Revealed: Fourth-generation Mazda3
Improving on one of Australia's most popular and best-selling cars.
How do you improve on what is already one of Australia’s most popular and best-selling new cars? In the instance of Mazda3, its maker’s answer is a (nearly) complete redesign.
The fourth-generation Mazda3 comes in a choice of hatch or sedan, two (later in the year, three) engines, two transmissions and six grades. Manufacturer’s List Prices (not inclusive of on-road costs) range from $24,990 to $37,990. The hatch hits showrooms in April; the sedan mid-year.
Next-Gen Mazda3 will first be available with revised Skyactiv-G 2.0 and Skyactiv-G 2.5 petrol engines, with Mazda’s innovative and revolutionary Skyactiv-X available before the end of 2019.
Dropped are the entry level Neo Sport and Maxx Sport. The new grading nomenclature consists of G20 Pure, G20 Evolve and G20 Touring (all 2.0-litre engined) along with G25 Evolve, G25 GT and G25 Astina (2.5-litre).
With only two shared panels between them, the sedan and hatch offer a genuine point of difference in styling, function and attitude. In Mazda speak, “The hatchback presents a powerful, sporty and seductive look; in contrast, the clean and sleek styling of the sedan speaks of maturity and refinement.” The shared interior embraces the ‘less is more’ mantra in terms of styling, comfort and ergonomics.
Setting a new benchmark for entry-level safety in the small car segment, the standard safety kit has been overhauled, offering on all grades a comprehensive suite of technologies that previously came only on the range-topping Astina.
Standard across the range is Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC) with Stop & Go, Smart Brake Support, Lane-keep Assist System (LAS), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW).
A new seat structure was designed to firmly support the pelvis in an upright position to allow occupants to maintain the natural S-shaped curve of their spine, maximising the inherent human ability to balance itself, resulting in less fatigue and greater comfort, even on long drives, Mazda says.
“The suspension has come in for extensive revision, based on the concept of smoothing the transmission of force to the sprung mass over time, ultimately improving vehicle stability, linear response and handling characteristics. The suspension continues to use an evolved version of MacPherson struts at the front and a newly developed torsion beam setup at the rear.
“NVH has been dramatically improved through striking a balance between achieving quality cabin quietness and harnessing the feedback that is important to driving safely,” according to Mazda.