New Model News

Mazda launches CX-5, CX-9 and Mazda6 Carbon Edition for 2021

The 2021 Mazda CX-5, CX-9, and Mazda 6 Carbon Edition put gray on display.

Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

UPDATED: This article has been updated to include the full roster of CX-9 Carbon Edition features.

Why go black when you can go gray? In a world of sport packages and midnight editions, Mazda is launching a Carbon Edition option on select vehicles.

The 2021 CX-5, CX-9, and Mazda 6 Carbon Edition will all feature a Polymetal Gray paint job, red leather interior, and black accents inside and out. On the outside there are black metallic finish aluminum alloy wheels and gloss black door mirrors, among other details. The interior of each model is trimmed out with black honeycomb and red stitching.

100th Anniversary Special Edition Mazda MX-5 Miata side The company recently celebrated its history with the release of the 100th Anniversary Special Edition Mazda MX-5 Miata. Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

Each model comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Bose premium audio system, and heated front seats.

The roster of included safety technology has blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, and Smart Brake Support.

The CX-5 is Mazda's compact SUV. It competes against the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, and Honda CR-V. Despite the heavy competition, it's one of the best-selling SUVs in the country and the best-selling Mazda as well. The three-row CX-9 is larger and slots directly above the CX-5 in the Mazda lineup. Its closest competition is the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot.

The Mazda6 is a midsize car that wins accolades for being a premium offering without a premium level price tag in its highest trim levels. The engaging car faces stiff competition from the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord as well as the Ford Fusion.

Pricing and a full product features list will be announced in the coming weeks along with the full 2021 Mazda model lineup.

The CX-9 Carbon Edition builds on the CX-9 Touring with Touring Premium Package, adding 20-inch black metallic aluminum alloy wheels, red leather seats, and black interior trimming on the dash, door panels, and handle bezels. The steering wheel will have paddle shifters. Smart City Brake Support Reverse and Driver Attention Alert are standard, as are second-row captain's chairs with armrest and center pass through. The model also has a hands-free power liftgate, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, heated steering wheel, seven-inch TFT reconfigurable digital gauge display, Satin Chrome roof rails, automatic power folding door mirrors, Adaptive Front-lighting System, eight-way power driver's seat with lumbar support and memory positioning, chrome lower exterior accents, interior LED accents, windshield wiper de-icer and frameless rearview mirror.

Mazda recently launched a special 100th Anniversary edition of the MX-5 Miata to celebrate the company's long and storied history, which extends from motorcycles to vans (some are really unattractive) to decades of models leading up to the modern Mazda3 and beyond.

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The car shows just 9,000 miles.

Bring a Trailer

If you’re in the market for a new and unique sports car, this may be your fix. The Mazda RX-8 is a much-maligned and somewhat unreliable vehicle, but the price on this auction may be just right. The 2005 RX-8 shows just 9,000 miles on its odometer and looks to be in wonderful shape.

2005 Mazda RX-8 Unsurprisingly, the RX-8 looks almost new.Bring a Trailer

The RX-8 was an interesting but problem-plagued car that many enthusiasts steer clear of these days. Numerous things can go wrong with the rotary engine that powers the car, including bad ignition coils, engine fuel flooding, catalytic converter issues, and starter problems. The engine’s unique design caused problems when drivers started and quickly shut down the car without letting it warm fully. The problem would prevent the car from starting until remedied but didn’t cause any permanent damage. Other issues could cause costly repairs and extended downtime for RX-8 owners.

While all of that could eventually become an issue for this car, it’s likely that its low mileage and great condition will help it stay in decent health for at least a while. The seller also provided compression test results that show a healthy and functioning engine without much to worry about at the moment.

The RX-8’s tiny 1.3-liter two-rotor engine produced 238 horsepower and 159 pound-feet of torque when new. A six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard. The cars were, and still are, quick, thanks to their light weight. On the downside, the cars’ fuel economy and oil consumption are both prodigious.

2005 Mazda RX-8 The RX-8 was a quirky car with small doors that opened to access the back seat. Bring a Trailer

This 2005 RX-8 sits at just $12,000 at the time of this article, and there’s still almost five hours to go in the auction. Unless some brave soul gets excited at the last minute, it likely won’t climb much higher than that. At that price, the RX-8 is a less risky purchase and would mean that the new owner could use and abuse it without much worry. Could that be you?

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What was your best car-related experience this year?

Chris Teague

This year has been a lot of things, but it hasn't been boring. Even if we focus only on the car world, there's plenty to talk about, from microchip-related new vehicle shortages to the wave of new electric vehicles hitting the market. That leaves us with a question for all of you: What was the best or most memorable car moment for you in 2021? I'll get the conversation started.

Porsche Cayenne GTS My SoCal Cayenne śaw snow for the first time in its nearly 200k-mile life last week.Chris Teague

I'd spent a good portion of 2021 wanting a new-old car to drive when I wasn't testing a new vehicle. That's harder than you'd think for someone who thinks, talks, and writes about cars all day, because there are so many interesting, risky, and downright funky options out there in every price range. The added headache for me was that I'd chosen to shop for a "fun" car in one of the most volatile car markets ever seen. Even the extremely high-mileage "untouchable" European cars I wanted to buy were commanding ridiculous prices.

After a solid few months of waffling between various rattletrap Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and Audi S/RS cars, I landed on an option that had escaped me before: The Porsche Cayenne. First-generation Cayennes are a real bargain now, but the 955/957 (Porsche's internal code for the SUVs) can experience major problems that occur with or without regular maintenance and care. I was determined to buy one, and wasn't overly concerned about mileage, as long as I could count the number of owners on one hand. There was a beautiful 2009 Cayenne GTS with 90,000 miles but nine owners, a gorgeous 2004 Cayenne Turbo with a concerning engine tick, and many more just like them. Finally, I decided to risky-click a 196,000-mile Cayenne GTS in Southern California. It had one owner and one dealer-owner for a month or two prior to sale, its condition looked decent in photos, and I was able to negotiate a reasonable enough price that shipping it from San Diego to Maine wasn't a huge problem.

Porsche Cayenne GTS The pics look great, but hands-on tells another story.Chris Teague

I had two traveling Euro mechanics check the car out, and both confirmed that it was well-worn but mechanically sound, so I jumped. Ten days later, on a snowy, icy, dark Maine afternoon, the Cayenne arrived. Cosmetically, there were a few things the dealer and mechanics failed to mention, but overall, it looked good. The SUV passed Maine safety and emissions testing without problem, got a new set of Michelins, and I was on my way.

Porsche Cayenne GTS I'm in danger, but thankfully this should be a reasonable fix.Chris Teague

A few days of driving revealed what I was really in for. A check engine light revealed a camshaft position sensor error and the Cayenne displayed a nasty vibration at idle. A new sensor and motor mounts, and I'm on my way. I'll update you as more things break or miraculously work, but I want to hear your memories from 2021.

Email me at chris@automotivemap.com, and I will compile the best and most interesting stories for a story on New Year's Day. May you all have a wonderful 2022.

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