What's the news?
The covers have come off the all-new Mazda3 ahead of its public debut at the LA Auto Show. Set to arrive on these shores in summer 2019, the Mazda3 will come both as a five-door hatchback and saloon, with both models getting unique styling to differentiate them further.
Mazda's designers have once more shown others how it should be done. Drawing inspiration from show-stopping concept cars like the Vision Coupe and RX-Vision, the bodywork on both Mazda3s use its curves and contours to catch the light and emphasise its shape.
Previously, the design of the Mazda3 saloon was styled like was dictated by the hatchback and vice versa. Now, the saloon version is much more like a younger sibling to the Mazda6 saloon, an excellent looking car in its own right - virtually no body panels between the hatch and saloon are shared.
A new 8.8-inch colour display stands atop the centre of the dashboard, closer to the natural line of sight for the driver. Other than the adjustments for the climate control the rest of the dashboard is button- and clutter-free. Mazda's more recent models have showcased high quality interiors, and the new 3 builds upon this. A new rotary controller for the infotainment system is lower and has a wider diameter making it that bit nicer to use. There is also a new steering wheel with multifunction controls.
Mazda will offer and range of both petrol and diesel engines based on updated versions of the existing range, but the bigger news here is the introduction of its SkyActiv-X engine. Where the SkyActiv-X engine differs is that it runs a much higher compression, similar to diesel but does so with petrol. The result is a quieter and more fuel efficient engine that isn't lacking in power and emits far less NOx, something that is at the centre of several campaigns to ban diesels from built up areas.
We drove an early prototype of the previous Mazda3 with a development SkyActiv-X engine, and it delivered impressive results. There's no official word on exact engine specification, but a source did reveal that it will be more expensive than the traditional combustion engines.
To make the Mazda3 hatchback even more unique, Mazda has created a bespoke colour for it called Polymetal Gray. Though it appeals flat in the shade, when it is in direct sunlight it offers a metallic finish, and unsurprisingly was created to accentuate those curves. A burgundy red interior colour option for the seats and dashboard fascia will also be exclusive to the Mazda3 hatch.