Mazda 3

Hatch gets in­no­va­tive spark ig­ni­tion en­gine

Autocar - - THIS WEEK - RACHEL BURGESS

The new Mazda 3, re­vealed at the LA mo­tor show, will ar­rive in hatch­back and fast­back form in the UK next spring.

Show­cas­ing a new de­sign lan­guage, the 3 will also be the first model to re­ceive Mazda’s in­no­va­tive Skyactiv-x com­pres­sion-ig­ni­tion 2.0-litre petrol en­gine. This prom­ises much bet­ter ef­fi­ciency than the out­go­ing car’s equiv­a­lent along­side “su­pe­rior ini­tial re­sponse, pow­er­ful torque and free-revving per­for­mance”. Econ­omy gains of up to 30% in low-speed driv­ing have been pre­vi­ously promised by Mazda.

The en­gine is as­sisted by a new mild-hy­brid sys­tem, which also fea­tures with the two tra­di­tional Skyactiv-g en­gines in the new 3 line-up; 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre petrols. A 1.8-litre diesel com­pletes the range.

All-wheel drive is now avail­able on cer­tain vari­ants, with torque vec­tor­ing and im­proved ef­fi­ciency over older Mazda sys­tems. A spokesper­son sug­gested the sys­tem may come to the UK.

The 3 also in­tro­duces the new Skyactiv Ve­hi­cle Ar­chi­tec­ture, an um­brella term for a num­ber of new struc­tures, in­clud­ing seats that main­tain the nat­u­ral curve of the spine and a ring-struc­ture bodyshell that in­creases rigid­ity, re­duces trans­mis­sion lag and im­proves noise, vi­bra­tion and harsh­ness lev­els. These fea­tures form part of ‘Mazda Pre­mium’, a goal by the car maker to po­si­tion the 3 in line with pre­mium ri­vals.

In­side, there’s a re­designed in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem with an 8.8in screen and claimed im­prove­ments to the er­gonomics. Safety sys­tems in­clude a new driver mon­i­tor­ing fea­ture that uses an in­frared cam­era to ob­serve the driver and warns if the sit­u­a­tion is deemed dan­ger­ous. The 3 will be priced from around £21,100 when it ar­rives in 2019.

The 3 ush­ers in new tech and Mazda’s fresh cor­po­rate look

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