Zachary Berry
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Kelley Blue Book Grants Mazda the 2017 Brand Image Award for “Best Car Styling Brand”

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The Mazda KODO-Soul of Motion design philosophy seems to have paid off for the Japanese automaker

Good looks run in the family

Rewind the clock about two years, and you will find a younger me on the hunt for my first car. After writing about cars all summer for The News Wheel, I thought it might have been a good idea to buy one of my own.

In my search for the perfect sedan to suit my needs, driving performance was my number one concern. Of course, I would be lying if I said I didn’t consider looks as a part of the equation. Indeed, no driver wants to get behind the wheel of a vehicle that they find ugly, no matter how well it drives.

Nissan Cube discontinued

I guess it’s hip to be square now

In the end, I selected a vehicle that I believed delivered the best of both worlds: the 2011 Mazda3. To me, the Mazda3 was a car that looked nearly as good as it handled.

As it would turn out, I’m not the only one impressed with the Mazda look. In fact,  Kelley Blue Book just gave Mazda its 2017 Brand Image Award for “Best Car Styling Brand.”


Mazda KODO-Sould of Motion Explained: What Is Mazda’s KODO Soul of Motion Design Language?


Based on insights and data collected by Kelley Blue Book’s strategic Brand Watch Study, the KBB.com Brand Image Awards are determined by consumer impressions of vehicle designs. This year, Kelley Blue Book concluded that consumers found Mazda vehicles to be the most attractive of any overall vehicle brand.

It’s not all that surprising that Mazda would be recognized for its vehicle designs. Every Mazda vehicle is created using the KODO-Soul of Motion design language, ensuring that each member of the Mazda family has a uniform, yet dynamic look.

2016 CX-9 Bridge

Even Mazda’s SUVs look good

Last year, the Mazda MX-5 Miata took home the title of World Car Design of the Year. This year, the 2017 Mazda CX-9 was a finalist for that same category.

General consensus seems to be that Mazda is more than capable of producing vehicles with looks that reflect their dynamic driving capabilities. Furthermore, overall reception regarding the design of the latest generation of Mazda3 sedans appears to have improved, as compared to the previous generation with its grinning grille.

Nevertheless, the design of the “Smiley-mobile” will always hold a special place in my heart.

Its smile never fails to make me smile


Another Facelift for the Mazda3?: Possible Mazda3 Facelift Leaked from Japan


  • Zachary Berry

    Zachary Berry currently resides in the Dayton, Ohio area. However, he enjoys traveling from place to place, as he was born in Oklahoma City and has also lived in Albuquerque and Orlando (such is the life of a military brat). Zachary graduated from Ohio University with a major in Strategic Communication, which is fancy talk for advertising and public relations. Beginning his career at The News Wheel as a lowly intern, he was able to climb his way to the top, eventually claiming his place within the last cubicle on the left. Other jobs that Zachary has held include driving around a safari truck at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. When he’s not putting his nose to the grindstone, Zachary enjoys watching and critiquing movies and television. See more articles by Zachary.