The fourth-generation Mazda 3 has been unveiled at the LA motor show, making its debut with a clever engine and smart new design.
Available in hatchback and saloon guises, the best-selling Mazda takes styling cues from the Japanese brand’s recent concept cars and puts them into production.
Mazda claims the model represents “car as art”, with the firm’s head of design, Ikuo Maeda, adding: “We have elevated design quality with this car to that of art and that is not easy to achieve, as complicated restrictions apply to car designs.”
Quite whether you’d be able to call the new Mazda 3’s design as artistic is up for debate, but a smart grille that bleeds into the headlights and swooping body curves will mean it certainly stands out from the crowd in the mid-sized segment.
New petrol engine with diesel-style technology
However, it’s the engine that will really pique interest as it uses diesel technology to increase the efficiency of a traditional petrol engine.
The new 2.0-litre Skyactiv-X unit is said to reduce fuel consumption by a third and dramatically improve emissions, helped in part by a new 24-volt mild-hybrid system that boosts the engine.
Two traditional petrol engines – a 1.5-litre and a 2.0-litre – will be offered along with a 1.8-litre diesel unit. An all-wheel-drive system will also be available, but currently there’s no word on whether it’ll come to the UK.
The dash has a smart and simple design with a new nine-inch screen, and the company claims it has concentrated on comfort, ergonomics and a premium feel inside.
Mazda wants to push itself further up the premium pecking order and thinks this Mazda 3 – a car that has found six million homes around the globe in the last 15 years – will be the model to help it achieve that.
UK prices have yet to be confirmed, but it’s rumoured it’ll start from just over £23,000 when it arrives in the spring of 2019.