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Mazda Is America's New "High-Volume" Premium Crossover Automaker

Mazda's newest sales report held some interesting milestones. Mazda is not just a premium automaker, it is also becoming pretty big.


Mazda is emerging as America's newest high-volume premium crossover manufacturer. Like Acura and Lexus before it, Mazda has steadily improved its product beyond conventional brand levels. Read any review of a Mazda product and terms like premium, quality, and luxury features are common. Once a company that relied on Zoom-Zoom to capture buyers, Mazda has evolved into an automaker with a product that has a perceived quality that goes beyond the lamestream.

In addition to being a premium brand, Mazda is also morphing into a high-volume manufacturer of its key models. The Mazda CX-5 is the company's top seller. This model isn't just outselling its competitors like the Acura RDX and Lexus RX, but now also traditional high-volume models. In May, Mazda's CX-5 outsold the Ford Escape.

Related Topic: Mazda's CX-5 Crossover Outsold the Subaru Forester This Month

This leap by Mazda was not a one-month glitch. The CX-5 has been a top-20-selling vehicle in America before. And the CX-5 is not alone. Mazda's new CX-30 crossover doubled in sales year over year in May. The market share gains that Mazda is making are not due to its competitors stumbling so much as Mazda just being at the top of its game. “Last month, Mazda sold more vehicles in the US than in any other single month in our history and our market share rose to an all-time high of 2.7 percent,” said Mazda North American Operations President Jeff Guyton. “This success is due to due to several factors including overall increased consumer spending, having stronger inventory than some of our competitors, switching up dealer allocation orders and the numerous accolades Mazda has achieved for its outstanding safety, reliability, and elegant design craftsmanship. The result was the perfect intersection of opportunity and preparation.”

Mazda's sales success isn't limited to crossovers either. Everyone loves the Mazda Miata. In May it was the top-selling affordable convertible sports car in America. Sales increased by over 25% year over year. During the market upheaval of the past year, Mazda's Miata has somehow been growing in sales regularly. While other automakers are moving away from convertible sports cars, Mazda is continuing its four-generation long dominance.

Mazda is the company to watch this year. The company is planning to begin the production of an all-new crossover made in an American production facility. Additionally, Jeff Guyton, President of Mazda North American Operations, said in an April statement that “The battery-powered MX-30 will begin the introduction of additional electrified models, including a series plug-in hybrid with a rotary generator for MX-30, a plug-in hybrid for our new large platform, and a traditional hybrid for our new American-made crossover."

John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. John's interest in EVs goes back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an EV battery as part of an academic team. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotech. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin


CG (not verified)    June 8, 2021 - 11:21PM

All I want to say is, garbage, I had a 2020 CX 30 bought back after 8 weeks, I test drove 5 more 2021 Mazda 3, Mazda 5, none had AC that worked, one started leaking oil all over, and filled the car with smoke, the 5 did not know what gear to be in, and had no power, that lasted all 2 miles of a drive, I ended up In a 2019 3 hatchback AWD, another stupid mistake, 10 months later, the AC you never know what it’s going to blow, hot or cold, or keeps fluctuating, the engine vibrates now so bad, you can’t touch the doors, or the steering wheel when at idle, avoid any engine with the cylinder deactivation, you will wish you never saw Mazda if you do, the drive line as vibrated from day one, 3,000 miles later, they still can’t fix it, if your looking for good gas figures, walk away, you won’t get better than 26 on the freeway, with AC off. The smooth shifting trans? I think they where confiding that with a Kia, you won’t get a smooth shift in a Mazda 3 after the first 500 miles.
Then you’ll be hit constantly with electronic issues, I’ve not gone a week with out issues, the Mazda connect, for remote engine start, it’s never worked, they say it does, and I go pick it up, oh look, still not working, tired of Mazdas lies, and being conned, and fobbed off.
My advise, I came from a Kia Optima, and as soon as I can get rid of this can of overpriced doo soo, I’m going right back up Kia.

Mahk (not verified)    June 9, 2021 - 6:47AM

In reply to by CG (not verified)

I’ve owned 5 Mazda’s and haven’t had an issue with any of them. Currently have a 15 cx5 which has been all over the eastern seaboard without a hiccup! My 16 Miata has been excellent as well. I’ve never had a problem with either and the dealer has been excellent, I feel the dealership and their response to the customer is key to experience!

Dale (not verified)    June 9, 2021 - 7:44PM

In reply to by Mahk (not verified)

I’ve owned a 1996 Mazda Miata since June 2007. At purchase it only had 20,000 miles on it! The previous owner was 72 years old & rarely drove it, but took exceptional care of it. Everywhere I’ve driven it heads turn because of how new it still looks. I’ve now had it for 14 years, & I’ve replaced tires, a water pump, timing chain, & radiator. But the latter 3 were due to age - not lack of performance. I’ve never replaced a headlight or signal light, & the AC still runs as cold as the day I bought it in 2007. And I’ve driven it from Arkansas to Florida twice. Twice to Texas. Once to Kentucky. Once to Missouri. Flawless performance each & every trip! Hard to argue with Miata’s exceptionally engineered track record - ESPECIALLY on a 24- year-old vehicle! And 1 year ago I purchased for my wife a 2014 CX-5 with only 52,000 miles, & it’s purred like a kitten ever since. When I drive it I’m reminded a LOT of the “Zoom-Zoom” aspect of Mazda’s engine engineering that gained it so much notoriety in years past. You punch the accelerator & you GO! JUST like with my Miata!! Many reviews I read on it before purchase referenced it as “zippy!” And that is DEFINITELY true!!! Fun & easy to drive. Designed with the driver experience in mind, the creature comforts & luxury features abound! So the gentleman who had so many issues to “me” clearly got a lemon. And I’m my 65 years of life I’ve learned that lemons - in the world of vehicles - come in all shapes, sizes, makes & models! Needless to say, I’m a Mazda man for life, & don’t ever plan on owning ANYTHING else!

TDP (not verified)    June 9, 2021 - 7:09AM

In reply to by CG (not verified)

Hey Man, sorry to hear about all your Mazda problems, I would have to disagree with you on the quality of Mazda however. I’ve had a Mazda 6, and a Mazda CX-5 and never had an issue, I think they are very reliable and much better quality and finish that their Korean car conterparts. Maybe you have just been really unlucky or aligned with Kia and this is a smear campaign, wouldn’t be the first one.

SpeedTurtle (not verified)    June 9, 2021 - 7:51AM

In reply to by CG (not verified)

1st I thought you were joking, but now it just sounds like you don't know how a car works.

Cx-30, then 5 Mazda 3/5, and you still got another Mazda after they "all sucks"... yeah right.... we believe your stupid story.

Sorry bud, I think you might be the problem here, not the cars, considering how you even manage to break the transmission with just 500 miles.

O reaery? (not verified)    June 9, 2021 - 8:18AM

In reply to by CG (not verified)

No car dealership has 5 brand new cars with broken A/C. If ANY 2021 model year vehicle (from any brand, not a defense of mazda, just pointing out that you are a liar) had the A/C die it would be fixed under warranty.
On top of that obviousness theres also consumer reports listing mazda as #1 reliable followed by lexus then toyota. (Kia is not in the top 3)
So imma guess youre just a schill.

JP (not verified)    June 9, 2021 - 9:14AM

In reply to by CG (not verified)

You can forget Kia too...I just bought the top of the line 2021 Kia Sorento X line and after 2000 miles the blind spot monitoring system malfunctions and the same week the transmission failed. It sat on the lot a month because Kia service so busy and they confirmed it needs a new transmission...I drove the thing for 2 months. Now the best part is Kia is telling me the replacement parts are not in any of the US warehouses and don't know when they will arrive. No loaner was provided, consumer affairs is a joke so far and nobody seems to care. Stay away from KIA!

TheMaxwell (not verified)    June 9, 2021 - 11:22AM

In reply to by CG (not verified)

Needs more angst. Throw in a few fires, perhaps losing a tire at highway speed once or twice. Also fact check a little better, Mazda didn't make a AWD 3 hatch in in 2019. Little details like that cost you points and detracts from the story. Try to compare to higher ranked Japanese brands like Honda or Toyota as Korean may be seen as a weak comparison to some.

Final Troll grade: B-

MH (not verified)    June 9, 2021 - 12:17PM

In reply to by CG (not verified)

Yeah, I call baloney on this post as well. I've similarly had 6 Mazdas over the years (1999 Protege; 2004 3; 2013 Mazdaspeed 3; 2016 3; 2017 CX-9; and 2020 CX-5) and have NEVER had any of these issues. Aside from my speed 3 and CX-9 which I traded in on my current CX-5, all had close to 200k miles and no issues aside from general maintenance and a sensor to two here or there. MPGs have always been solid (except for the speed3 for obvious reasons!), and the transmissions were smooth as butter. I think you have Mazda confused with Kia, which oh by the way, is at the dregs of the current consumer report rankings. Mazda? #1.

JG (not verified)    June 9, 2021 - 12:18PM

In reply to by CG (not verified)

We have a 2016 CX-3 and 2019 CX-5 and haven’t had any major issues and certainly nothing like what you describe. And Consumer Reports would most certainly take issue with your reports. Have fun with your Kia.

JG (not verified)    June 9, 2021 - 12:18PM

In reply to by CG (not verified)

We have a 2016 CX-3 and 2019 CX-5 and haven’t had any major issues and certainly nothing like what you describe. And Consumer Reports would most certainly take issue with your reports. Have fun with your Kia.

Jennifer (not verified)    June 9, 2021 - 12:29PM

In reply to by CG (not verified)

My first Mazda3 5-door was traded in for a new one after 10 years and over 130,000 miles. I never had a problem and got 28 mpg combined. The A/C always worked perfectly (I live in FL). My 2018 Mazda3 is a delight! It gets 31 MPG and the A/C is even better. It is the best car brand in my opinion.

Matt (not verified)    June 9, 2021 - 2:07PM

In reply to by CG (not verified)

Funny you mention Kia and Mazda together. I dumped my 2010 Kia Forte after one of the pistons "fell apart" - dealership's words, not mine - after 60k miles. Turns out it's a common problem for that generation, and the Optima used the same engine with the same issue. The engine design was borrowed from Mitsubishi who always has problems with piston rings and burning oil. Luckily I kept my oil change receipts and promptly sold it after the repair.

Currently own a Mazda3 with 73k and a CX-5 with 76k. Both have needed nothing in 14 combined years of ownership besides a gas cap and a software update TSB (Mazda3) and the headlight DRL LED recall (CX-5). Having a hard time getting rid of them, even with new models coming out all the time.

Kevin (not verified)    June 15, 2021 - 5:33PM

In reply to by Matt (not verified)

2016 Kia Soul....4500 miles the same thing. Was going up a hill when all the lights on dash lit up...then engine died and burst of burnt oil smoke came through vents. Kia mechanic checked pistons/chamber with scope though spark plug holes. There was one where there was no longer a piston..completely disintegrated !

So instead of getting my first oil change,,I got a new engine. up to 90,200 on this one....oh and minus the 4500 !

AH (not verified)    June 9, 2021 - 7:56PM

In reply to by CG (not verified)

Yeah, I’m calling BS from the obvious Kia shill. If they broke down like that, they wouldn’t be selling so many. On my fourth Mazda now and aside from routine maintenance stuff (brakes, etc) I have never had a single issue with any of them. Have fun in your Kia, literally the brand that the term “polishing a turd” was invented to describe.

Miatame (not verified)    June 9, 2021 - 8:56PM

In reply to by CG (not verified)

I don't believe any of that. I've had multiple mazda's, all the way back to a 2006 mazda3 hatch, and never had any issues. 2010 miata, 2018 mazda3 hatch, 2008 cx7. My mom's optima is the one that runs rough at idle, while all my mazdas felt so smooth you'd forget they are running. Plus, mazda topped CR's reliability list. Seems if what you're saying is true, you must be the only one experiencing those issues, because no one else is.

Stephy (not verified)    June 10, 2021 - 11:10AM

In reply to by CG (not verified)

You sound like a Kia owner and an ass who is just here to crap on Mazda, because you're one of the many assholes who are actively trying to put dirt on Mazda. The whole car industry is now observing how Mazda designs and engineers their cars. There are no gimmicks like you would find on many car brands these days, especially Kia & Hyundai. Kia and Hyundai should go bust for constantly churning out cookie-cutter vehicles that are absolutely disgusting and there are absolutely no significant contributions from Kia and Hyundai for the automotive world, just plain shit.

Stephy (not verified)    June 10, 2021 - 11:17AM

In reply to by CG (not verified)

Dimwits like you find pleasure in crapping on automakers such as Mazda and would laud brands such as Kia and Hyundai that constantly churn out cookie-cutter vehicles. I think that explains a lot about your taste. Mazda is currently one of the best brands that is trying to make a difference by challenging themselves and other brands around them. I don't know if you've noticed, but up until Mazda started releasing attractive vehicles in the market, all brands didn't bother with styling at all. But now they have, thanks to Mazda. A prime example is the new Acura MDX, that thing looks like a CX-9 from various angles, need I say more. I think you only deserve a Kia Optima or something Korean.

John Kay (not verified)    December 3, 2021 - 11:58AM

In reply to by CG (not verified)

I have been a long time Mazda Owner for almost 20 years.... currently own a 2020 Mazda3 AWD, a 2020 Mazda Cx5 and a 2021 CX30 for my family to 20 Years I have never had one issue with the 12+ Mazdas I have owned.... Nor have I heard any issues from other Mazda Owners I have met in my dealerships Service Dept...I sounds to me like you have some enemies out there who are sabotaging your cars... PS> Consume Reports just rated Mazda#1 for reliability for 2020 and they have been in the top 3 in Reliability Standards with Consumer Reports for the last few years... so it clearly sounds like your issues with Mazda are isolated to you and how you take care of your cars

d.c.meyers (not verified)    June 9, 2021 - 10:07AM

we currently own a 2021 cx30 premium... it is not perfect, but for the price point, safety, comfort, tech, looks, well, it's a solid choice... we've also owned, 2014 mazda 3 gt sedan, 2017 cx5 touring, leased 2018 mazda gt3 hb as well... we do not have unrealistic expectations of the mazdas we have/had. we're not in the market for a bmw/audi/acura et al...

Mike (not verified)    June 9, 2021 - 10:09AM

I have had 6 Mazda’s since 2001 and I have had zero issues with them. They ride great, look good, reliable, and are comfortable. I currently have a 2019 CX9 and it’s the best vehicle I have owned. I have multiple friends that have bought Mazda’s over the last few years after asking me how mine was. Great vehicles and will definitely keep buying them.

Jules Rosen (not verified)    June 9, 2021 - 1:54PM

Ha . 2.7% after what, 30+ years, small dealer network . Way to many trim levels, and way over priced .