NEW YORK—On Friday morning, the annual New York Worldwide Auto Present opened its doorways to the general public. In stark distinction to final 12 months—once I foolishly predicted that NYIAS was now the premier US auto present—this 12 months’s occasion feels very lackluster.
The Shanghai Auto Present is partly guilty. It opened earlier this week and just about each automaker with something new to show selected China over the US. The truth is, some manufacturers like BMW and Volvo weren’t current in any respect. The Web did not assist both, as what little new steel there was coming to the Large Apple acquired proven off on-line within the weeks main up.
However provided that we missed each LA and Detroit in current months, I braved Amtrak’s quickly deteriorating service from DC to wander the Javits heart and see what was neat among the many automobiles that did present up in NYC. Whereas have another tales from NYIAS to return, we’re kicking off this 12 months’s occasion with our Greatest Of awards.
Greatest Small Automobile: Mazda 3
For this class, the pickings have been so slim we have chosen a automobile we’ve already driven—the brand new Mazda 3. It is constructed on all-new structure, one which Mazda hopes will create a good tighter bond between machine and driver. Or, in Japanese, Jinba ittai.
As with the earlier era, the Mazda Three is out there as both a five-door hatchback, or a four-door sedan. The sedan is the cheaper one, beginning at $21,000. Once we drove it on the imply streets of Los Angeles—and the great Angeles Crest Freeway—it was apparent that the transfer to a torsion beam within the rear suspension hadn’t compromised the automobile’s participating dealing with. Eager drivers will need the hatch which begins at $23,600. That one may be optioned with a guide transmission, though solely together with front-wheel drive.
However the perfect bit is the Mazda 3’s inside. If, like me, you might have capital O opinions about typefaces and contact factors, the three’s cabin is a pleasure, significantly at this worth level. The truth is, it’s miles nicer than something I’ve sat in just lately from any of Mazda’s Japanese rivals’ luxurious manufacturers. The redesigned seats are snug, the steering wheel is likely one of the few you may discover that is suitably skinny, and Mazda even rejected the thought of a touchscreen-based infotainment system.