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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