After teasing us since July with bits of information with regards to its new generation 3, Mazda has finally pulled the covers off the all-new model at the ongoing 2018 Los Angeles Motor Show.
One of the key highlights of the all-new Mazda 3 is the new SkyActiv-X powertrain. In short, the new SkyActiv-X engine utilizes compression ignition as opposed to regular spark ignition, which allows the engine to offer improved fuel efficiency with better engine response. Apart from the new SkyActiv-X engine, the all-new Mazda can also be had with the regular SkyActiv-G or SkyActiv-D engines.
Another highlight is the SkyActiv Vehicle Architecture that underpins the new model. This new platform is set to be the basis of future Mazda models moving forward.
Underneath, Mazda has replaced the multilink rear suspension set up with a simpler torsion beam design. But wait - according to Mazda, they claim that the new torsion beam design features the world’s first progressively thickening diameter from the middle to the sides. Mazda also added that the new torsion beam design is less complicated as it has fewer moving parts, allowing for better control of mechanical noise and vibration, while at the same time retaining the high level of control that the multilink set up is famed for.
Technical stuff aside, Mazda also redesigned the exterior and interior of the all-new 3.
Up front, the all-new Mazda 3 now gets slimmer headlights flanking a slightly more angular grille, akin to the refreshed Mazda 6. Also similar to the Mazda 6 are the chrome strips that extend from the bottom of the headlights into the front grille.
The sides have also been redesigned, though changes are more apparent on the hatchback. Unlike the model of yore, the all-new 3’s C-pillar is more pronounced, with a roofline that tapers off more aggressively than the older model. The sedan also receives similar treatment to the hatchback with its aggressively-tapering roofline, replacing the outgoing model’s more gradually-tapering roofline. The signature character line that runs from the front to the rear along the sides is also present on the all-new model.
Perhaps the more drastic change is at the rear, as the all-new Mazda 3 receives a pair of redesigned tail lights, inspired heavily by the Kai Concept. These new tail lights are slimmer, giving the all-new Mazda 3 a sportier appeal. Mazda has also relocated the position of the number plate recess on both the sedan and hatchback, moving it to the bumper. This gives the tailgate a much cleaner look than the earlier 3.
Moving inside, the all-new Mazda 3 gets a completely revamped cabin. The entire dashboard looks more driver-centric, with dual air vents angled towards the driver. Passenger air vents are partially hidden under the multi-layer dashboard, giving it a very clean look.
A free-standing infotainment display sits on the centre of the dashboard, which now looks more integrated. The air-conditioning controls are hidden neatly below the infotainment display, further emphasizing the cabin’s simplicity.
Mazda’s rotary control knob for the infotainment system can be found behind the gear lever, alongside the electric parking brake toggle and other buttons.
Depending on the market, Mazda will sell the all-new 3 as a sedan or as a hatchback. The all-new 3 is set to compete against other C-segment sedans, including the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Volkswagen Jetta, and Toyota Corolla when sales starts in 2019.