“There is no doubt that the Mazda3 represents the Mazda brand, and in order to take this key model to the next level, we made it our mission to deliver a product which would exceed the expectations of both long-standing fans and potential new customers. We knew that in addition to further enhancing the vehicle’s basic performance and delivering a generous serving of Mazda’s renowned driving pleasure, it was essential to offer something new; something never before seen in the segment.” says David Hughes, Managing Director Mazda South Africa.

“Therefore, we made innovating the sports compact our theme, and set about achieving this innovation by considering the vehicle from the customers’ point of view. Our aim was to appeal to the customer on two different levels. We wanted to create a stunning first impression that captures the eye and increases in impact when you climb inside as well as a deeper-level appeal that customers will come to understand and appreciate more fully over the years of ownership. The dynamic design captivates viewers at first glance and drivers will note the nimble and linear feedback the first time they get behind the wheel. Our goal with the Mazda3 was that the Mazda-unique experience of unity between car and driver would become stronger and deeper with each passing mile. The soulful design, packaging, high-quality interior, and outstanding environmental and safety performance all incorporate this quest to appeal to the customer on a deeper level; to make the vehicle something more akin to a life partner than a simple possession.” concludes Hughes.

The all-new Mazda3 brings together the very best Mazda has to offer. At a single glance, the design conveys the unique, instantaneous power of which the Mazda3 is capable. The dynamic expressions of KODO design, from the broad powerful stance, to the bold and rhythmical undulations of the body surface, suggest the exhilarating drive that awaits. The Skyactiv-G 2.0 engine models employ the full suite of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY, which delivers both responsive driving and outstanding environmental performance.

While the carried-forward renowned MZR 1.6 engine for the low to mid-range models continues to deliver exceptional performance.The all new Mazda3 is designed and built to the highest standard of performance and reliability. This standard is backed up by a 3-year unlimited kilometre factory warranty. To provide complete peace of mind motoring, a 3-year roadside assistance, a 3-year service plan and a 5-year Corrosion Warranty are also included.

DESIGN AND CRAFTSMANSHIP 

Expressive and Enticing, Inside OutFrom the dynamic signature wings of the five-point grille to the expansive sheet metal cresting over sleekly slanted headlamps; from the wide-stance muscular fenders to the taut character lines flowing into a chiseled rear featuring provoking taillights, KODO gives Mazda3 a presence unlike any other.

 
Standard 16-inch full-cover steel wheels and higher trim-level 16-inch and 18-inch aluminium alloy wheels express dynamic motion from hub to rim. Mazda3’s cab rearward posture and raked profile further emphasize its agility and speed.

 
The interior shares the same outstanding levels of design and craftsmanship. The new Mazda3 is the first vehicle to feature Mazda’s all-new Active Driving Display available in the Astina derivative, a clear pop-up panel mounted behind the meter hood that displays vehicle speed, navigation directions and other important driving information. This feature not only places necessary information comfortably in the driver’s line-of-sight but also beyond the instrument panel, more in line with where a driver’s eyes are naturally focused. The Active Driving Display panel automatically folds back into its concealed position when the ignition is shut off.

 
The redesigned meter cluster features a centrally positioned analogue gauge flanked by a pair of wing-shaped digital displays. The dial face for the centre gauge is characterized by three-dimensional metallic numerals, evidence of the designers’ attention to detail, while its red-ring border pulses as soon as the driver’s door is opened, a nod to the vehicle’s sporty DNA. A decorative dash panel finished in satin silver extends from the gauge cluster, with piano black trim pieces adorning areas of the centre console and front door inserts. 
Upholstery is available in black cloth for the Original and Active derivatives and black leather from the Dynamic derivative. Together with multitude of exterior colours, this further showcases the attention lavished on the finest details and also on satisfying consumer preferences.

PACKAGING

Taking space efficiency to higher levelsLower and leaner than its predecessor, this third-generation Mazda3 shares little more than its name with its older siblings. All new from the ground up, the 2014 Mazda3 sits on a wheelbase of 2,700mm, which is 60mm longer than the previous generation, yet the sedan is 10mm shorter in length at 4,580mm. With a height of 1,450mm and a width of 1,795mm, Mazda3 reduces its ceiling by 20mm and gains 40mm in the hips while retaining similar headroom space and offering rear legroom at 909mm. The rear seatbacks are nearly 50mm taller for added passenger comfort. Front and rear shoulder room have also increased to 1,452mm and 1,382mm, respectively. This efficient use of space is wrapped in the increasingly striking KODO styling and its emotional proportions and refined strength.


The seat architecture is redesigned with added focus on comfort and space, while at the same time reducing weight. For example, the front seatbacks are further sculpted to provide rear seat passengers more knee room than the previous-generation Mazda3, and shoulder room for all passengers is increased as well. Additionally, the driver’s seat cushion is made larger, while still optimizing the seatback to create a more natural seating position with ample lateral support, a welcome addition for those long drives.

 
All-new for Mazda vehicles and being launched with the new Mazda3 will be a next-generation Human-Machine Interface (HMI) system. Based on the Heads-up Cockpit concept, the new HMI system aims to help drivers maintain proper posture, concentrate on the road and drive more safely, even while handling larger amounts of information. The information presented is divided into groups, and an innovative screen layout is employed to let the driver safely balance the primary job of driving with absorbing other peripheral information.

 
The pedals have been laid out symmetrically to the left and right of the driver’s centre-line with a hinged organ-type accelerator pedal as standard for added safety and comfort. Designed not only to appeal to the senses, each control and function is also specifically placed with intuitive utility in mind. The less time spent focusing on adjusting knobs and tapping touch-screen commands, the more time a driver is engaged with the actual act of driving, being alert to what is on the road ahead and, therefore, being able to react quickly, accurately and safely. 


For added precision, the base of the A-pillars has been repositioned about 100mm rearward to afford greater range of vision for both the driver and front passenger. The outside mirrors are mounted on the doors instead of the base of the A-pillar to expand the scope of visibility when looking over mirrors from the driver’s seat.


DRIVING DYNAMICS

SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY Leads the Way

The long relationship between Mazda the brand and Zoom-Zoom the anthem is no secret. Jinba Ittai, the oneness between car and driver, is a long-standing brand philosophy, an essence built into every Mazda ever engineered that can always be felt, whether it’s a leisurely drive or hot laps around a track. With Mazda3, a vehicle that is sold in more than 120 countries and accounts for 30 percent of the company’s annual global sales, this connection is even more important and made even more precise.


The new Mazda3 will be offered with two engine choices: the high powered SKYACTIV-G 2.0-litre petrol engine and the currently-offered MZR 1.6 petrol engine in order to meet local market demands. 


 The SKYACTIV-G engine feature a new high-tumble-port 4-2-1 exhaust system that increases engine output. The SKYACTIV-G 2.0-litre produces 121kW at 6,000rpm and 210Nm of torque at 4,000rpm. As compared to the outgoing MZR 2.0 engine, the torque output on the SKYACTIV-G 2.0 engine at low- to mid-range speeds is greatly increased.

 
Carried-forward is the MZR 1.6 engine. An electronically controlled throttle, low-speed cams and Sequential-Valve Timing (S-VT) contribute to producing maximum output of 77kW at 6,000rpm and maximum torque of 144Nm at 4,000rpm. Fuel economy is more than adequate in typical driving situations.

 
The SKYACTIV-G 2.0-litre engine will be available with a choice of the SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual and SKYACTIV-DRIVE six-speed automatic transmissions. SKYACTIV-MT offers the short, crisp shift pattern reminiscent of the MX-5. On the SKYACTIV-G 2.0-litre models, equipped with the i-stop idle-stop system, SKYACTIV-MT features a new clutch restart function that enables instant restarts after an unintended engine stoppage simply by pressing the clutch pedal again. The SKYACTIV-DRIVE achieves a direct shift feel and quick gear changes that contribute to fast acceleration, while maximizing the best features of a direct-shift gearbox and a conventional torque-converter system. The MZR 1.6 engine is paired with the currently-offered five-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmission.


The SKYACTIV-G 2.0-litre engine models feature an evolved i-stop idle-stop system. This conserves fuel by shutting down the engine when the brake pedal is pressed and the car is brought to a stop at a traffic light or in a traffic jam. It automatically restarts the engine when the brake pedal is released. For the new Mazda3, i-stop is enhanced to give the same fast and smooth restarts within 0.35 seconds while using just half the amount of fuel required before.


The added combination of the SKYACTIV-BODY and SKYACTIV-CHASSIS enhances the Jinba Ittai spirit by offering high-performance, lightweight materials for added strength and safety. Carefully engineered load-transfer ensures a firm grip on the road that the driver can sense. The SKYACTIV-BODY provides increased rigidity of 30 percent compared to the previous model while reducing weight as well.

 
The expanded use of high tensile-strength steel, and the complete reevaluation of more than 300 separate components, has led to significant weight savings. 
Straight-line stability, tyre grip and ride comfort have been greatly improved by tuning the suspension system’s springs, dampers and stabilizers. Mazda’s new mechatronic column-type electric power assist steering system is compact and lightweight, with a gearing ratio of 14.1:1. The brake response also was improved to be even more responsive, allowing for excellent vehicle control and feel as well as a braking distance amongst the best in the segment. Such improvements also reduce rolling resistance, all improving fuel economy.

 
A new lightweight material that exhibits a high level of noise absorption is introduced on the dash insulator and floor mats, and insulating material also is positioned for maximum effectiveness behind the instrument panel. These measures achieve a level of cabin quietness that is highly competitive within the compact car class, and fully comparable to a class-above vehicle.

 
CONNECTIVITY

Stay Connected While On the Go

Mazda’s infotainment system receives a full redesign. With the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablet computers, lifestyles, and subsequently driving habits, have changed. To ensure that consumers can continue to be connected in real time with their online community regardless of where they are, Mazda has developed its new operating system MZD CONNECT to be intuitive and less distracting, which leads to an overall safer and more pleasurable driving experience.

 
MZD CONNECT connects via Bluetooth® to a smartphone and can easily be updated to ensure users always have access to the latest features and services without the need to swap out hardware. In addition to the current music access points via standard AM/FM radio, CD and USB/auxiliary port connections, new features such as the Internet-based app Aha™ by HARMAN will be available selected models. The Mazda3 Astina, comes standard with Bose® premium audio system with Centerpoint® 2 virtual surround sound playback will bring the harmonies and vocals to life for even the most discerning of audiophiles. 

The system can also read short messages aloud while the vehicle is in motion using text-to-voice technology. Short Message Service (SMS) messages can be received and shown on the touch screen monitor. The system can then articulate the messages as well as allow users to send replies using fixed phrases. A new speech recognition system also allows users to repeat and shuffle audio tracks, as well as search and select folders. An SD card-based navigation system is available on the 2.0l Astina.

 
SAFETY

Safety Features Beyond Compare

Mazda Proactive Safety is Mazda’s development concept, and it aims to help the driver avoid dangerous situations before they occur by minimizing the risks that can lead to an accident. Additionally, it maximizes the range of conditions in which the vehicle can be driven safely and with peace of mind.  The SKYACTIV-BODY efficiently absorbs impact energy from any direction and minimizes the chance of the cabin structure being compromised. Other standard safety features on the new Mazda3 include six airbags (front, side and full side-curtain), whiplash-reducing front headrests, power-assisted ventilated front and solid rear disc brakes, anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) only on the Skyactiv 2.0l models, a collapsible steering column (following air bag deployment), three-point safety belts for all seating positions, front seatbelt pretensioners with load limiters as well as ISOFIX child-seat anchors.

 
Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) – This safety confirmation system detects objects located in blind-spot areas to the sides and rear of the vehicle and issues a visual alert within the outside mirrors for the driver to see. Should the turn signal be on for the direction in which the “blind” object is located, audible beeps will alert the driver. Available in the Mazda3 Astina model.

Rear Vehicle Monitoring (RVM) – This system enhances the driver’s awareness of vehicles in blind spots behind and to the sides of the car. Available in the Mazda3 Astina model.

MazdaCare 
The all new Mazda3 is designed and built to the highest standard of performance and reliability. This standard is backed up by a 3-year unlimited kilometre factory warranty. To provide complete peace of mind motoring, a 3-year roadside assistance, a 3-year service plan and a 5-year Corrosion Warranty are also included.

 

###

Visit us at MazdaSA on Facebook and Mazda_SA on Twitter