2011 Mazda AZ Wagon- Everything You Need from A To Z | Reviews on those rental car weekend specials

13 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2011 Mazda AZ Wagon- Everything You Need from A To Z | Reviews on those rental car weekend specials
Mazda AZ-Wagon

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2011 Mazda AZ Everything You Need from A To Z

on July 18, 2013 by Ryan

#8220;Dang, this street is I think to myself.  #8220;Are to fit?#8221;  Before us lay a gap lodged between two solid concrete misleadingly called a street.  Jutting out like booby traps were obstacles than a Championlink course; telephone poles, stands, and signs warning of

  This passageway was barely large enough to fit Rush let alone a passenger car with people and a corresponding amount of Of course, as the valiant driver, I tell my passengers about my grave embodied a confident façade.  the left half of my brain had images of missing paint, or worse, being indefinitely between centuries old stonework.

we crawled along inch by and like passengers in a plane a storm, gawked out the windows at how we were to the passing hurdles.  success!  We clear the barricades and onto the next street of hardships.

  There#8217;s a famous advertising from the early 20th #8220;The right tool for the job.#8221;  In this case, we had the tool to overcome this the Mazda AZ Wagon.

If you#8217;ve seen or heard of the Mazda AZ don#8217;t feel bad.  only sold in Japan never been exported in It#8217;s one of the numerous offerings in a automotive that is unique to Japan; the kei car K-car or 軽自動車 locally).

  these cars would be jokes in the United States and other countries, the kei car is serious in Japan.  Introduced shortly World War II as a way to promote the automobile a war-torn and motorcycle-obsessed nation, kei were originally designed to the best attributes of both a and four-wheeled vehicle and served as a into car ownership for many.

offered the compactness and value of a but the stability and weather protection of a The government imposed strict on size and power for these vehicles. Indeed, the first kei of the late 1940#8242;s nothing more than onto four wheels and with extra seats.

Over the the Japanese government has occasionally the strict limits on the kei car#8217;s and size.  But it doesn#8217;t happen too Case in point, the last new standards were imposed was in 1998 the limit on body length was by a mere 3.9 inches, but the same on engine capacity from remained unchanged  In other the kei cars haven#8217;t altered too since the originals from

  The present day limitations on a kei car#8217;s is that it must be no longer 133.9 inches, no wider 58.2 inches and that the displacement is 660cc (o.6 with an engine output of no than 63 horsepower.  For comparison, the car the least amount of horsepower on the US is the Smart ForTwo and that with a relatively robust 70

Despite those paltry over one million kei cars sold in Japan in 2012 and a market that can#8217;t be Japanese manufacturers that are household in the US sell these unfamiliar Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Mitsubishi all produce their own and some even have kei car offerings in their lineups.

  breed of car is easily by the special yellow license plates have white plates) and is sight in every Japanese lot.  Whilst owning such a be a dreadful nightmare for many are the Japanese so eager to scoop up?

It#8217;s not a huge mystery the motivation.  For one, the Japanese offers appealing incentives to kei car Sales tax is 3% on a kei car, compared to 5% for a sized vehicle, and annual registration is 30% less as well.

  companies also offer to make the mini cars enticing.  Lastly, as in the with our harrowing alleyway Japan is a small mountainous with 127 million people and is tight on its ancient A kei car is the right tool for the job.

The AZ is Mazda#8217;s outgoing offering and was first to Japan in 1994.  Throughout its history, it has a rebadged Suzuki Wagon R, in itself has been consistently one of best selling cars.  The car you see in pictures is the fifth generation AZ was introduced for 2008.  Suzuki has onto a sixth generation R in 2012 and the AZ Wagon has been

  Our test car proved to be one of the last of the AZ nameplate.  However, the good news is Mazda currently sells a model, the cheerfully named that is, as always, a twin of the No one can now blame GM for being the only one continually badge-engineer its offerings.

How the AZ Wagon stack up as a kei car?  133.7 inches from to bumper, the little Mazda its way to being one of the largest kei cars on the This is all subjective, of course, as the AZ is still 11 inches shorter in than a US spec Chevrolet microcar, and over two feet than a Ford Fiesta

  Like many domestic small cars, the AZ Wagon is than it is wide- 65 inches and 58 inches wide, which it is also substantially narrower and than that aforementioned and any other US market subcompact.  bizarre dimensions seem to on a person#8217;s innate sense of proportion.

Most folks want to what it#8217;s like to all of this wackiness down the Surprisingly, it drives like a car.  The high seating position and upright windshield are deceitfully to a large car and the view out is not that of a regular minivan.

  the key and the engine starts up with the of a V6.  However, under the hood is a somewhat sophisticated 0.6 (once again almost kei car limitations) three-cylinder dual cam motor with variable-valve produces a breathless 52 horsepower.  motorcycles have larger and robust powerplants.

The last time a car offered such a paltry sum of oomph in the US was in 1994 with the Geo XFi.  Japanese manufacturers been crafty when it to finding loopholes in the government and a turbocharger is available on the AZ which some needed boost remaining within the strict

  Our particular AZ had the regular, weaker engine and of having to use the Flintstones technique power came to mind obtaining the car.  But it turn out to be the case.  Scooting the streets of Shinjuku and Tokyo a full load of passengers to notably drama free.

  In the the car felt downright sprightly and I say, brisk.  It didn#8217;t bogged down and kept up the traffic flow on busy and between traffic lights.

to Japan#8217;s extremely conservative limits and strict enforcement, we had many chances to push the car to speeds.  On empty country roads, where 40mph was over the suggested speed the car continued to putt along nicely and had a smooth power However, once we entered an or climbed a hill, like we a venture near Mt.

Fuji, power deplete quickly and the car strained to speed beyond 50mph.  Engine would increase dramatically and the sound was to an overloaded Cuisinart.  Thanks to balance the engine wasn#8217;t inflicted the inherit three-cylinder shake plagued prior three-bangers idling.

  Keep this intended purpose in mind overall, it goes along its business fine around congested and quiet roads.

Mazda, or depending on how you look at it, offered transmission choices on the AZ Wagon; a manual, CVT automatic, or traditional automatic.  Ours came the latter and for the most part it was a device.  Shifts were and well-timed around town and was no jerkiness that is often with automatics matched to small

  But the transmission can only do so much the engine#8217;s limited torque, and try its best to place power to the wheels during demanding situations.  climbs equated to continual hunting as the … had to downshift and row its way to gears to take advantage of the the AZ Wagon through hilly forces the driver to reevaluate the of getting somewhere and to just the scenery along the way.

  Eventually, the car will get there.

proved to be surprisingly enjoyable.  its top heavy stance, the AZ had a go-kart feel through the It#8217;s a fun car to toss around on a road and offers decent It#8217;s still important for a to remember that this car is not a Elise.  Get a little aggressive on a and there is just enough rear end to add a smile to an enthusiast#8217;s face.

  the driver overcomes the high position and the fact that precariously perched on skinny 13 tires, it can be an enjoyable drive and like a mini-Mini Cooper, so to assisted power steering felt vague and but was consistent and added to driver once they get used to its In parking lots it did occasionally a little heavy, but otherwise it was tuned.

Ride was perhaps the (no pun) surprise.  The wheelbase, at 94 is longer than the Chevy and almost reaches the length of a larger Fiesta#8217;s.  The wheels intentionally been placed to the corners with little

 That translates to a stable and drive even over the road surfaces, which are few in Japan.  On some harsher back the car remained composed and compliant, to a much larger vehicle.

The of the AZ is inside and that long pays off tremendously here.  The Air Supply song #8220;Making out of nothing at all#8221; comes to in how Mazda made so much out of such a tiny footprint. Open any of the wide swinging doors and passengers are to a cabin that is not dissimilar to a SUV.

The vehicle packaging on the AZ, and other kei cars, is just and an example of the efficient Japanese use of that is applied on everything capsule hotels, to buildings, and

Clever space saving abound.  The front seat is one (much like the classic cars from the 50#8242;s) shifter is mounted high on the which opens up space for legs.  That bench is when the inevitable tight space comes along and the must escape via the passenger side

  This situation won#8217;t in Cirque de Soleil acrobatics to get The front passenger seatback fo lds almost flat to allow loading of items. Power foldaway mirrors are unheard of in the US economy car segment, but a on Japan#8217;s narrow laneways.

  The is tall enough to clear wearing bowler hats, and the seat reclines and slides adding flexibility for bodies of all and sizes.  A deep recess the glove box can house a water the cupholders themselves pop out from the edges of the dash, in front of the air which not only avoids a space-stealing center console, but keeps drinks frosty and The diminutive exterior measurements bely the accommodating space and the AZ#8217;s designers have put thought into exploiting cubic inch.

Mazda AZ-Wagon

Rear passengers are treated to legroom than many sedans, and the driving position cramped.  However, not everything is corn-fed American front passengers find their knee rubbing the slight curvature of the lower edges of the the front bench seat has as shaping and support as a picnic

  Cargo space behind the seat is tiny.  Fold do wn the rear seats however, and the AZ a Honda Fit-like trick by a flat loading floor offers more volume than small SUV#8217;s.  The opening to the is wide and low; making the able to gobble up large much like the original Xb.  Wheelwell intrusion is and the will allow for wider like plywood.

   The AZ is versatile and would be an easy car to different hauling situations.  the flat loading floor is an kit but no spare tire, which is a omission but somewhat understandable the limited space to utilize.

of the driver is a simple gauge reminiscent of a Tyco product#8217;s sticker.  A massive speedometer, most of the real estate, speeds of up to 140km/h (84mph) in a retro 80#8242;s orange A simple digital fuel flanks the bottom of the cluster with a trip computer.  is no tachometer or temperature gauge, but all of the information is read easily at a

  Air conditioning controls are the refreshingly three knob design, but were blocked partially the driver#8217;s reach by the nearby And what seems to be a common in Japanese rental cars, the stereo was replaced with an aftermarket radio and navigation

  Embarrassingly, I can#8217;t really the ergonomics of the radio, not only it isn#8217;t the original unit, but all of the and verbal instructions were in The cute voice that through the cabin with directions was polite, but also because we couldn#8217;t turn her off or out where she was taking us.  not really the AZ#8217;s fault, as it did originally equipped with appeared to be (at least in the owner#8217;s pictures) a very user setup.

Other Japanese abound.  Every vehicle in the country is required to carry a much like the reflective in Europe, in case of accidents.  The is located in the front passenger#8217;s and held on by a specialized clip.  like the Toyota Prius in the US, vehicles in Japan feature an alert when the car is shifted reverse.

  It#8217;s much like the given off by large commercial except it can only be heard by the occupants and not by anyone outside.  somewhat pointless, as hopefully the is aware that they are in and the people nearby should be more so.  Initially it was but like anything else, we and toned it out over time.

Due to windows, thin roof and those large, power mirrors, visibility was excellent One little irritation was that of the upright windshield was situated far forward of the and the extended roof would block the of overhead traffic lights, seem to be the only variety in It required some ducking, because of my tall stature.

  The minimal footprint also in an incredibly tight 13.2 ft. radius, which is less half of a Chevrolet Spark#8217;s or Fiestas (32ft and 34ft. Needless to say, the AZ was a breeze to in a country where open spaces are and a drive to the corner store negotiating tight alleys.  hear it again; right for the job indeed.

Interior fit and finish was and the cabin felt well-constructed and durable.  The themselves were built to a point and were hard to the but what is there is lovingly Styling inside is generic and towards space efficiency of form.  Outside, the stubby and offbeat stance would turn in the US.  Not because of it being but due to the sheer of it.

  However, the AZ looks tame to some more outrageous and designs on Japanese roads such as the Daihatsu or Suzuki Palette.  The square blocky style is appealing and reminiscent of the original Scion Xb or Cube.  Let#8217;s call the AZ for a tall kei car and leave it at that.

As any other small cars with minuscule engines, a benefit is fuel economy.  In case, the AZ Wagon doesn#8217;t We soldiered over 180 miles in a of Tokyo traffic, open and mountain passes with full-size passengers onboard and rewarded with an average of or about 41mpg.

  Upon the car after a full day of driving, we had burned off half the fossil that were in the car#8217;s These are excellent results and any non hybrid in the US, which is important Japan#8217;s higher fuel

Our test car had 42k miles at the time of and as mentioned, everything was solid and together well with no or visual defects.  The only item was the pocket on the back of passenger seat had torn at its edges, is very minor complaint.

Pricing when the AZ Wagon was new started at around USD$10,812 for the XG trim.  The four-speed automatic is no charge over the manual, and exactly how our test car was equipped.

  In an age subcompacts start at over in the US and can weigh in at over $20k equipped, our AZ proved to be excellent especially considering that steering, dual airbags, windows, door locks, keyless entry, air conditioning, and CD are all standard.  There were some key missing features; a steering wheel, USB and Bluetooth, but easily forgiven with the low of entry.

  It is possible to check option box and a loaded AZ Wagon in XS with the 4WD system and CVT automatic in at approx. USD$14,125; still bang-for-the-buck.

Does the AZ Wagon any chance of making it to the US?  not- both for logical and reasons.  The AZ is technically a Suzuki and that Japanese brand out of American shores in late due to dismal sales.  Plus the AZ against Mazda#8217;s #8220;zoom-zoom#8221; that the company has worked so to uphold.

  And realistically, even some people would a chance to own a fuel efficient, quirky, and cheap set of new wheels, the AZ isn#8217;t equipped to handle wide boulevards and expansive of freeways.  And given that on similar cars, such as the Japanese-funky Nissan Cube or Smart ForTwo, are in a slump, it doesn#8217;t make for a business here even if the AZ could our stringent crash standards.

No, the AZ Wagon, along with all of kei cars, is the platypus of the automotive It is offbeat to anything else on the and has survived by adapting to its surroundings, render almost any other car

  Its own isolation on a small island the ocean has allowed it to evolve outside influence.  Exporting it could result in losing its Japanese approach if it tried to to foreign markets.  No, the AZ Wagon only in the Land of The Rising but it still goes without that it is an amazing example of packaging and simple driving For what it is, and where it is, the the right tool for the job and a commendable 4.0/5.0 boomerangs

Mazda AZ-Wagon
Mazda AZ-Wagon
Mazda AZ-Wagon
Mazda AZ-Wagon
Mazda AZ-Wagon
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