Mazda has taken the wraps off its much awaited compact sedan and hatch offering, the Mazda 3. Taking design inspiration from the Kai Concept, the new Mazda 3 offers unparalleled levels of design, premium craftsmanship, and sporty driving dynamics that the brand has always been known for.
Starting with the looks, the Mazda 3 is an evolution of its predecessor’s gorgeous lines and curves. The hatchback model has taken many design cues from the Kai Concept, and the final result is a hatchback that looks dynamic and sleek as ever. A dramatic sloping roofline, coupled with a thick rear pillar gives the Mazda 3 a striking shape. The sedan’s roofline has also been lowered, giving it a more flowing shape compared to its predecessor. For the sedan, many of its elements have been inspired from the Vision Coupe Concept. The two vehicle’s long hood give it a proportion reminiscent of a rear-wheel drive sports sedan. New, sportier lighting elements highlight the rear, featuring twin circle designs that cast a menacing glow at night, while the front fascia features a prominent grille with chrome wings that flow towards the slimmer LED headlights. Designers have gone through a minimalist “less is more” approach, reducing the number of lines and creases for this iteration of the Mazda 3. Unlike past models, however, the designers have given the sedan and hatchback models their unique appeal and personalities.
Underneath the gorgeous and sleek lines of the Mazda 3 is the brand’s new SKYACTIV-Vehicle Architecture, promising greater driving dynamics and ride comfort thanks to a stiffer body than the model it replaces.
The interior of the Mazda 3 is made even more premium, thanks to the use of more premium materials and surfaces. There’s plenty of premium materials running across the dashboard, as well as throughout the center console, possibly making this car’s interior the most premium in its segment. A horizontal satin chrome finish runs along the dashboard, from the vents, all the way to the climate control display, which is neatly integrated along the dashboard. As ever, the MZD Connect infotainment system takes center stage, featuring a revised user interface, which now comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. This is controlled through the touch screen or the rotary knob controller behind the gear shifter.
The most revolutionary change made to the Mazda 3, however, is its Skyactiv-X Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SCCI) petrol engine that promises to be as efficient as a diesel engine. Skyactiv-X is “the world’s first commercial petrol engine to use compression ignition”. The 2.0-liter petrol motor produces 178 hp and 222 Nm of torque, mated to either a 6-speed manual or automatic, driving the front wheels. Despite the increased power and torque compared to its predecessor, fuel economy is claimed to be massively improved. For a more comprehensive explanation of how Skyactiv-X works, click this link.
Other powertrain options remain unchanged, and these are the 1.5-liter, 2.0-liter, and 2.5-liter SKYACTIV-G petrol engines. A 1.8-liter SKYACTIV-D diesel remains.
As with many vehicles nowadays, the new Mazda 3 is equipped with numerous active safety and convenience features. Making its debut is the Cruising and Traffic Support, which is basically Adaptive Cruise Control that works even down to a full stop and in traffic jams. A new front cross traffic alert also helps drivers to know if there is an oncoming vehicle at blind intersections.
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