades (this package is included in Miatas with automatic transmissions). Touring and Grand Touring models can enhance the Miata's already nimble handling with the Suspension package (only available with a manual transmission), which includes a sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein shocks and a limited-slip differential. The Grand Touring qualifies for the Premium package that features stability control, keyless ignition/entry, xenon headlights, Bluetooth and satellite radio. An Appearance package adds a different front spoiler and extended rocker sills.

Also available this year is the limited-production Miata Special Edition. It's essentially a Grand Touring PRHT with the Premium package and, if it's a manual transmission, the Suspension package. The Miata Special Edition also includes unique exterior and interior colors.
 �Zoom-Zoom� automaker may have a new high-tech 4-cylinder engine, code named �Sky-G� in the works for their 2011 Miata. Reports put the potential mileage as high as 70 miles per gallon.

According to InsideLine, the naturally aspirated 1.3-liter 4-cylinder engine that was first introduced at the 2009 Tokyo Auto Show is expected to produce power in the same realm as the current Miata, roughly 150 hp, and would easily retain the Miata�s existing power-to-weight ratio with the 2011 model�s expected weight of 2,200 pounds.

The eye-brow raising fuel economy figure of 70 mpg was speculated by some speaking to InsideLine, as well as a 50 mpg figure. Both figures were reportedly based on testing with a vehicle approximately the size and weight of the Mazda Kiyora concept car that debuted at the Paris Auto Show in 2008.

Although specifics on how the engine achieves such high mileage have not yet been released by the automaker, it is reported that the engine achieved these figures in a natually aspirated form, and was between 1.3 and 1.5-liters.
Driving Impressions
One of the Miata's greatest attributes continues to be its ability to bound from corner to corner on a tight and winding road. This ability is due in no small part to a suspension and steering feel that are as communicative as a political pundit in an election year. The seat-of-the-pants feel and feedback from the wheel give the Miata the goods to satisfy nearly any driving enthusiast, though some horsepower junkies may yearn for more under-hood punch.

Still, the free-revving four-cylinder always seems eager to play and the short-throw manual gearbox is as good as it gets. Drivers with less sporting intentions should still find the 2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata easy to live with and comfortable for long stints in either top-up or top-down mode.

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2011 Mazda MAZDASPEED3

Specifications prices Modifications and Image 2011 Mazda MAZDASPEED3
In the sport hatchback segment, the Mazdaspeed 3 has been the one to beat the past few years. Its combination of nimble handling, pin-you-to-the-seat turbo power, practicality and value have made the "Speed 3" a favorite among those looking for thrills on the cheap. It has also been a favorite among our staff, having won most of the comparison tests we've thrown it into.

At the heart of the 2011 Mazdaspeed 3's appeal is its turbocharged 2.3-liter engine. Packing 263 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, this turbo-4 is a hard charger and will get you to 60 mph in a quick 6.3 seconds. The downside, though, is that it's almost too much power for the front-drive Mazda 3 chassis; nailing the throttle can result in a notable amount of torque steer. That said, it's easily managed and reminds you that this potent hot hatch demands respect from your right foot. The precise steering, buttoned-down suspension and sticky tires make the MS3 fun in the corners, too.

Beyond the spirited driving experience, other key attributes of the Speed 3 include a well-trimmed cabin boasting solid fit and finish as well as some features (either standard or optional) that you might not expect in this segment. You also get a fair amount of utility, too. Thanks to its decent-sized rear seats and 42.8 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity, the Speed 3 can handle just about anything life throws at you.

If we were to level a complaint about the Mazdaspeed 3, it'd be that it's almost too sport-oriented. You can only get it with a manual transmission, for instance, and its firm ride quality and road noise might seem a bit harsh for people living in areas with poorly maintained pavement. The more mature Volkswagen GTI, in comparison, is easier to live with on a daily basis.

There are also other options for an affordable hot hatch, like the stylish Mini Cooper S and the all-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart and Subaru WRX. You might even consider coupes like the Chevrolet Camaro V6, Ford Mustang V6 and Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Though we definitely recommend Mazda's spicy Speed 3, there's quite a spread in this hot hatch buffet so we suggest sampling all via test-drives if you're not sure what flavor might appeal to you most.
The 2011 MAZDASPEED3 is loaded with all the goodies a driving enthusiast wants, but without anything that would add undue weight. Standard features and equipment include variable intermittent windshield wipers, roof-mounted aerodynamic antenna, illuminated vanity mirrors, electroluminescent gauges, aluminum pedals, MAZDASPEED �branded black/red cloth seats, door trim, interior trim, floor mats, scuff plates and black/red decoration panel; and dual-zone climate control. An available MAZDASPEED3 Technology Package offers advanced keyless entry, push-button start, a compact full-color navigation system, Sirius satellite radio with six months of free service, a perimeter alarm, six CD changer, and BOSE� Centerpoint� surround sound � a five-channel surround system engineered cooperatively with BOSE� that enhances the listening experience thanks to a digital amplifier, noise cancellation technology and 10, strategically placed, premium speakers. For 2011, the MAZDASPEED3 Technology Package is expanded with rain-sensing front wipers, auto on/off headlights, Bi-Xenon headlights with auto leveling, Adaptive Front-lighting system (AFS), and LED rear combination taillights. Because the weight and structural penalties would compromise the pure driving experience, the MAZDASPEED3 is not available with a moonroof option.
The design of the MAZDASPEED3 evolves the model�s visual identity to create a sportier, more aggressive appearance. The result is a more emotional design that takes the sporty, agile nature of the MAZDA3 5-Door to a new level.

The MAZDASPEED3 is easily distinguished from its siblings. Start at the front, where a lower air dam and round fog lights frame an organic, metallic-black grille. The hood houses an intercooler scoop to improve charge air cooling, and the front fenders are flared to contain the car�s wide tires.

From the side view, the 18 x 7.5-inch aluminum wheel design is unique, but modeled closely on the deeply sculpted, expressive, and very lightweight 19-inch forged wheels on the RX-8 R3. Sculpted side skirts and a low stance also give away the MAZDASPEED3�s sinister motives. From the rear, large dual exhaust tips, , and a large, roof-mounted rear wing give it away.

Nagare-inspired design defines the exterior and continues into the cabin, which features color coordination and materials chosen to excite the driver and passengers every time they take a seat. Black is the keynote color employed throughout the interior, while the seats and trim fabric have an organic red graphic design. This MAZDASPEED3-exclusive design is distributed throughout, with red stitching enhancing the sporty interior character on the steering wheel, seats, door trim, shift lever boot, and center armrest.

The dashboard of the MAZDASPEED3 is designed to give a roomy feel while displaying critical information up high and deep into the dashboard, closer to the driver�s field of vision and focal point. The instrument cluster for the MAZDASPEED3 also includes an LED turbo boost gauge positioned between the meters.

The driver�s seat is especially critical in any performance car. Without solid lateral support, a driver loses the focus, control and precision needed to really enjoy driving. The MAZDASPEED3 seats are designed to provide that support without compromising everyday comfort.
Allow us to explain. The current-generation �Speed 3, a turbocharged affair with 263 horsepower, has won two consecutive comparos and made our coveted 10Best list for 2007 and 2008. We�ve routinely praised its sub-six-second 0-to-60-mph sprint, lively handling, and all-around enthusiast appeal, so we�re very excited about the prospect of a new version.

Powertrain details are thin on the ground, but we doubt the current 2.3-liter turbo will reappear. Instead, we're guessing the new car will use either a 3.5-liter V-6 engine, or the same 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder employed in Europe's new Ford Focus RS. Regardless, expect at least 300 horsepower so as to keep ahead of the Subaru WRX and Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart.

One of our only gripes with the Mazdaspeed 3 is its propensity for torque steer, a trait we'd love to see mitigated by all-wheel drive in the new car. But the Euro-spec Focus RS�with which the Mazdaspeed 3 will likely share many components�will be front-drive only, seemingly precluding AWD for the Mazda.
Standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. Though the 2011 Mazdaspeed 3 itself hasn't been crash tested, the similar Mazda 3 five-door hatchback upon which it's based has been tested. In government testing, the Mazda 3 scored five out of five stars for driver and front passenger protection in a frontal crash, five stars for front side protection and four stars for rear side protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Mazda 3 its highest possible rating of "Good" in its frontal-offset and side crash tests.

Driving Impressions

Routing 280 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels is usually a recipe for annoying amounts of steering-wheel-tugging torque steer. This phenomenon is certainly present in the 2011 Mazdaspeed 3, though the engine's torque-limiting software helps keep it manageable for the most part.

In any case, there's no doubt that the Speed 3 is one of the best-handling and most entertaining hot hatches on a winding road. Impressively precise, the steering provides plenty of communication and faithfully transmits road information like few front-wheel-drive cars can. Considering the car's performance potential, the suspension manages to also provide a fairly compliant ride, though the Mazdaspeed 3 ultimately isn't as comfortable as other models like the GTI.
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2011 Mazda MAZDA6

Specifications prices Modifications and Image 2011 Mazda MAZDA6
Who says a family sedan has to be sedate? Amid a deep field of competitors, the 2011 Mazda 6 proves otherwise, with athletic performance and little in the way of sacrifice. In addition, sleek styling, comfort for full-sized adults, top safety scores and a price that won't break the bank all combine to make it a worthy choice.

Mazda prides itself in delivering an exhilarating driving experience, and even in the rather tame sedan segment, it manages to inject some personality into the mix. How much fun you'll have behind the wheel of the Mazda 6 largely depends on which engine you pick. The base four-cylinder is just fine for the daily commute, but the lively V6 certainly increases the grins per mile. Handling is admirable for every Mazda 6, and anyone can appreciate this car's spacious interior and large trunk. There's not much to complain about, with subpar fuel economy and the use of some chintzy plastics in the cabin being the car's only notable drawbacks.

That said, competition in the family sedan class has gotten more formidable with the introduction of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata and the 2011 Kia Optima. Both trump the Mazda 6 in terms of price and features and are competitive in regard to performance, though they lack the interior space of the Mazda. Other top choices include the sporty Nissan Altima, the very impressive Ford Fusion and the stalwart Honda Accord. At the end of the day, there isn't a bad pick among these choices, and the 2011 Mazda 6 is certainly worth a look.
 The facelift interior has undergone a further refinement in materials for a higher quality feel. These include new chrome detailing with piano-black panelling, and chrome plating is newly added to knobs and switches that passengers use on a daily basis - for the climate control and audio dials, parking brake knob and the inner door handles. New piano-black is introduced for the audio and climate control panelling, the centre stack frame, around the shift gate and for the panel containing the steering wheel buttons.

There is also new surface finishing on all decorative panels - matte-silver coating for the standard model, and a silver-hairline finish in full-gloss look for the Sports Grade model. Completing the facelift interior updates are new line patterns in the upholstery of the seats, and newly-available brown leather for those looking for a premium feel.

The 2011 Mazda 6 features an interior that is attractive and modern in design. A gracefully arching center stack sweeps from the top of the dash down to the center console. Some of the controls, however, are a bit more complicated than those of its competitors. Red electroluminescent gauges further enhance the visual appeal, and the roomy backseat (even for 6-footers) is a definite plus. Legroom and headroom are plentiful in all seats, but the wide front seats might lack lateral support for narrower occupants.

Despite the Mazda 6's attractive design, some cheaper plastic materials are scattered throughout the cabin. Higher trim levels have odd black-and-silver-patterned flourishes that might be an acquired taste for some. Points are also deducted for the underperforming standard audio system, and even the upgraded Bose system could disappoint some listeners. On the plus side, the Mazda 6's 16.6-cubic-foot trunk is one of the biggest in its class, while the trunk's unobtrusive hinge mechanisms and the 60/40 split-folding rear seats further enhance cargo-hauling capabilities.
New fog lamps bezels are introduced that are more pointed and lowing. These bezels frame an "inner eye" made up of a round fog lamp inside a lowing lower lid for a strong sense of refinement. There are also newly-designed headlamps , and an upper grille with a new winged Mazda logo that is black on all grades and body-coloured on the Sports Grade. Deeply etched character lines running up from the grille between the fenders and the bonnet complete the most athletic Mazda 6 front ever.

The winged motifs from the front are repeated by the rear combination lamps that have new chrome- plated winged decorations that make the lamps look wider and seem to low even further into the side panels. The lamps themselves are a combination of clear lenses and LEDs . Mazda 6 facelift also gets stylish new 17- and 18-inch aluminium wheel designs that twist slightly for a very sporty, three- dimensional look. These not only enhance the silhouette with a premium look, they are also one kilogram lighter than the wheels of the previous model.

Customers can choose between 10 body colours for the facelift, including two all-new colours to the Mazda line-up - Clear Water Blue Metallic , Midnight Bronze Mica - and two that are new to the Mazda 6 line-up - Graphite Mica and Black Mica.
The 2.0-liter engine Atenza models, available in both the Sedan and Sport Wagon body types, have been updated with Mazda's direct injection MZR 2.0L DISI*1 gasoline engine. This engine provides plenty of power as well as outstanding fuel economy that exceeds Japan's "2010 fuel economy standard plus 15%." All grades equipped with a 2.0-liter engine qualify for Japan's eco-car incentive program and are subject to 50 percent less tax under the government's eco-car tax reduction program. Additionally, the entire Atenza range, including front-wheel drive (FWD) and four-wheel drive (4WD) grades, qualify as Super-Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (SU-LEV) by achieving exhaust emissions that are at least 75 percent lower than the levels set in the Japanese Government's 2005 exhaust emissions standard.
Standard safety features for all 2011 Mazda 6 models include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, both the i and s Grand Touring models came to a stop from 60 mph in about 125 feet.

The Mazda 6 has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash testing procedures. Its 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to 2011 tests) resulted in a perfect five-star rating for frontal and side-impact protection for all occupants. Likewise, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Mazda 6 its highest score of "Good" for frontal-offset and side impacts, while roof strength tests yielded a second-best "Acceptable" rating.

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2011 Mazda MAZDA3

Specifications prices Modifications and Image 2011 Mazda MAZDA3

When the appearance of the popular Mazda 3 was refreshed last year, its new smiling face didn't immediately win over some people, including us. Of course, the 2011 Mazda 3 looks the same, but now that folks have had a chance to warm up to the perpetually grinning car, it seems that the Mazda 3 is having the last laugh.

The main reason is that the Mazda 3's fun-to-drive personality has been not only preserved but also enhanced as part of last year's makeover. This means the steering is still communicative, the chassis even more athletic and the ride somewhat smoother, with less vibration coming into the cabin. Furthermore, the new-generation car with the base 2.0-liter four is better on gas compared to the older Mazda 3 base model, which was rather thirsty compared to fuel-sippers such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. Though the base engine's performance is merely adequate, the available 2.5-liter mill is one of the most responsive and energetic in the segment.

While the exterior of the Mazda 3 might be controversial, the interior is hard to criticize. The 3 has long been known as having one of the nicest cabins in the economy car segment. One might even mistake the interior of a fully optioned Grand Touring version with its interesting design architecture and leather upholstery for that of an entry-level luxury car.

The Mazda 3 is also notable for the number of upmarket features that are available, including bi-xenon headlights, keyless ignition/entry and dual-zone automatic climate control. For 2011, the 3's appeal is further increased thanks to the addition of more standard features. All models now have stability control, while the Grand Touring trims receive the formerly optional Bose audio system and sunroof.

That said, the 2011 Mazda 3 might not please everybody, as some drivers could find the 3's ride too firm and the controls too complicated. For them, the Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra are good alternatives. The Volkswagen Golf and Jetta could also be considered against the Mazda 3's higher trim levels, as the VWs also provide upscale cabins. Nonetheless, the 2011 Mazda 3 remains one of our top picks in the economy sedan class thanks to its pleasing driving demeanor, ample equipment, excellent quality and choice of body styles.
MAZDA3�s cockpit is configured to support the driver in a more dedicated manner than any sport-compact competitor. Two large instrument clusters are carefully positioned and clearly marked to deliver engine and road speed information. Key controls are located in the steering wheel spokes where they can be reached with minimum distraction. A Multi-Information Display screen containing navigation, audio, and trip information is positioned high on the instrument panel to avoid the need for the driver to refocus vision off the road ahead. A second screen slightly to the right provides station frequency and climate control setting information.

Mazda�s Human Machine Interface approach breaks the interior into three key zones: displays and controls used most frequently are located high and close to the driver to significantly reduce eye motion and refocusing; audio and climate controls are also elevated in the center stack to minimize the amount of head motion needed to change any setting; switches located on the door arm rest, steering column, and steering wheel are designed for intuitive operation so they can often be activated with no need for head or eye motion. Responding to the knowledge gained from human-machine studies, the MAZDA3�s center console is elevated to shorten the reach to the shift lever and parking brake more by than two inches compared to the previous generation.

In keeping with the Zoom-Zoom philosophy, the interior of every Mazda is not just a place to sit and travel, it�s the location where the joy of driving and the satisfaction of owning something special are delivered. From the pleasant sound of the entry chime to the gradual rise of interior illumination, every MAZDA3 interior design detail is carefully conceived and executed with high quality in mind. Roof pillars and the beltline are designed to maximize outward visibility and the feeling of roomy openness.

The instrument panel top cover is a padded, seamless, and elegantly grained surface that sweeps from the center console to both A-pillars. The center console provides two cupholders, a sliding armrest, and a roomy storage box, before blending in a continuous curve into the instrument panel. HVAC and audio controls are large, properly textured and illuminated to provide a visual feedback that a command has been received. A damper is included to smooth the opening and closing of the small compartment built into the instrument panel, the overhead sunglasses storage box and the roomy glove box.

Seating comfort is the result of front cushions extended by 0.8-inches over the previous generation model for enhanced thigh support. Likewise, seatbacks are reshaped for more lumbar support and were extended by 1.4-inches for added shoulder support. Optional sport-seat upper bolsters are canted inward aggressively for restraint during hard cornering. An eight-way driver�s seat with memory is available. Dual-zone automatic temperature control, heated seats, and a BOSE � Centerpoint audio system are other features seldom found on other sport compact competitors. The 5.1-channel surround sound system engineered cooperatively with BOSE� experts includes digital amplifier, noise cancellation technology, and an array of ten premium speakers.
Top versions of the MAZDA3 have a small-diameter leather-wrapped steering wheel and soft-touch surfaces finished with French-stitched seams. Seating areas are available in black or dune colors in both cloth and leather. All MAZDA3 interiors feature a black instrument panel with pewter-painted accents and dark grey carpeting. All models feature a 60-40 split-folding rear seat as standard to stretch the utility of the cargo compartment.

MAZDA3�s Multi-Information Display (MID) can be fitted with a unique navigation system that is patterned after the compact aftermarket navigational devices that provide guidance at an affordable price. Controls located on the steering wheel select the information to be displayed on the 4.1-inch LCD color screen. In addition to maps and turn-by-turn guidance, the screen conveys MP3 and iPod program information, trip data including fuel economy, plus various maintenance and alert messages. A monochromatic readout MID is also available without the navigational functions.

Advanced keyless entry allows a MAZDA3 driver to unlock the doors and start the engine with the key fob carried in a pocket or purse. A discrete door handle button and a start button on the dash are used in lieu of a key.

The addition of Bluetooth� capability in the new MAZDA3 provides wireless mobile phone and audio player connections and hands-free operation. Instrument panel and steering wheel switches can be used to sort through music selections.

A new Technology Package is available for the 2011 model year, which includes a full color MID with compact navigation, Sirius satellite radio, advanced keyless entry, push-button start, rain-sensing front windshield wipers, auto on/off, bi-xenon headlights with auto leveling and pivoting Adaptive Front-lighting System and LED rear combination taillights and a perimeter alarm.

Chief designer Kunihiko Kurisu describes the design concept as �inheriting MAZDA3�s established identity while making it more expressive.� He continues �I wanted to strengthen the Mazda brand with the MAZDA3 design. Key designers from not only Japan but also Mazda North American Operations and Mazda Motor Europe worked very closely to create an emotional design with an even richer expression.�

Jonathan Frear, who worked on the MAZDA3�s design for two years at Mazda Motor Europe, before joining Mazda North American Operations, and Carlos Salaff, a senior designer who made major contributions at the quarter-scale model stage, are both proud of what they have collectively achieved. �The MAZDA3 provided us an opportunity to translate new design cues into the reality of a car which Mazda customers can own, drive, and enjoy,� notes Frear.

MAZDA3�s design begins with a bold grille that is purposely polarizing. �Mazda has never been afraid of taking design risks,� says Salaff. �We always strive to push our exterior, to stretch what is considered normal. We wanted the MAZDA3�s dominant grille design to be bold because that will separate this car further from the blas� competitors and, by leaping ahead of the crowd, keep us looking fresh even late in this product�s life.�

Combining the two medium-sized grille openings used previously into one larger opening also pays functional dividends. Frear explains: �Shifting the air-intake lower on the car increases the pressure of the flow. As a result, the actual grille opening is 20-percent smaller than what was necessary with the previous generation MAZDA3. Most of the air is routed over the hood or around the sides of the car, yielding a significantly lower drag coefficient. (The previous drag coefficient ranged from 0.30 to 0.32, depending on bodystyle and tire size, and has now been reduced from 0.29 to 0.31). Cars equipped with an automatic transmission have a second driver�s-side inlet opening that routes air through a heat exchanger.

�It�s important to note that we have used the front bumper surface as a key MAZDA3 design element,� adds Frear. �The grille and various elements within its periphery are three dimensional so they literally flow into the surrounding surfaces. The Mazda �Winged-M� is large and prominently raised above the front body surface. Other flow lines are evident in the hood, down the sides of the car, and in the center of the decklid.

�The front-to-rear rise of the beltline gives the MAZDA3 a crouched, expectant look of a predator ready to pounce. This treatment also provides functional benefits. The low-in-front window opening provides excellent outward visibility. The driver can easily spot lane markings and the road surface close to the car. But a higher belt-line in the rear seat area gives occupants a greater sense of security. Likewise, the elevated decklid surface is both an aerodynamic aid and a means of maximizing trunk room.�

Salaff adds, �Designers always attempt to build a strong emotional connection with their customers. We do it through their hearts�by giving them cars they are genuinely proud to own. They appreciate the quality, they�re pleased with a reasonable price, but Mazda owners are most proud of how their cars drive and the attractive appearance. They expect their cars to be a reflection of their personalities, so Mazdas are purposely youthful and outgoing. Those character traits read through loud and clear in the MAZDA3�s design language.�
�We�re also conscious of the fact that this sport compact is likely to spend major portions of its life in urban areas. So the front end is purposely configured to connote the soul of a sports car. Those who pull up from behind or get passed by the MAZDA3 see the vivid taillamp execution and dual exhaust pipes in the case of the 3s model. The precision and attention to detail suggests a much more expensive automobile. And in the side surfaces, there�s ample evidence of our Zoom-Zoom spirit as interpreted by the Nagare design aesthetic.�

The 2011 Mazda 3i comes with a 2.0-liter inline-4 that produces 148 horsepower and 135 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual is standard, while a five-speed automatic is optional on all but the 3i SV. Estimated fuel economy is 24 mpg city/33 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined with the automatic -- the manual stands at 25/33/28. This is a few mpg less on the highway than class leaders.

The Mazda 3s is powered by a 2.5-liter inline-4 good for 167 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is standard here, with a five-speed automatic optional. In performance testing, a manual-equipped 3s went from zero to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds. Estimated fuel economy is 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined with the automatic (20/28/23 with the manual). Both fuel economy and acceleration are on par with similarly powerful small cars.

Mazda3 models now offer a choice of engines:

    *Standard  148-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that teams with a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission
    *Optional 167-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that works with a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic
    *Automatic transmission models include a clutchless-manual mode that lets the driver control gear changes by nudging the console gear selector up or down.
Standard safety equipment on the 2011 Mazda 3 includes stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes (with brake assist), active front head restraints, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. In Edmunds testing, the 3s Grand Touring came to a stop from 60 mph in 119 feet -- a solid performance for this type of car.

In government crash tests, the Mazda 3 earned five stars (the highest rating) in frontal impact protection for both driver and passenger. In side impact testing, the 3 scored five stars for the front passengers and four stars for the rear. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the 3 earned the highest rating of "Good" in both frontal-offset and side-impact tests.

Standard features include:

    *Antilock brakes
    *Side-impact airbags for the front seats
    *Side curtain airbags and active front head restraints
    *Standard electronic stability system
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2011 Mazda CX-9

Specifications prices Modifications and Image 2011 Mazda CX-9
Fun-to-drive, engaging cars have been hallmarks of the Mazda brand for some time, but can a large SUV deliver this sort of behind-the-wheel entertainment? With the 2011 Mazda CX-9, the answer is resoundingly affirmative. Despite its larger dimensions, the CX-9 drives more like a midsize crossover. In an expanding field of choices that are getting harder to distinguish one from another, the CX-9 stands out thanks to not only its smiling grille, but also the enthusiastic grin it puts on its driver.

The added athleticism doesn't come at the expense of comfort or utility. The Mazda CX-9 provides adult-size seating in all three rows, solid build quality and a respectable 101 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity. Easy access to the rearmost seats is an added bonus, as are a carlike driving position and attractive interior styling. The CX-9's only significant downsides include long rear doors that complicate entry and egress in tight parking spots and a ride quality that's just a little too stiff on Grand Touring models with the 20-inch wheels.

Overall, though, the 2011 Mazda CX-9 certainly presents more positives than negatives. But if an involved driving experience isn't a priority for your next family hauler, there are others to consider. The Ford Flex is one of our favorites thanks to its high-quality interior, roomy third-row seat and innovative electronic features. The Chevrolet Traverse (plus its Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia relatives) is also worth considering due to its more compliant suspension and roomier cargo area. But for a large three-row crossover that will provide plenty of grins per mile, it doesn't get any better than the CX-9.
The 2011 Mazda CX-9 features an elegant interior that is more carlike than other SUVs in this category � especially in regard to its seating position and dash design. Leather and cloth seating surfaces plus wood and chrome trim add distinction to the sporty interior, while two-tone leather treatments and red-and-blue lighting for the instruments deliver visual flair. There are some subpar plastics (particularly on the center stack), and a lack of useful storage bins also detract from an otherwise sharp execution.

Taller, adult-size passengers in the first two seating rows will likely find the accommodations comfortable, but third-row occupants have a bit less headroom. The second-row seat reclines and slides fore and aft to deliver optimal comfort. Access to the third row comes easily thanks to large openings for the rear doors and the fold-and-slide second row; however, the larger doors can be troublesome in tight parking spaces. With the second and third rows folded flat, the CX-9 offers up 101 cubic feet of cargo capacity.

For the inside the CX-9 received new chrome accents for the center of the instrument panel, A/C controls, automatic transmission knob, vent louver knobs, inner door handles and door trim. The finish was also upgraded to piano-black insets on the steering wheel and around the audio display. Smooth leather and subtle stitching changes on the seats were also added to provide a more upscale feel and look.

The second row's backrest can recline or fold flat, and the seat can slide fore and aft to optimize legroom and cargo space. There's room for two in the 50/50-split third-row seat, which also can fold flat.

    *Optional powered front seats
    *Double-lid center console
    *Optional navigation and backseat entertainment systems
The "base" CX-9 comes well equipped with standard 18-inch wheels, power moonroof, heated mirrors, three-zone automatic climate control, 8-way power adjustable driver's seat, Bluetooth compatibility, side-impact air bags, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Traction Control System (TCS) and Roll Stability Control (RSC).

Upgrading to the CX-9 Touring trim level yields available power opening and closing rear liftgate, advanced keyless entry, 4-way power adjustable front seats, Bose audio and a backup camera.

The premium trim level designated by the Grand Touring moniker delivers upgraded 20-inch wheels, Xenon headlamps, halogen fog lamps, rain-sensing windshield wipers,

The CX-9 has sleeker lines and a sportier look than most crossovers, especially large three-row ones.

   * New designs for 18- and 20-inch wheels
   * Chrome door handles and turn-signal side mirrors (Grand Touring)
   * Available power liftgate
   * Available xenon headlights
All three variants of the CX-9 feature the same 273 horsepower 3.7-liter V6 which is mated to a 6-speed transmission. FWD is standard and yields 16 city, 22 highway estimated MPG. The optional AWD is available across the trim levels and returns 15 city, and 21 highway MPG.

The CX-9 features a 273-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 with 270 pounds-feet of torque. Front- and all-wheel drive are offered.

   * Standard six-speed automatic transmission with clutchless-manual mode
   * V-6 runs on regular gas
   *Mazda claims that fuel economy has improved to 17/24 mpg city/highway for front-wheel drive      and 16/22 mpg for all-wheel drive
Standard safety equipment for every 2011 Mazda CX-9 includes antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability control with a rollover sensor, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active head restraints. An optional rearview camera is available on Touring and Grand Touring models, while a blind-spot warning system is standard on the Grand Touring.

The Mazda CX-9 has not been rated using the government's new, more demanding 2011 crash testing procedures. Its 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to 2011 tests) resulted in a perfect five out of five stars for frontal and side crash protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also awarded the CX-9 its highest rating of "Good" for both frontal-offset and side-impact crashworthiness.

In Edmunds brake testing, an AWD Grand Touring model came to a stop from 60 mph in 123 feet, which is short for SUVs in this class.
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