Mazda

The headline: A nearly 30% improvement in Mazda3's sales powered the company to a 4% gain over last February's tally.

The hidden gem: The Mazda3, CX-7 and CX-9 were the rare bright spots, as the company's nine other models posted double-digit declines.

Mitsubishi

The headline: Mitsubishi sales dropped 1% from a year earlier as the company sold 4,019 cars.

The hidden gem: Sales of its Galant model rose 42% from the same time last year, while Endeavor sales soared 162%.

Volkswagen

The headline: With sales jumping 32.6% from last February and year-to-date sales climbing 36.9% from this time last year, practical models like the hard-to-pronounce Tiguan are paving the way.

The hidden gem: Not really. The sporty GTI models sold 166% more than they did last February, while the gas-guzzling Routan SUV sales climbed 122.7%.

-- Reported by Jason Notte in Boston.
Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet.com. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, The Boston Herald, The Boston Phoenix, Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent.

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