Mazda has unveiled its all-new Mazda 3 hatchback, the latest vehicle in the firm’s Skyactiv line-up. It’s an appropriate time to launch the third generation vehicle, too, as this week the Mazda 3 celebrates its 10th anniversary.
Just like the Mazda CX5 crossover and Mazda 6 saloon and estate models – the fist two vehicles built off Mazda’s Skyactiv next generation vehicle architecture – the new Mazda 3 hatchback majors in safety, efficiency, style, practicality and performance.
If you’re looking for a modern family hatchback, you need to drive the new Mazda 3.
The latest five-door hatchback draws styling inspiration from its bigger brothers, penned with Mazda’s Kodo – Soul of Motion design language in mind. Put simply, it’s stunning. Sharp, defined creases blend effortlessly with smooth, flowing surfaces to create an attractive but aerodynamically efficient shape.
And efficiency is a big factor in the design of the new car. As yet there are no official figures for fuel economy or CO2 emissions, but we do know the Mazda 3 will get the superb 150hp 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine from the CX5 and Mazda 6.
In the latter this returns an amazing 67.3mpg combined with just 108g/km CO2 emissions – in a smaller, lighter car like the Mazda 3, expect closer to 75mpg combined and under 100g/km CO2.
Performance will also be improved, too. In the Mazda 6 the 2.2 motor will propel the car from 0-62mph in 9.0 seconds – an impressive turn of speed for a big family saloon, so imagine how fast it’ll be in a lighter hatchback…
Alongside that there’ll be a trio of petrol engines, including a 100hp 1.5-litre unit and a 2.0-litre engine producing either 120hp or 165hp. Expect a smaller, even more frugal 1.6-litre turbodiesel at a later date, too.
The new Mazda 3 is also bringing many big car features shown on the Mazda 6 to the hatchback market, including some truly innovative connectivity features.
There’s a new sub-divided cabin approach to the car, featuring two zones: one for safe driving and one for infotainment.
The first displays driving-related controls and information to help improve response times and safety by having all the data you need easily within reach. There’s an active driving display that shows the three most important pieces of information, while secondary data is shown in the newly designed driving cluster.
Supporting this is a seven-inch touch screen that displays entertainment and communications data. It’s operated by a rotary control on the centre console for quick and accurate manipulation, but for when you’re on the move and can’t safely use the scroll wheel, there’s also voice command for some of the car’s features.
Integrated with the new display and control system is Mazda’s innovative mobile connectivity concept. It builds on current Bluetooth, text message, email and sat nav capabilities from your smartphone and adds cloud-based radio services with over 30,000 stations to chose from.
There are also social media functions with Facebook and Twitter, as well as location-based services and Internet searches.
Then there’s Mazda’s own vehicle app, which gives you information on how economically you’re driving and data on maintenance and service reminders, linking with Mazda’s Digital Service Record.
Just to top it off, you’ll be able to specify the car with a premium nine-speakers Bose hi-fi system designed specifically for the car, as well as Mazda’s parking assist function – all features not generally seen on a family hatchback.
Expect excellent levels of safety equipment and protection, too, with all of Mazda’s usual gadgets – such as Smart City Brake Support and rear vehicle monitoring system – as well as high strength and lightweight steel used in the construction of the car.
We want to hear your thoughts on the all-new Mazda 3. What do you think of the looks? What about the new connectivity features? Maybe performance and efficiency are more important to you, so what do you think of the Mazda 3’s potential?
Why not let us know with a comment below, or a tweet to @twwhiteandsons. You can also find us and like us on Facebook.