The covers have come off the all-new 2019 Mazda 3 at the Los Angeles motor show.
There is considerable pressure on the new Mazda 3, the Japanese marque says the car will usher in a new era by showcasing the brand’s latest technology and design language.
Mazda will continue to offer the Mazda 3 in both sedan and hatch body styles with each wearing a matured Kodo design language. The styling aims to bring more emotional elements to the car (watch out Maserati!).
Along with new styling are redesigned lights at the front and rear with focus on a "less is more" theme to accentuate the car’s lines.
Dimensionally, the Mazda 3 sedan measures in at 4662mm long, 1797mm wide and 1445mm high, while the hatch is 4459mm long, 1797mm wide and 1440mm high. Both cars ride on a 2725mm wheelbase, up 25mm on the outgoing model.
On the inside, it’s a driver-focussed layout with a new Active Driving Display, 8.0-inch infotainment screen and a minimalist centre console.
To improve the car’s ergonomics, the telescopic steering has an additional 10mm of movement to deliver a wider range of adjustment, the front seat cushion can now be tilted, the gear shifter has been moved forward and positioned higher, while the commander control has also moved forward and the cupholders have been repositioned.
Mazda says extensive work has been done to improve the car’s refinement with a range of measures deployed to reduce NVH levels. The new Mazda 3 marks Mazda's first application of a "two-wall" structure that leaves space between the body and carpet which allows engineers to match the characteristics of each wall to the sound-deadening material.
The new Mazda 3 will also make use of enhancements to the Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture. The next-generation structural technologies include changes to the cabin as well as the chassis. There are new seats which maintain the natural S-shaped curve of the spine, increased body rigidity thanks to new front-to-back connections in the frame and a tweaked suspension setup.
Depending on the market, at launch, Mazda will offer five powertrain options, including 1.5-, 2.0- and 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated Skyactiv-G petrol engines, a 1.8-litre Skyactiv-D turbo-diesel and the new Skyactiv-X compression-ignition petrol unit that will feature Mazda's new mild-hybrid technology.
Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions will be offered, along with Mazda's updated i-Activ AWD system which includes the new G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) from the recently updated CX-5 SUV.
The new Mazda 3 will be brimming with safety kit such as Mazda’s new Cruising & Traffic Support (CTS) system that can assist with accelerator, brake pedal and steering operations when stuck in traffic jams on the highway. The system is complemented by autonomous emergency braking, front cross-traffic alert and a driver fatigue monitor which uses both an infrared camera and infrared LED to observe the driver's condition while driving.
Full specifications and pricing are yet to be revealed, however, the new Mazda 3 is expected to reach Australian showrooms from mid-2019.
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