In many ways, Mazda is no different than other Japanese automakers like Honda, Nissan and Toyota. However, beginning in the 1990s, the company intentionally began building cars with a sportier edge. It all started with the MX-5 Miata, and today, it makes its way straight down to the subcompact Mazda2. But the automaker also has sedans and crossovers -- like those of its Japanese and American competitors -- that are affordable and practical, and it has managed to infuse a sense of fun in these types of vehicles too. If you're looking at the Chevrolet Malibu or Toyota Camry, don't overlook the Mazda6; if you are considering a Ford Escape or a Honda CR-V, check out the CX-5, too. Long known for its ambitious technology, these days the automaker has implemented a full suite of improvements, called Skyactiv, to improve the performance and efficiency of engines, transmissions, car bodies and chassis. In fact, Mazda vehicles are not only more engaging than a typical car, they're also more fuel-efficient.