They don’t tend to adhere to industry norms much and like to do thing their own way.

They also like their engineering — a lot — and they really like design too, which is probably why a one-eyed wonky donkey could pick one out of an identity parade.

But they are an unconventional company simply because they eschew convention in almost everything they do — Wankel engines for example — and while Mazda is not a company which really tops any sales charts anywhere, they nevertheless make cars which are popularly perceived to be bomb-proof on the reliability front, good looking in the main, and packed with engineering innovation.

Yet, Mazda does not enjoy the sort of widespread public support here that is accorded to Japanese rivals such as Toyota or Nissan or even relatively new Asian interlopers like the South Korean siblings, Kia and Hyundai.

Sure it beats Japanese rivals such as Honda, Suzuki, or Mitsubishi, but it is truly confounding — given the quality of the products it makes — why it is not more popular.

The figures indicate that — to the end of October — the Mazda CX-5 is the company’s best-selling model here with some 675 sales, followed by the Mazda 3 (595) and the Mazda 6 (470).

The cars are, respectively, the 57th, 60th and 68th best-selling cars in Ireland.

Go further through the line-up and you will see that the Mazda 2 is 113th in the sales charts, while the CX-3 is 120th and the MX-5 the 209th.

Total sales to October 31 were 2,203 units, making Mazda the 16th best-selling brand on the Irish market — one place behind Dacia (3,607 units) and one place ahead of Volvo (1,716 units).

It really shouldn’t be this way.

And one good reason why not is simply the quality of the cars Mazda makes — and the price it sells them at.

This week, we are looking at the newly face-lifted Mazda 6 which is fitted with a two-litre petrol engine and is another example of why Mazda likes doing things its own way.

Most other manufacturers are down-sizing their petrol engines, but not this mob.

The Mazda 6, of course, is a traditional, four-door saloon and its two main market rivals are the Ford Mondeo and the Volkswagen Passat.

In fact you could probably throw the Skoda Superb into the mix here too.

The previously mighty family saloon segment has been swallowed whole by the SUV revolution and sales have plummeted quicker than a base jumper on amphetamines.

The Passat leads in the field at 19th on the Irish sales charts this year (1,719 units sold); with the Mondeo second (1,173).

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