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I am obviously not a gear head enthusiast like some of you on here worrying about a half second difference in a 0-60 test.
What does it matter in real life driving?
Said before and will say again.... if you are concerned about drag start times, Mazda is probably the wrong car and so is the Accord that is getting so much comparisons on this forum.
If you are looking for bragging rights on HP or stop watch times, then you should jump over to the Stinger GT forum or one of the overpriced German made cars.
I started out convinced I wanted a Stinger GT2 for $52k. But then reality set in that when I pull out of my garage to head to work, nobody was going to be in the passenger seat with a stop watch!

So I prioritized what I REALLY wanted out of my next car, and that list was:
1. Good looking car inside and out.
2. Fun to drive car. With some zoom.
3. All the luxury comforts of Nappa leather, heads up display, ventilated/cooled seats.
4. Reliable and low cost maintenance.
5. Prefer to stay under $40k

So that ruled out the beloved Stinger and all the Badge Envy cars like Audi, BMW & Lexus. So I heard about this newly released Mazda 6 Signature trim. Which in my opinion compares (price wise) with the Camry, Accord, Maxima and Passat.

When comparing these to the new Mazda, item #1 on my wish list above makes the Mazda stand out.
Call me vain, but the Honda, Toyota, Nissan all have ugly front ends. The 6 has a beautiful look from the front and side profile. And I even like the Mazda “wings” logo better then the tired look of the others.
(Side note: If you go to the Stinger GT forum, they are all removing the KIA logo and replacing with other badges - lol)

I test drove the New Turbo 6 and other then wanting to replace the tires for some better rubber, the car drives nice and is plenty fast.
I may not win a stop watch comparison, but then again most of my acceleration will come from a rolling start or passing some slow poke at highway speeds.
And when I am Zoom zooming past them, I will be doing so in the comfort of my Nappa cooled seats while watching my speed on the heads up display, and listening to my Bose stereo and checking my full list of blind spot indicators. All while looking good doing it and keeping $10k or more in the bank!

If you are about the stop watch, go buy a Mustang, Dodge or Camero. If you want a really nice car that doesn’t look like every other car at the intersection, then buy the Mazda.
 

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My priorities are/were very similar to yours (looks were not on top) and after driving almost all the cars (and more) you mentioned we bought 6 Signature.

We did want quiet comfort with good driving dynamics and acceptable rear seat. A number of options in the 50-80K range but the Mazda6 gives a great compromise at a reasonable price.
 

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As an overall package, The Mazda 6 is really tough to beat. It inspires even the most mundane drivers to explore the potential and involvement levels of the chassis. The vehicle responds eagerly with a very natural, organic feel giving more expensive and faster cars a real run for their money based on chassis tuning alone. This car really goes to show you that a balanced chassis all in a neat, well-tuned package is so crucial for a daily driver. The 2.5L makes good torque, has proven to be very reliable, has potential to make great power with Orange Virus tuning, and is paired to a selection of an auto or manual transmission both of which are excellent.

The 2.5L NA engine in the Toyota Camry makes about 18HP more than Mazda's, has two extra gears yet is still slower. It's a bit more efficient, but one key thing to note is the Max Torque rating. Both engines make the same 185ft/lb of torque, except the Mazda peaks at 3250RPM while the Camry does not peak until 5000RPM - downright dissapointing for it's displacement especially considering Toyota makes good engines. There is a reason why they bought a share from Mazda and plan to use their tech. My point is, Mazda's engine/transmission tuning is second to none in it's price category. For such a small car company, they have really forced Honda to step their game with the Accord and are seriously punching above their weight for rather limited budgeting and resources.

I could care less for a cabin full of fancy electronic gadgets that do nothing but distract you from the driving experience. I wanted a fun, purposeful driver-focused vehicle that gets you from point A to B with good usable torque, a playful chassis and even the MPG has proven to be quite good. Are there more reliable choices out there? Yes, the Camry is one. The Honda Accord makes a compelling argument against the 6 by being a bit faster and offering a manual transmission with the upgraded engine, but the Mazda edges it out slightly with outright driving feel.
 

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I couldn't care less about zoom zooming. This is the first car I've owned that had a 0 to 60 of less than 10 seconds. To me it's the fastest car out there.

For me it was between this, the Camry, or the Accord. I had to have a Japanese (read: reliable, which excludes Nissan) car.

The Accord was ok, but gripping the steering wheel was downright unpleasant. It just digs into your hands, and made me wonder if anyone at Honda actually tried holding the steering wheel before making them that way.

The Camry was better, but my dad's old 2003 Camry has more comfortable seats than the newer ones. The new 2018 Camry is just obnoxious; the turn signals make this cheesy "ding ding" noise instead of clicks. Also any time you pressed a button that it didn't like it would obnoxiously start beeping at you like "oh you pressed the Back button and you're already as far back as you can go, you must be an idiot! Here's the idiot alarm so you know you're an idiot". Also, the 8 speed transmission couldn't figure out what gear it wanted to be in and would repeatedly shift, even multiple times a second.

The older Camrys (2012-2017) were better, but not the most comfortable. The interior felt cheap, with flimsy plastics and creaky compartment hinges. They also get abysmal gas mileage.

The Mazda 6 was initially a last resort on my list of cars, but when I finally tried one, I was blown away. Besides being the best looking car of the three by a wide margin, the interior looks amazing. Everything feels and looks well thought-out and downright luxurious. While Toyota and Honda have to save their nicest designs for their premium brand cars, Mazda puts it all in the flagship 6. The seats are like nothing I've ever sat in before. It's like they hug you. They keep you in an upright position and it's actually comfortable! In most cars I tend to slouch on longer trips, but not so on the 6.

Anyway I could go on about this, but suffice it to say, I'm very impressed with what this car offers and can't comprehend why so few people are buying them. The Camry sells 10 times as many units per year, and the accord sells around 7 or 8 times as many. Blows my mind. But whatever, the car wouldn't be as nice if everyone else also had one.
 

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I couldn't care less about zoom zooming. This is the first car I've owned that had a 0 to 60 of less than 10 seconds. To me it's the fastest car out there.
the NA Mazda 6 is just fast enough for passing, driving enjoyment etc. about 215ft/lb of torque from the OV Tune would be optimal but still not considered fast.

(read: reliable, which excludes Nissan) car.
Nissan used to be just as reliable and well built as Toyota back in the 90's, except far more fun to drive. After Renault saved the company and took over, quality quickly went down. Nissan's engines are old designs and quite reliable, but their CVT's are shit. I wouldn't say they are much less reliable than Mazda though. The current generation Altima is just very outdated and bland.

The Camry was better, but my dad's old 2003 Camry has more comfortable seats than the newer ones.
Because the car is older. Seats are more worn-in VS. a brand new car.

Also, the 8 speed transmission couldn't figure out what gear it wanted to be in and would repeatedly shift, even multiple times a second.
Transmission tuning. BMW's 8 speed feels perfectly calibrated. Toyota's 2.5L has more power and more gears yet is still slower than Mazda's. Mazda's 2.5L torque peak is at 3250RPM VS. 5000RPM in the Toyota (dissapointing for a 2.5L)

The older Camrys (2012-2017) were better, but not the most comfortable. The interior felt cheap, with flimsy plastics and creaky compartment hinges. They also get abysmal gas mileage.
I agree. Low point for Toyota. They got lazy and are just riding the brand image wave during this stage. This is why they bought a share from Mazda recently to use their tech. Mazda seems to have forced Toyota + Honda to step up their game with the midsize sedans big-time recently.

The Mazda 6 was initially a last resort on my list of cars, but when I finally tried one, I was blown away.
This is very typical for the average buyer looking into Toyota and Honda. Mazda just doesn't have the brand image or reputation yet but they are getting there.

I'm very impressed with what this car offers and can't comprehend why so few people are buying them. But whatever, the car wouldn't be as nice if everyone else also had one.
Not whatever. Mazda deserves to sell just as many units of this car as Honda. It's just unfair. Even the Malibu is outselling the 6 which is a piece of garbage car. I am glad Mazda is still updating and selling the 6 despite such a low volume of sales though.
 

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For me it was between this, the Camry, or the Accord. I had to have a Japanese (read: reliable, which excludes Nissan) car.

The Accord was ok, but gripping the steering wheel was downright unpleasant. It just digs into your hands, and made me wonder if anyone at Honda actually tried holding the steering wheel before making them that way.

The Camry was better, but my dad's old 2003 Camry has more comfortable seats than the newer ones. The new 2018 Camry is just obnoxious; the turn signals make this cheesy "ding ding" noise instead of clicks. Also any time you pressed a button that it didn't like it would obnoxiously start beeping at you like "oh you pressed the Back button and you're already as far back as you can go, you must be an idiot! Here's the idiot alarm so you know you're an idiot". Also, the 8 speed transmission couldn't figure out what gear it wanted to be in and would repeatedly shift, even multiple times a second.

The older Camrys (2012-2017) were better, but not the most comfortable. The interior felt cheap, with flimsy plastics and creaky compartment hinges. They also get abysmal gas mileage.

The Mazda 6 was initially a last resort on my list of cars, but when I finally tried one, I was blown away. Besides being the best looking car of the three by a wide margin, the interior looks amazing. Everything feels and looks well thought-out and downright luxurious. While Toyota and Honda have to save their nicest designs for their premium brand cars, Mazda puts it all in the flagship 6. The seats are like nothing I've ever sat in before. It's like they hug you. They keep you in an upright position and it's actually comfortable! In most cars I tend to slouch on longer trips, but not so on the 6.

Anyway I could go on about this, but suffice it to say, I'm very impressed with what this car offers and can't comprehend why so few people are buying them. The Camry sells 10 times as many units per year, and the accord sells around 7 or 8 times as many. Blows my mind. But whatever, the car wouldn't be as nice if everyone else also had one.
I could have written this word for word 10 months ago when I was shopping for a new car.

I bought a (new) 2017 GT with tech and premium package (which would be equivalent to the signature package in 2018).
The new Accord and Camry had just been released, and I looked at both.
The new Camry was/is butt ugly, and the new Accord wasn't/isn't much better. The Honda 1.5l engine and CVT wasn't even worth consideration.
The sport level Accord with the 8 speed may be quicker, but like you said, that transmission can't make up it's mind.

The previous gen 2017 Camry was as cheaply built as can be. Horrible hard plastics everywhere. Nissan was not even on the radar.
After 10 months of ownership, I am very happy with the car.
I can't understand why it sells so poorly either, although Mazda is partly to blame, as there is no marketing effort for it all. It's all focused on the CX-5.
Secondly, people are sheep, and 99% of Camry or Accord buyers have not done any research, or cross shopping. The 6 is not even on their radar. Sad really.
 

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Not whatever. Mazda deserves to sell just as many units of this car as Honda. It's just unfair. Even the Malibu is outselling the 6 which is a piece of garbage car. I am glad Mazda is still updating and selling the 6 despite such a low volume of sales though.
Deserve to? Debatable. I definitely believe Mazda has been knocking it out of the park lately, and I also believe that the 6 is the best sub $30k midsize sedan on the market.

The reason I personally think they aren't selling as well is because when someone looks at buying a Japanese car, they are generally doing so for the superior reliability. When someone prefers sportiness over reliability, they often look to American brand cars. Toyota and Honda have proven themselves over decades to be market leaders in the durability of their powertrains.

Mazda has been somewhat hit-or-miss over the years, particularly in their turbocharged vehicles, and so they don't have that perceived image of being a durable brand. Also keep in mind that there was a period where Ford had a controlling interest in Mazda, which only ended in 2012. Ford, a company that seemingly has zero interest in producing reliable vehicles, almost certainly pushed Mazda toward "money first, quality last" production, and that will have hurt their brand name.

Toyota and Honda are also known as pioneers, breaking into the market with their VVT and VTEC engines in the 80s, which proved to be the most reliable and fuel efficient engines out there. They still use those engine designs today.

Mazda, I believe, is on the up and up. They are onto something great with their Skyactiv design. They've managed to design the best VVT engines to date. I believe that they will also prove to be reliable engines. Mazda has a good chance to make a name for themselves among the "prestige" Japanese brands. But as the 15th largest automaker in the world, they've got a long fight to the top.
 

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Deserve to? Debatable. I definitely believe Mazda has been knocking it out of the park lately, and I also believe that the 6 is the best sub $30k midsize sedan on the market.

The reason I personally think they aren't selling as well is because when someone looks at buying a Japanese car, they are generally doing so for the superior reliability. When someone prefers sportiness over reliability, they often look to American brand cars. Toyota and Honda have proven themselves over decades to be market leaders in the durability of their powertrains.

Mazda has been somewhat hit-or-miss over the years, particularly in their turbocharged vehicles, and so they don't have that perceived image of being a durable brand. Also keep in mind that there was a period where Ford had a controlling interest in Mazda, which only ended in 2012. Ford, a company that seemingly has zero interest in producing reliable vehicles, almost certainly pushed Mazda toward "money first, quality last" production, and that will have hurt their brand name.

Toyota and Honda are also known as pioneers, breaking into the market with their VVT and VTEC engines in the 80s, which proved to be the most reliable and fuel efficient engines out there. They still use those engine designs today.

Mazda, I believe, is on the up and up. They are onto something great with their Skyactiv design. They've managed to design the best VVT engines to date. I believe that they will also prove to be reliable engines. Mazda has a good chance to make a name for themselves among the "prestige" Japanese brands. But as the 15th largest automaker in the world, they've got a long fight to the top.
So you're telling me some garbage Chevrolet Malibu riding simply on brand image built from a government corporate bailout deserves more sales than Mazda? Do you think Mazda is less reliable than Hyundai/Kia? Not that Kia is a bad vehicle, but they built their reputation from tons of stupid features which consumers like as standard. Mazda is trying to build their reputation purely from a driving enjoyment perspective. What percentage of the population do you think prioritizes performance and chassis feel over everything else? When you are looking for performance, you don't go to the Americans unless you're stupid. You look at the European choices such as BMW or Porsche. What the Japanese do well is balancing the convenience of a reliable, well made vehicle with good performance and driving dynamics all at a reasonable price. You made a good point about Ford's influence on Mazda. Very good point. This is what really hurt Mazda's reputation. But do you see what they are building now that they actually have some money? The 2.5L engine, both NA or turbo are excellent motors and the NA version is honestly one of the most reliable engines on the market. Honda's 1.5T is full of fuel dilution issues. Mazda has clearly got their DI game sorted out far better than it's competition.

I don't see anything special about the majority of Honda's engine designs. The K series 4 cylinders and J series V6's are both good, but everything else they have built is shit except for maybe the newest 2.0T. However, suspiciously enough i stumbled across one a picture of the Accord's engine bay and the layout of that motor looked a hell of a lot similar to what Mazda is currently building. I looked at some Nissan, even Hyundai engine bays and they all look literally the same. It's obvious to me that Mazda is now leading the pack with their drivetrain tuning + reliability has proven to be very good so far with the NA 2.5L.
 

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Plus, if you look at Mazda's engine technology overall in the past few decades, it's much better than Honda's. civic used to have garbage SOHC 4 cylinders. Mazda has been building excellent DOHC setups way ahead of it's time for god knows how long.
 

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When you are looking for performance, you don't go to the Americans unless you're stupid. You look at the European choices such as BMW or Porsche .

What about if you don't have the money to buy a BMW or Porsche but want performance?


The turbo 6 isn't a performance car, it's just average for 0-60, 1/4 mile, road holding & braking. I call it like it is, Mazda is good for fuel economy first, not performance these days.
 

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What about if you don't have the money to buy a BMW or Porsche but want performance?


The turbo 6 isn't a performance car, it's just average for 0-60, 1/4 mile, road holding & braking. I call it like it is, Mazda is good for fuel economy first, not performance these days.
What's your definition of performance? For me it's chassis/suspension tuning first, engine and transmission second.

quite frankly, one of Mazda's last interests is making a fuel efficient car. A good engine that makes good torque from a low usuable RPM will consequently get good mileage too, as long as the transmission is properly geared and tuned. Mazda really doesn't go out their way or focus on sheer efficiency at all.

I think you see Mazda the wrong way. Mazda has always prioritized the driving experience - organic, communicative, tactile steering and chassis feel paired to a well engineered, responsive engine over anything else. 0-60 times and quarter mile doesn't mean anything to an average person, or someone looking for a sporty car that feels good. The car is not outright fast in a straight line but has sheer amounts of usable torque which works really well with the chassis. When you drive spirited and lean on the car around corners, get a feel for how the engine pairs with the chassis this is when sheer amounts of power start to mean less and less.

Everyone's got a different perspective of performance. But acceleration doesn't mean anything without an eager and communicative chassis that inspires you to push the limits of your driving skill.
 

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Just because a car is tuned for low-mid range torque and isn't fast at full throttle doesn't mean it's performance is bad. Just because the tires on it are too shitty or the suspension is too soft, or the open differential stops the car from pulling supercar levels of grip on the skidpad doesn't meant it's just an average car.

On paper, it's average. Behind the wheel, it's the most involving and exciting driving experience you will ever feel in any new car.
 

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Just because a car is tuned for low-mid range torque and isn't fast at full throttle doesn't mean it's performance is bad. Just because the tires on it are too shitty or the suspension is too soft, or the open differential stops the car from pulling supercar levels of grip on the skidpad doesn't meant it's just an average car.

On paper, it's average. Behind the wheel, it's the most involving and exciting driving experience you will ever feel in any new car.

I agree with you for the 2.5L N/A engine, it's quite good performance for a midsize affordable sedan having only 184 HP /185 ft/lbs.

The disappointment is the turbo, they should have tuned it better, same 250/310 in a FWD sedan was a mistake.
 

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I agree with you for the 2.5L N/A engine, it's quite good performance for a midsize affordable sedan having only 184 HP /185 ft/lbs.

The disappointment is the turbo, they should have tuned it better, same 250/310 in a FWD sedan was a mistake.
Tuned it how though? I've never driven one, but from what I can tell there is too much tire spin off the line. Mazda's mistake for cost cutting and using the same 225 width tire firestones, and not very good ones at that. They knew the general consumer of the turbo engine just wants a quieter ride and good torque to pass whenever they need it, and a well tuned FWD car is totally fine for that

In my opinion, I think Mazda played it smart by not opting to offer an AWD option on the 2.5T model. This would add weight to a car that has already gained a rather considerable amount of weight over the older NA model, so the added weight of the AWD model would be too much. Mazda should have offered a 245 width performance tire and LSD with thicker sway bars and stiffer lower suspension as some sort of sport option. This would make the front wheels handle the 310ft/lb of torque far better and help 0-60 times since the tires will have minimal slip.

The best solution would have been to just put this engine into a RWD car though. 310ft/lb is just too much for a FWD car. I don't know how Mazda did it, but they did, and it honestly seems to work quite well. The fact that it doesn't have crazy amounts of HP in the top end and a good stable chassis is what helps keep the car reasonable.

As for the NA version, I agree. out in the real world, torque is your friend. Torque is the physical spinning force which moves the engine, and HP is the ability to hold that power as the RPM's increase to redline. Another important aspect is when the torque peaks. The 2.5L peaks at 3250RPM which is quite good for a 4 cylinder and this really helps the car feel sufficient during daily driving. To me, the NA engine would feel perfectly suited to the 6 with an OV 91 octane tune.
 

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So you're telling me some garbage Chevrolet Malibu riding simply on brand image built from a government corporate bailout deserves more sales than Mazda? Do you think Mazda is less reliable than Hyundai/Kia? Not that Kia is a bad vehicle, but they built their reputation from tons of stupid features which consumers like as standard. Mazda is trying to build their reputation purely from a driving enjoyment perspective. What percentage of the population do you think prioritizes performance and chassis feel over everything else? When you are looking for performance, you don't go to the Americans unless you're stupid.
But the thing you're missing is that a large number of car buyers ARE stupid. Chevy airs those garbage commercials (at least in the US) about how they've received all these JD power awards. On that note, I'd like to point out that in their 2015 reliability study, the Toyota Camry received perfect 10s in every category, the Chevy Malibu received 10s in every category but one, and the Malibu still got their most reliable award. Don't believe me? Here's the link to the exact page on their website: https://www.jdpower.com/Cars/Ratings/Dependability/2018/Midsize-Car

So despite Chevy obviously paying money for their useless awards, people still eat those commercials up and buy Chevy sedans in droves. So many people don't want to bother doing research, and just buy what they see advertised to them. Why do people apply for a Capital One card with 28% interest instead of going to a credit union and getting a card with 9%? Because Capital One has commercials and people are too lazy.

In my view, Toyota and Honda have earned their spots among the best sellers from decades of proven reliability. Any observant person can look around and see the hundreds of thousands of 20+ year old Toyotas and Hondas driving around and know they make durable vehicles.

Hyundai and Kia are kind of an enigma. Neither of them have a long track record of reliability. In fact, they both made garbage cars when they first started out, but have gotten much better. Hyundai I can at least somewhat understand: they offer a 10 year 100,000 mile warranty on their new cars which, AFAIK, is an industry-best. In my head if they will stand by their cars for 10/100k the car will last 20/200k no problem. But man, Hyundai and Kia have the absolute worst looking interiors I've seen. Everything is SO cheap looking, and bare-bones. I'm pretty sure they still only offer a 2.5" backup cam display on their base models. They still outsell Mazda cars by 3 and 2 times respectively and I concede that Mazda deserves to be selling more units than those two, and it blows my mind that they arent.
 

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Mazda lacks advertising. The last time I saw their TV commercial was months back when the launched the 2018.
In a matter of 40 minutes when I am on the treadmill in the gym I will have seen Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and Kia commercials twice each but no Mazda. Advertisement matters. If you keep repeating to someone how good something is 10 times a day it creates a memory in the brain and when the time comes for car shopping the memory is very likely to say let me test drive Mazda too besides Toyota and Honda, they say a lot of good things about it. Like they say out of sight out of mind, out of mind translates to out of the shopping list. First Mazda needs to generate foot traffic to its dealerships the cars will automatically sell in larger numbers.
 

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Mazda lacks advertising. The last time I saw their TV commercial was months back when the launched the 2018.
In a matter of 40 minutes when I am on the treadmill in the gym I will have seen Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and Kia commercials twice each but no Mazda. Advertisement matters. If you keep repeating to someone how good something is 10 times a day it creates a memory in the brain and when the time comes for car shopping the memory is very likely to say let me test drive Mazda too besides Toyota and Honda, they say a lot of good things about it. Like they say out of sight out of mind, out of mind translates to out of the shopping list. First Mazda needs to generate foot traffic to its dealerships the cars will automatically sell in larger numbers.
I think you're probably right. I could definitely believe that Mazda isn't putting commercials on TV. I couldn't say myself; I think my brain automatically tunes out car commercials. That probably stems from seeing so many as a kid when I had no means to buy a car. The only commercials I ever recall seeing are those awful Chevy commercials and only because they piss me off so much.

Didn't they used to do those Zoom Zoom commercials though? Did they sell more cars back when those commercials were airing? I feel like they were the only car brand that had a catchy jingle, that had to count for something...
 

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Mazda does not put out commercials which is IMO hurting its sales. In the 45 minutes I am on the treadmill at the gym the TV in front would have spitted out Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai commercials maybe twice or thrice but not a single Mazda one. The last Mazda commercial I remember seeing was couple of months back when they launched 2018 model. Repeating how good your product is 10 times a day to a viewer creates a memory in the brain and when its time for new car shopping he is more likely say "let me checkout Mazda too in addition to Toyota/Honda they say its a good car". As they say out of sight out of mind and out of mind is out of the shopping list. Its imperative to keep talking about your product, program the brain it generates foot traffic to the dealership the most important first step for a sale to happen.
 
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