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The 10 Best Mazda Cars of All Time

The Mazda MX-5 Miata has earned its place as one of the best cars ever created, captivating drivers worldwide with its exceptional blend of attributes.

Best Mazda Cars of All Time

Mazda has a rich history of producing exceptional vehicles that have captivated enthusiasts and general car lovers alike. From sleek sports cars to practical sedans and versatile SUVs, Mazda has consistently delivered vehicles that offer a compelling blend of style, performance, and reliability.

Buckle up and get ready to explore the dynamic handling of the Mazda MX-5 Miata, experience the raw power of the RX-7 FD, appreciate the sleek design of the Mazda6, and much more. Whether you're a Mazda fan or simply interested in the best cars the brand has to offer, this article will take you on an exciting ride.

While opinions may vary on the "best" cars, here are ten of the most iconic and highly regarded Mazda vehicles of all time based on their impact, innovation, and popularity:

10Mazda CX-5 (First Generation)

Mazda CX-5 (First Generation)

The first-generation Mazda CX-5 set a strong foundation for Mazda's entry into the highly competitive compact SUV market. It combined attractive styling, efficient engines, and enjoyable driving dynamics to appeal to a wide range of buyers.

In terms of design, the CX-5 incorporated Mazda's "KODO: Soul of Motion" design language, which emphasized flowing lines and a sculpted appearance. This approach gave the CX-5 a sleek and athletic profile in comparison to its competitors.

9Mazda 6 (First Generation)

Mazda 6 (First Generation)

The first-generation Mazda 6, also known as the Mazda Atenza in Japan, made its debut in May 2002. It was available in various body styles, including a four-door sedan, a four-door hatchback, and a five-door wagon. In North America, these were marketed as the "Sport Sedan," "5-Door," and "Sports Wagon," respectively.

This model not only showcased Mazda's commitment to design and performance but also embodied the brand's iconic "Zoom-Zoom" philosophy that prioritizes driving enjoyment. The Mazda 6's arrival marked a turning point in the midsize sedan market, providing drivers with a dynamic and engaging choice that went beyond conventional expectations.

8Mazda Luce/RX-4

Mazda Luce/RX-4

The Mazda Luce, also known as the RX-4, stands as a remarkable representation of Mazda's design and engineering prowess during the 1970s. This sedan and coupe duo not only showcased Mazda's commitment to innovative technology but also demonstrated the brand's ability to create vehicles that exude style and performance.

Under the hood, the Luce/RX-4 boasted Mazda's innovative rotary engine technology. The rotary engine was known for its smooth power delivery and high-revving nature, which contributed to the vehicle's performance and driving experience. This engine, combined with the Luce/RX-4's lightweight construction, made it a capable and fun-to-drive car.

7Mazda MX-3

Mazda MX-3

The Mazda MX-3, a compact hatchback/coupe produced from 1991 to 1998, was a car that impressed many automotive enthusiasts with its unique V6 engine and distinctive styling. Its sleek and sporty design was a combination of practicality and performance, and it remains a beloved member of the Mazda family to this day.

The innovative V6 engine, which was known as the K-series engine, was a testament to Mazda's commitment to pushing boundaries when it came to power and efficiency. The engine was unique in that it could run on two or three cylinders during low power demands to increase fuel efficiency, and then instantly switch back to all six cylinders for higher performance. This made the MX-3 an impressive performer that also delivered good fuel economy.

RELATED: The 10 Best Used Hot Hatchbacks of 2021 (Buying Guide)

6Mazda 323/Familia

Mazda 323/Familia

The Mazda 323, known as the Familia in certain markets, stands as a testament to Mazda's global success. Across its various generations, the 323/Familia series has consistently delivered practicality and reliability to drivers around the world. This enduring model line has played a significant role in Mazda's history and continues to represent the brand's commitment to providing dependable and functional vehicles.

Towards the end of its production in the early 2000s, the 323 was replaced by the Mazda3, which offered a more modern design and updated features. Despite being replaced, the Mazda 323 remains a beloved part of Mazda's history and a popular option for buyers looking for a reliable and affordable compact car.

5Mazda RX-8

Mazda RX-8

The Mazda RX-8 stands as the most recent representation of Mazda's iconic rotary engine technology, and it's likely the final chapter in this unique lineage – though the Mazda MX-30 incorporates a rotary engine as a range extender. While the RX-8 may not have been without its imperfections, its positives far outweigh its drawbacks.

The RX-8 may not have been flawless, but its fun-to-drive nature, engaging engine, and striking appearance make it a standout in the Mazda lineup. As the potential torchbearer of Mazda's rotary legacy, the RX-8's impact and legacy continue to resonate among enthusiasts and admirers alike.

4Mazda 787B

Mazda 787B

The Mazda 787B is an iconic and historic race car that has left an indelible mark on motorsport and automotive history. It achieved a historic triumph by winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1991, becoming the first and only Japanese car to claim overall victory in this prestigious endurance race.

One of the standout features of the Mazda 787B was its rotary engine, which brought a unique characteristic to the race car. The 787B was powered by a four-rotor 26B rotary engine that produced an impressive amount of power output of 900 horsepower at 10,000 rpm. This engine design was renowned for its high-revving capabilities and distinctive sound, setting it apart from traditional piston engines.

3Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S

Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S

The Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S is a pioneering and iconic vehicle that holds a special place in automotive history. Introduced in 1967, the Cosmo Sport 110S marked Mazda's foray into the world of rotary engines and set the stage for the brand's future innovations.

As a rare and historically significant vehicle, the Cosmo Sport 110S has become a prized possession among collectors who appreciate its unique place in automotive history.

2Mazda RX-7 (FD Generation)

Mazda RX-7 (FD Generation)

The Mazda RX-7 of the FD generation, produced from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s, is a true automotive masterpiece that has left an indelible mark on the industry and captured the hearts of enthusiasts. With its distinctive rotary engine, balanced handling, and iconic design, the RX-7 FD stands as a pinnacle of performance and innovation.

Over time, the RX-7 FD has evolved into a sought-after collector's item, with its limited production numbers, enduring design, and lasting appeal contributing to its status as a prized automotive gem.

RELATED: Evolution Of The Mazda RX-7: 1978–2002

1Mazda MX-5 Miata (NA Generation)

Mazda MX-5 Miata (NA Generation)

The Mazda MX-5 Miata of the NA generation, introduced in 1989, stands as a groundbreaking achievement that forever altered the landscape of affordable sports cars. This revolutionary roadster redefined the very concept of driving pleasure, delivering a thrilling and dynamic experience in an elegantly lightweight package.

The MX-5 Miata NA's impact was seismic. It rekindled a passion for driving, galvanizing an entire generation of motorists to rediscover the joy of the open road. As the years have passed, its legacy endures, and it remains an emblem of driving purity and spirited motoring. The MX-5 Miata NA is not just a car; it's an embodiment of unbridled freedom and the artistry of driving, forever etched in the tapestry of automotive history.

The Bottom Line

These vehicles have transcended the ordinary, embodying Mazda's "Zoom-Zoom" spirit and commitment to delivering more than just transportation—they deliver a driving experience that ignites passion and inspires devotion.

RELATED: Mazda Evolution: 1920-Present

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