Five things you need to know about the all-new Mazda3
The new Mazda3 has just been unveiled at the 2018 LA Auto Show. Here are five things you should know about it
1: It will be made available with Mazda's new Skyactiv-X engine
This is quite a big deal because, well, Skyactiv-X is quite a big deal. A Spark-Controlled Compression Ignition engine, it offers the power of a traditional petrol powerplant with the claimed frugality of a diesel engine. Exact engine specs have yet to be released so we're still in the dark about exact power and torque and fuel economy figures. Either way, it's an engineering masterstroke that is best explained in this video.
2: The stylists went to town
Whether you pick the five-door hatch or four-door sedan, the new Mazda3 certainly is a looker. Stealing design cues from the recent Mazda Kai Concept, it utilises a fine blend of sharp lines and swooping curves to help it stand out from its rivals. The designers have also made the A-pillars as slim as possible to help reduce blind spots when navigating through our obstacle-rich urban environments.
3: An interior free from clutter
In order to make the driving experience as stress-free as possible, Mazda went and burnt the interior down to its essence. As such there is very little clutter to distract you from the task at hand.
Switchgear has been kept to a minimum with all of the car's main controls accessible through the firm's user-friendly Mazda Connect infotainment system. Expect full Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Ergonomics were also factored into the equation. As such the gear lever has moved closer to the steering wheel for faster shifting. Yep, Mazda understands that there are still people out there who enjoy driving.
4: A new platform and plenty of engines to choose from
The new Mazda3 is built upon an all-new platform known as Skyactiv Vehicle Architecture. According to Mazda this makes the car feel "as natural and stress-free as walking on your own two feet.” Hopefully this means it handles well too. As mentioned before the new Skyactiv-X engine will be made available in the new Mazda3 range. In addition there are also three flavours of Skyactiv-G petrol motors (1.5, 2.0 and 2.5) plus one Skyactiv-D 1.8 diesel. Purists will be pleased to hear that there will still be a manual gearbox on offer although at this stage we can't say what engine it will be paired to.
5: It is coming to South Africa in 2019
Yes the new Mazda3 will be touching down on our shores during the second half of 2019. The exact lineap and model specifications will be announced closer to the time. Here's hoping that we get the radical Skyactiv-X powertrain.