2013 Mazda 3 is 10 Millionth Mazda Sold In USA

After more than 43 years of selling vehicles in North America, Mazda finally sold its ten-millionth vehicle – a 2013 Mazda 3 – in the United States.

Mazda #10,000,000 was sold to Lauren Carter, an accounts receivable specialist/guitar teacher based out of Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Carter’s purchase of a 2013 Mazda3 was not only her first new car purchase, but a major milestone for Mazda’s U.S. operations.

Despite purchasing a 2013 Mazda3, Carter won’t actually take delivery of the car. Instead, Mazda North American Operations stepped in and exchanged Carter’s 2013 Mazda3 with a comparable new 2014 Mazda3. The historic 2013 Mazda3 will be retained by Mazda itself, and according to press releases, kept as a permanent part of Mazda’s historic vehicle collection.

Both the 2013 Mazda3 and 2014 Mazda3 are admittedly a far cry from the very first Mazda officially sold in the United States. Although Mazda had entered the North America market by selling cars in Canada as early as 1968, its first formal foray into the U.S. came when it started importing the R100 – a rotary-powered version of the second-generation Familia Coupe – in 1970. (Fun fact: the Familia product line evolved several times until 2003, when it was replaced with the Axela/ Mazda3.

Despite wearing a $2495 price tag and receiving fairly favorable press at the time of its introduction, only 2098 were sold in the United States in 1970. That isn’t surprising, considering Mazda initially only sold the cars in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska. Mazda's U.S. dealer network blossomed further in 1971, as did the product portfolio, which grew to include the non-rotary form of the R100, the (Familia) 1200, the larger Luce 1800, and both the RX-2 and its non-rotary counterpart, the 616.

How does the 1970 R100 – the first Mazda sold in the U.S. – compare to the 2014 Mazda3? We’ve stacked up the specs below for your enjoyment.

1970 Mazda R1002014 Mazda3i 5-Door2014 Mazda3s 5-Door
Length150.8 in175.6 in175.6 in
Wheelbase88.9 in106.3 in106.3 in
Width58.3 in70.7 in70.7 in
Height52.9 in57.3 in57.3 in
Curb Weight2015 lbs2797 lbs3002 lbs
    
Engine1.0L Two-rotor Wankel rotary engine2.0L DOHC 16-valve I-42.5L DOHC 16-valve I-4
Bore & Stroken/a3.29 x 3.593.5 x 3.94
    
Compression Ratio:9.4:113.0:113.0:1
Fuel Delivery4-barrell Hitachi carubretorDirect injectionDirect injection
Horsepower100 @ 7000 rpm155 @6000 rpm184 @ 5700 rpm
Torque, lb-ft92 @ 4000 rpm150 @ 4000 rpm185 @ 3250 rpm
    
    
TransmissionFour-speed manualSix-speed manualSix-speed automatic
Ratio, First Gear3.743.3633.552
Ratio, Second Gear2.21.9472.022
Ratio, Third Gear1.441.31.452
Ratio, Fourth Gear11.0291
Ratio, Fifth Gear-0.8370.708
Ratio, Sixth Gear-0.680.599
Ratio, Reversen/a3.3853.893
Final Drive Ratio3.73.853.389
DriveRear-wheelFront-wheelFront-wheel
    
ConstructionUnitized bodyUnitized bodyUnitized body
Suspension, FrontMacPherson strut, coil springMacPherson strut, coil springMacPherson strut, coil spring
Suspension, rearLive axle, leaf springsIndpendent, multi-linkIndpendent, multi-link
    
Brakes, Front9.6-inch disc11-inch disc11.6-inch disc
Brakes, Rear7.9-inch drum10.4-inch disc10.4-inch disc
    
Wheels:14 x 4.0-inch steel16 x 6.518 x 7
Tires: Bridgestone 145 SR 14 radial plyBridgestone 205/60R16 91H all-seasonDunlop 215/45R18 89W all-season
    
Performance   
0-60 mph10.8 seconds--
Top speed:110 mph130 mph (limited)130 mph (limited)
Fuel economy16-24 mpg29 mpg city, 40 mpg highway27 mpg city, 37 mpg highway
    
Base Price$2,495 $19,730 $25,890
Moss Miller
The mention of the R100 reminds me of my college days, when I purchased a '73 Mazda 808 coupe as my first new car.  The MSRP was around $2200, while the rotary RX-3 version was slightly higher in cost.  The 1.6-liter, 4-cylinder engine with manual choke ran well and I improved the handling by adding Michelin XAS tires, 165mm wide on 13" steel rims.  In those days, if you wanted a 4-door, they had the larger RX-2/616 sedan, or the more luxurious RX-4.  Purchased the car from a now-defunct dealer in NYC. After a few weeks on the road, it needed a new sealed-beam headlamp, which apparently was not covered under warranty.  Total cost of the bill was $22.50, of which I was 50 cents short.  The dealer refused to release the car, but fortunately another customer in the waiting room gave me the 50 cents. The car remained trouble-free after that.   The 808 was renamed the Miser for 1976.
Have purchased two other Mazdas since then, an '88 626 that ran well until a transmission failure at 135,000 miles in 2006, and a '02 Protege that my wife still drives.  At 96,000 miles, it is still running like new. 

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