Mazda named in top five best car makers

The Japanese manufacturer did not take the top prize, won by Hyundai, but was named in a five-strong shortlist for the prestigious title.

The Best Car Manufacturer award is one of the biggest honours in the industry because of the magazine’s consumer focus and independent stance.

The car manufacturer award is based on the quality of its cars, the service provided by staff and prices and warranty.

Voted for via a reliability survey, Mazda found itself named amongst the best five car manufacturers in the UK, ahead of luxury brands such as Mercedes and Audi.

The Which? awards aim to discover those manufacturers with ‘exceptional value and a great customer experience’, according to Peter Vicary-Smith, chief executive of Which?.

He said: "This is especially important at a time when consumers are really feeling the pinch," before praising Mazda for its performance over the past 12 months.

Mazda’s UK car range is undergoing a revamp in 2011 because of the introduction of new SkyActiv technology, which includes weight reduction, more efficient engines and reworked transmission to deliver more fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions.

The range of petrol and diesel SkyActiv engines will debut in the Mazda2 supermini and the Mazda3 hatchback this year.

A new model, the Mazda CX-5 compact crossover SUV, will be the first car to be completely built using SkyActiv technology when it arrives in 2012 onto the UK market.

Other popular cars in the Mazda range include the world’s most popular two-seat sports car, the Mazda MX-5, and the Mazda5 people carrier, which boasts unique ‘waves’ along the flanks as part of a bold exterior design.

Japanese manufacturer Mazda was one of two manufacturers to be named on the shortlist from the country, with Toyota also getting a mention in the awards.