Mazda has officially unveiled the all-new Mazda 3, ahead of its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. The Japanese automaker has shown us the hatchback as well as the sedan iteration of the latest 4th generation model.
Considered as the most popular model in Mazda’s lineup, the fully redesigned, 4th gen Mazda 3 showcases the brand’s latest technologies and second-generation Kodo design philosophy.
The new Mazda 3 remains heavily inspired from the Kai Concept that was displayed at Tokyo Motor Show last year. Although it isn’t an exact copy, but the finished product is nearly identical, as far as the hatchback is concerned.
Up front, the hatchback and sedan shares the same fascia, with a long bonnet that flows into a more aggressively-shaped front grille, which appear to have differing mesh inlays depending on the body style. The grille is flanked by a pair of slim headlamps that are linked by the familiar “wing” trim piece that is finished in either chrome or matte black.
The side profile is obviously different between the sedan and hatchback. The large C-pillars on the hatchback are severely toned down on the sedan because of the increased boot section. At the back, both models sport taillights with circular elements within them that are significantly different from the third-generation Mazda 3. Dual exhausts are present on both models, although there is additional black trim for the hatchback.
Mazda said it’s is distancing itself from noticeable character lines, so in case of the 4th gen Mazda 3, the Japanese carmaker has shaped the sides such that the linear transitions in light and shadow create a “vortex effect” that you get to see between the front and rear wheel arches.
As for the interior, Mazda claims to incorporate the “less is more” strategy as part of its second-stage Kodo design philosophy. The dashboard is divided into two parts, with an 8.8-inch floating infotainment screen. The climate control switchgear is placed in line with the center and passenger-side air vents. Further down, the center console get controls for the Mazda Connect infotainment system (with eight speakers), gear lever and a flat armrest.
According to the company, Mazda 3’s new cabin has improved NVH levels than its predecessor by adopting a “two-wall” structure that leaves space between the body and carpeting on the floor. Additional sound proofing materials have also been introduced, while tires optimized vertical spring action and increased rigidity help prevent unwanted vibrations from being transmitted into the cabin.
Details remaining to the powertrains are scarce at the moment. Although Mazda’s new SkyActiv-X compression ignition engine is expected to be offered, and will be supported by the brand’s M Hybrid system.
Conventional internal combustion engines including the 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 liter SkyActiv-G petrol and 1.8 liter SkyActiv-D diesel will also be available. Transmission options will include a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic, with Mazda’s i-Activ all-wheel drive system being present, which works with the G-Vectoring Control Plus system already found on the latest CX-5.
The i-Activsense suite of active safety and driver assist systems has also been given an update, with a new Driver Monitoring system that utilizes an infrared camera and LED to observe the driver’s condition. Other additions include Front Cross Traffic Alert (FCTA) and Cruising & Traffic Support (CTS), a form of low-speed adaptive cruise control.
According to Akira Marumoto, Mazda’s representative director, president and CEO:
“The all-new Mazda3 we unveil today begins a new era for Mazda. The next generation of Mazda cars will enhance the value of the car-ownership experience. Though these products, we will further raise Mazda’s brand value and work towards our goal of building strong bonds with customers all over the world.”
The new Mazda 3 will make its public appearance at the 2018 Los Angeles Motor Show scheduled to open its doors from the 30th of November, and will be rolled out to global markets starting from North America in early 2019.
Pictures & Info: Paultan