Although it’s not set to arrive Australia until early 2014 we now have a preview of what we’re going to be getting in the new Mazda 3.
What we are going to be getting is not a mid-life rebuild but a whole new vehicle that Mazda says has been designed from the ground up. One glance at the body and you can see that it’s definitely new and very striking and hiding under the skin is a full suite of Mazda’s SKYACTIV technologies.
While the wheelbase of the new Mazda 3 is 60mm longer, 40mm wider than the model it replaces the overall length and width of the vehicle remains the same although it is15mm lower than the car it replaces. The wheels have been moved closer to the corners and highlighted with flares over the wheel arches.
The smiling grill … a signature of recent Mazda vehicles is retained but now the front number plate has become part of the grill.
The headlamps have been redesigned and there is now a distinct line that flows from the headlights, down under the grill.
The prominent nose and the low curves of the cabin are going to appeal to a lot of buyers and it’s interesting that Mazda have chosen red as the colour for these previews.
We all joke about red making a car go faster but the fact is that red is the colour for passion and this is a body shape that goes well with red. There’s no doubt that Mazda wants to continue on with the sporty theme that they start
Two petrol engines will be offered with the new Mazda 3. The SKYACTIV-G 2.0 litre produces 114kW of power and 200Nm of torque will be the standard offering. The SKYACTIV-G 2.5 litre engine that develops 138kW of power and 250Nm of torque will be available as an option.
A new dash comes with the new Mazda 3 and the top of the range version will feature and Active Driving Display that features the tacho as the focus of the instrument panel with the speedo set low to one side. Other models will have a more standard layout for their instrument cluster.
On selected models some of the information displayed in the instrument cluster will also be displayed on a clear panel vertically mounted about the meter hood. Unfortunately the new Mazda 3 press kit that was available to us did not contain any photos of the dash
We’ll also see a new car connectivity system in the new Mazda 3. This system will feature a 7-inch screen, improved controls and Bluetooth. Phone, SMS and email will all be available through this system.
The front seats have been redesigned to be less imposing for rear-seat passengers and the backs of the front seats have been shaped to allow more leg room for those in the rear seats. Those rear seats have had 50mm added to their height to improve comfort. And the rear seat passengers’ feet have not been forgotten. The mounts for the front seats have been spaced further apart to give rear seat passengers more room for their feet.
It looks as though the new Mazda 3 might be quite a car and it will be interesting in today’s economic climate to see what price tags they carry when they hit the showrooms next year.