Launched worldwide last week in conjunction with Microsoft and Xbox, the Mazda3 is an incredibly important vehicle for the brand. It represents over 30% of global sales, 40% of sales in U.S and over 50% of sales in Canada. The company has sold 3.5 million Mazda3s since its debut. Moreover, the C-segment is expected to represent 25% of the auto market by 2018.
Design is always key for the Japanese auto manufacturer and they needed the 2014 Mazda3 to showcase such. Their KODO Design aka Soul of Motion would be a defining factor for this hatchback. It is a very good-looking vehicle with loads of features and technologies. Mazda says one of the reasons is due to the fact that they are trying to design cars that look more expensive than they are. The new generation Mazda3’s grille is narrow and upright, has elongated fender volume, a strong lower diffuser, lots of body sculpting and a compact rear end. The C-pillar is planted over the rear wheels and its rear shoulders are pulled higher for that aggressive look. Mazda went with the hatch because it’s the most globally accepted platform.
Two engines will be featured with the new Mazda3 including the 2.0-liter four (up to 41 mpg) and the 184 horsepower 2.5-liter four (up to 40 mpg). SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY is the name of the game and represents a host of core technologies such as engines, transmission, lighter and stronger bodies and low rolling resistance. Of course customers are technology and safety driven so Mazda planned accordingly with Bluetooth communication, USB connectivity, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, radar cruise control, smart city brake support and their first ever head up display. The dash is slim and the standalone screen is decoupled from the rest of hardware. We didn’t drive the little guy but it was a treat seeing it in person and tooling around with its features.