Mazda getting head start on new mileage ratings in Japan

Mazda Motor’s new CX-3 sport utility vehicle will soon receive the transport ministry’s first certification for more realistic fuel economy estimates under an international standard that Japan will adopt next year.

With approval expected as early as this week, the gasoline-engine SUV due out in the summer will be certified under so-called WLTC mode. Parties including the European Union, the U.S., India and South Korea drew up the standard in 2014.

The new labeling will show four types of mileage: city, suburban, highway and overall. These will better reflect real-world driving and are said to be 10-20% lower than under the current standard. Mazda has begun explaining the changes to dealerships across Japan.

Other automakers are also scrambling to adopt the new standard. Honda Motor plans to show fuel economy under both the current and new standards before the rules become mandatory in October 2018, with a grace period of two years. Toyota Motor and Mitsubishi Motors have indicated that they will adopt the new labeling as they release fresh products.

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