Safety Technology

Mazda (finally) all-in on rear seat reminder technology

Mazda is going all-in on keeping kids safe in the car.

Photo by Getty Images

Some automakers are already installing rear seat reminder technology across their lineup. Mazda is taking longer, but is committing to having the alerts installed in every U.S.-sold vehicle by 2025, if not sooner.

Their commitment comes as part of a larger consensus, announced in early September, among automakers that are part of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers, which account for nearly 100 percent of the U.S. light-duty vehicle sales.

"Children die each year from heatstroke suffered when left unattended in the back seat of passenger vehicles," said John Bozzella, President and CEO of Global Automakers. "As most of these deaths are caused by children being unintentionally left in vehicles, our members are taking action to help prevent these tragic losses by adding rear-seat reminder systems to prompt parents and caregivers to check the back seat before exiting their car."

According to the Auto Alliance, the agreement between stakeholders will expedite the inclusion of the technology, which could have taken four to eight years to finalize had they relied on the government rule-making process.

"Sadly, each year, we see children die from heatstroke suffered when left unattended in the back seat of passenger vehicles – most of these deaths are caused by children being unintentionally left in the vehicles," saidJeff Guyton, President, Mazda. "The commitment by Mazda and the entire automotive industry to install rear seat reminder safety systems underscores how such innovations will help parents and caretakers keep their children safe."

Currently, Mazda sells the Mazda3, Mazda6, CX-3, CX-5, CX-9, and MX-5 Miata in North America. A CX-30 crossover will be arriving on U.S. shores in 2020.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Mazda has added a turbo back to its options list for Mazda3 for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

The 2021 Mazda Mazda3 2.5 Turbo is the powerful engine option many buyers have been seeking. We now know how much power it will deliver and how much it will cost.

Mazda is selling the Mazda3 with the turbocharged 2.5-liter engine in both sedan and hatchback variants. Sedan models will start at $29,900 and hatchback at $30,900. Adding the Premium Plus package to the sedan model bumps up the cost to $32,450 and the same treatment for the hatchback prices it at $33,750.

2021 Mazda Mazda3 2.5 Turbo The Mazda3 Turbo is aesthetically unchanged on the interior from the other top-tier Mazda3 models.Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

There is a $945 destination and handling fee for each vehicle ($990 in Alaska).

Both models come with the 250-horsepower engine that delivers 320 pound-feet of torque on premium fuel (227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque on regular fuel). All-wheel drive is standard.

When equipped with the Premium Plus package, the hatchback version of the model gets a front air dam and rear roof spoiler. When adding the available Aero Kit ($1,075), a rear diffuser and side sill extensions is added. Or, a buyer can choose to have the Mazda3 Turbo without the Premium Plus package and just add the Aero Kit as a standalone option for $1,900.

Mazda is making new BBS 18-inch gloss black forged wheels available on all grades of the Mazda3 Turbo for an added $918.95.

Getting a premium paint color on the Mazda3 Turbo will also cost extra. Prices are $395, $495, and $595 for Snowflake White Pearl Mica, Machine Gray Metallic, and Soul Red Crystal, respectively.

Power To The People | 2021 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo | Mazda USA www.youtube.com

There are no further aesthetics changes to the model for the new year.

To coincide with the arrival of the new model, Mazda has launched a fresh ad campaign that showcases a touch of the company's history alongside the beginning of this new, turbocharged chapter. Mazda celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2020.

The 2021 Mazda3 Turbo is expected to arrive at dealerships later this year.

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The Hyundai Sonata won accolades for its user experience.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai North America

Each year, Wards Auto evaluates each automaker's infotainment and safety system offerings, diving deep into the features they offer as well as evaluating the systems' ease of use. They test then score the systems based on the user experience in reference to each vehicle's touch screens, voice controls, connectivity, and driver-assistance technologies. They also took value into consideration.

This year, the fifth year for the Wards 10 Best UX Awards, the testers scrutinized 18 eligible vehicles. The list of nominees included:

  • Acura RDX
  • Cadillac CTS-V
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Mercedes-Benz CLA
  • Toyota Highlader
  • Alfa Romeo Giulia
  • Chevrolet Trailblazer
  • Kia Seltos
  • Nissan Sentra
  • Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport
  • Audi Q7
  • Ford Escape
  • Lincoln Aviator
  • Ram 1500
  • BMW X7
  • Honda CR-V Hybrid
  • Mazda CX-30
  • Subaru Legacy

Here are the winners.

2021 Kia Seltos

2021 Kia Seltos Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Wards Auto: "Kia's all-new Seltos is packed with infotainment and technology features that give the small CUV a youthful energy that's hard to resist."

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Wards Auto: "Augmented-reality navigation, stellar ADAS, and a 64-color light show propel the $48,295 Mercedes-Benz CLA to UX leadership."

2020 Toyota Highlander

2020 Toyota Highlander Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Wards Auto: "Toyota's redesigned Highlander three-row CUV is the only vehicle this year to win both Wards 10 Best Interiors and Wards 10 Best UX honors, thanks to an interior and tech overhaul that keeps it ahead of the competition."

2020 Hyundai Sonata

2020 Hyundai Sonata Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Wards Auto: "Big displays, tons of UX and ADAS features make 2020 Sonata unbeatable value proposition."

2020 Ford Escape

2020 Ford Escape Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Wards Auto: "The compact CUV is a 2020 Wards 10 Best UX winner for showing how it's done right in so many ways."

2020 Subaru Legacy

2020 Subaru Legacy Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.

Wards Auto: "The '20 Legacy is another strong UX player and is the fourth consecutive Wards 10 Best UX winner for Subaru, following last year's award-winning Outback, the Ascent in 2018 and Impreza in 2017."

2020 Audi Q7

2020 Audi Q7

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Wards Auto: "If owners take time to drill down into the immense customization content, they will be richly rewarded. In the realm of the automotive user experience, this is where the magic happens."

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Wards Auto: "The user-experience award for the five-seat Atlas Cross Sport comes on the heels of a 2019 honor for the Arteon sedan. Volkswagen is on a hot streak, and buyers of the value-driven brand are the clear winners."

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Wards Auto: "The Chevrolet Trailblazer wins a 2020 Wards 10 Best UX trophy for a long list of standard, user-friendly features, first-rate driver-assistance technologies and even wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with a starting price below $20,000."

2020 BMW X7

2020 BMW X7

Photo courtesy of BMW

Wards Auto: "Voice controls and driver-assistance technologies work great, personal preferences are easily cued up and Munich's largest vehicle ever soothes the soul with a user experience beyond compare, able to "Vitalize" when drowsy or "Relax" when tense."

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