As seen on:

SMH Logo News Logo

Call 1300 303 181

Australia’s Best New Car News, Reviews and Buying Advice

Mazda's New i-Stop Here

Coming to that dreaded stop at the red traffic lights can be a flustering experience for most.  If the truth be told, and you’re anything like me, then you’ll never enjoy the red light experience, which is an invisible hand that reaches out and says, “No, no further,” for what seems like an indefinite time period.  It’s worst when you have to come to a halt in the night when there are few cars on the road and you end up waiting for at least a minute as you count zero cars crossing the T-intersection in front of you.  Just as well, then, that in the bid for making cars ever-more fuel efficient, there are systems like start/stop in a number of new cars which cut out the engine while you sit fuming at the time it takes you to wait for the red light to turn green again.  You personally are fuming – your car isn’t.  Mazda has a new type of system that fires the engine back up again a lot quicker and smoother than the conventional start/stop systems found in other autos.

It seems that car manufacturers are turning the heat back on fuel efficiency for being the main priority for selling cars.  It’s little wonder, as we see fuel prices continue to increase.  Stop/start or idle stop systems are becoming more common in cars.  They activate when a car comes to a halt, shutting down the engine and quickly restarting the engine again when the brake is released.  This saves the driver on fuel and is better on the environment… two great reasons why we should want something like this type of technology in our cars.


Mazda has designed and developed a unique system which it calls i-stop, and the system is part of the company’s very clever SkyActive technologies resources which it uses in all of its new cars.  Mazda’s i-stop system uses a “combustion start method” to ignite the engine again after a period of waiting at the lights.  Instead of using the starter motor alone to crank the engine, i-stop cleverly ensures that the cylinders stop in the optimum position to re-fire the engine back into life.  Direct injection then squirts fuel into the appropriate cylinder and ignites it, which forces the piston down to start the engine again.  Mazda’s i-stop still employs the starter motor; however, the i-stop system is easier on the starter motor and quicker than any other system on the market – particularly for diesel engines.  Mazda’s engines with i-stop technology take just 0.40 seconds to burst into life.  The experience is very quick and discreet, which adds to Mazda’s smooth, seamless operation.

Mazda’s i-stop technology has an information screen that shows the time the engine spends switched off when you’re driving from A to B.  If you do a lot of city driving, then the i-stop could end up revealing close to five hours of stoppage time every 10,000 km you travel.  Imagine how many litres of fuel will have been saved compared with a car that just sits idling at the lights in between the red and green cycles.  Now that gives drivers without stop/start technology even more to get frazzled about!