All-new Mazda 3 2014 revealed

27 Jun, 2013 12:05pm Luke Madden Paul Bond

New Mazda 3 features Mazda 6 design, efficient engines and internet connectivity, with hybrid and saloon to follow later this year

The all-new Mazda 3 has been revealed, featuring a Mazda 6 inspired design and a new internet-connected infotainment system.

Pictures of the new car were leaked onto a Czech website ahead of simultaneous Mazda 3 events being held in London, Istanbul, St. Petersburg, New York and Melbourne. 

The swept-back headlights and large shield grille are all part of what Mazda calls its Kodo design language, and while it definitely helps create a stylish and well-proportioned car, it could be too easily mistaken for the larger Mazda 6. In the metal though the new car looks good.

Initially launched as a five-door hatch back a saloon version will join the range shortly afterwards and is likely to be the biggest global seller due to its popularity in markets like China, Russia and the U.S.

The cabin has been updated to improve the material quality and design, and now features technology such as a heads-up display. A longer wheelbase and improved packaging means there’s more space in all dimensions for passengers and a 350-litre boot – 10 litres more than the old car.

Buyers can also specify an upgraded infotainment system, which gets internet connectivity for the first time on a Mazda. It allows drivers to use services such as Aha, which plays podcasts and audio books as well as linking to Facebook and Twitter feeds. It works via a redesigned rotary control on the centre console and a stylish seven-inch colour touch screen that sits on top of the dash.

• Mazda 6 review

The big news under the bonnet is the introduction of a completely new 1.5-litre Skyactiv-G petrol engine. It boasts 99bhp and can accelerate the new 3 from 0-62mph in 10.8 seconds. There’s also the same 2.0-litre petrol – with 118bhp or 163bhp – and 2.2-litre diesel from the 6 range. The range-topping diesel versions complete the sprint from 0-60mph in just 8.1 seconds in manual guise but the six-speed automatic is significantly slower - taking 9.7 seconds with the same engine.

Mazda hasn’t announced any efficiency or emissions figures yet but is promising it should be among the best in class for all engines. Considering the larger, heavier 6 manages 67.3mpg and 109g/km, in the 3 it should be sub-100g/km and over 70mpg. Meanwhile, we’re expecting the 1.5-litre petrol unit to offer figures of around 115g/km and 60mpg.

When asked about a smaller SKYACTIV diesel Mazda Europe CEO Jeff Guyton told Auto Express:

"Certainly that is the biggest part of the market. I would say there was room for it. The C-segment is kind of half and half when it comes to petrol versus diesel, but given our market footprint I think we will probably sell more petrol than diesel, but we may expand our diesel range at some point.

He also revealed that there would be a hybrid Mazda model by the end of the year - which is likely to be a version of the new Mazda 3 - saying:

"I imagine our hybrids will be more along the efficiency route because our biggest markets in the US and Japan, the hybrid route in those countries tends to be more about efficiency. There are clearly examples of hybrid high-performance but I think that's not the volume end of the business."

In keeping with the dynamics of the 6 and CX-5 SUV, Mazda is promising it has worked hard on making the 3 great to drive. It’s lighter and has new suspension to boost everything from comfort to agility. The power steering and pedals have all been retuned to feel more natural, too, and refinement is reportedly improved with new sound insulation.

Unlike base models of rivals like the new Volkswagen Golf and SEAT Leon the Mazda comes with a sophisticated multi-link rear suspension setup on every model in the range, and all cars also get disc brakes all round - which should help give it a dynamic advantage out on the road.

Guyton also hinted at the possibility of a return of the MPS high-performance model saying: " I would say that there is some open space around that - but I wouldn't really talk about it too much at this stage. It's much easier to take a vehicle that has been packaged for it and then to say - ok what can we do with this now? The 2.2-litre diesel won't be exactly like the MPS was, but it's going to be very strong, it's going to be quick"

It also comes with a range of optional active safety technology including radar guided cruise control, autonomous emergency braking at low speeds, along with lane departure assist and front and rear sensors that alert the driver if you stray too close to other traffic.

The new Mazda 3 goes on sale in the autumn and while prices haven’t been confirmed, it’ll probably cost from around £16,000.

Disqus - noscript

Is Ford about to sell Mazda then? Seems odd that they haven't given the new 3 the 1.0 Ecoboost instead of developing a new, far bigger capacity engine with the same power with a great possibility that it won't be so clean (on paper). Surely a tiny 3 cylinder turbo will be lighter than the 1.5 and really aid Mazda with their Skyactiv lightweight philosophy?

Ford sold off their shares in Mazda a long time ago...SkyActiv is MAzda's own tech.

Just looked and Ford do still own a small stake in Mazda. Therefore Mazda would have been wise to build the EcoBoost under licence rather than spending huge amounts on developing a new but (likely) already outclassed engine.

Skyactive engines are not outclassed at all. All you need to do is a test drive to convince yourself. The Sky-D is absolutely amazing; I find only the Subaru boxer diesel being superior to Mazda's Sky-D.

they are out class, the 1.5 makes a a poorly 99 hp, most 1.5 makes at least 108 Hp, the newly develop 1.0 liter -1.2 turbo make 99hp - 130 HP with less CO2 and better efficeincy.

Can't say I like the save-the-whale mouth upfront, or the Christmas-bauble chrome trim.

Looks overstyled and will therefore date quickly - typical Mazda. I can't see this being a hit at £16,000+ as Mazdas are usually cheaper than most of the mainstream competition. My local dealer is advertising the current 3 from £13,245 OTR, which sounds more realistic.

I'm not slating the actual engines. I haven't driven a Mazda or EcoBoost engine so I'm going purely on facts and figures.

As Chano129 says, 99bhp is unarguably poor for a brand new 1.5 engine. It could be capable of around 200bhp+ if comparing with competition.

Also, in general a smaller capacity engine = less weight so I'm surprised Mazda hasn't used this opportunity to extend the weight loss philosophy.

People don't have to get so emotional, I'm only basing this on facts and figures.

Wow that looks really nice, can imagine doing this S**T up!

the emissions and mpg of the 1.5 petrol are guesses but sound around par for the class. I suspect a small turbo petrol would be a lot torquier and more fun though.

Not sure where you are sourcing your info from but 'bigred' is correct - Today Ford do not actually hold any shares in Mazda. It was back in 2008 when Ford hit financial troubles that they started to sell off shares in Mazda. As it stands there is merely an relationship between the two to share technical info.

I think you'll find it well documented that Ford now own just a 3% share in Mazda. Though if you'd like to provide a reliable source that claims Ford no longer owns shares feel free. While it may be small, it still means that Ford has an interest in Mazda's success. But most importantly, since the pair still co-develop some technologies and share some production, wouldn't it be wise for Ford and Mazda to co-develop an engine of this sort, or at least licence production to Mazda?

In this economic climate, surely it'd be wise to split development costs or claw some of the costs back through licencing deals. No wonder neither Ford and Mazda are hardly thriving with this business plan!

Needs to be seen in the flesh and then test driven to the limit. It looks so much better in these photos than in the "leak" the other week. Can`t wait...though my local Mazda dealer is rather dreading the test drive :^)

No, not the right shape at the back somehow those rear windows will make it claustrophobic inside - a bit BMW 1 ish, looks as if it has already been in a smash!

Two or three years ago I thought that Mazda had a full range of really attractive cars. Now they have spoiled the lot, except perhaps the MX-5 with gaping holes and pointless creases. Get back to smooth, Mazda.

Looks like you are sourcing your 3% figure from Wikipedia!
But it is out of date inaccurate info. I used to work for Ford btw!

It was the first place I found it, but I'm well aware of its inaccuracies. While none I can 100% guarantee the reliability of there are several sites that at least imply Ford owns shares in Mazda. From what I've gathered, Ford owned 33%, then sold around 20%. Mazda then bought back up to 10% of Ford's remaining shares.

And I'm sorry but the fact you used to work at Ford makes you no more informed of Ford's current financial affairs than I!

I'm yet to find anywhere on the net that even suggests Mazda is totally independent of Ford nowadays, so please go off and find some accurate, in date information.

You are starting to amuse me. It sounds like you may be getting a little hot under the collar mate! I am pretty confident in my knowledge. I worked for Ford UK for several years in Communications no less! Even when Ford had a 'controlling share' of 33% they did not technically 'own' Mazda! Today Mazda are indeed an independent manufacturer.

I think its safe to say that Mazda are leading the way in car design at the min. The new 6 is without a doubt the best looking car in its class IMO and if these look as good in the flesh as those cars they are on to a winner. Just hope the interiors aren't quite as tacky as they have been on previous models, they looked alright but the materials were poor.
I always found the old 6 a good drive too so hopefully this keeps up that tradition.

I apologise if I sound like I'm getting a bit hot under the collar because you couldn't be more wrong.

We're really starting to deviate from the original point I made. I still fully believe that Ford and Mazda still cooperate regardless of the share size in much the same way as PSA and BMW co-develop some engines.

Can you honestly say it wouldn't have been a great idea for them to collaborate in producing the Ecoboost 1.0 engine in the interests of both. Most makes collaborate with another to develop engines to make them more cost effective. Neither company is thriving financially right now and its not difficult to find where they could improve.

I'm also pretty sure in my knowledge so you needn't try to patronise. I haven't intended to come across provocative. I implore you to find the evidence that Ford sold all shares in Mazda and then I'll fully apologise.

I think the new 6 looks great, but I don't think this is so impressive. The front grille looks too big for the car, whilst the rear end loses something and ends up looking like the Megane. Interior looks nice though.

On the 6 the styling looks brilliant, but just like what Nicko said, the front of the Mazda 3 is too big, too heavy looking. If someone could photoshop a smaller nose on it then it would look the part.

IMO The 3 should have something unique about it. Something that makes it stand away from the shadow of the 6...

With regards to this heated debate that's going on.

I really don't see the true benefit of sharing technology between companies. Yes it may save you some cash, but if you want to beat the competition you can't do so by copying/using everyone else's tech... Well maybe you can if the original creators balls it up... But you know what I mean!!

Looks good. Looks like what Subaru was trying to do when they missed the mark with the previous Impreza. Shows you what Mazda can do when they don't have to make the 3 slightly worse than the Ford Focus. Also, dear Mazda. It's about time the MX-6 and the RX-7 made a comeback.

I agree. The 6 is not just one of the best looking saloons on the market, I actually think it is a great looking car full stop, but I also think Mazda are in danger of going down a generic design route (like Audi for example) where all models in the range look too similar.
I also feel that the large grille arrangement doesn't work quite so well on the 3. That said, overall I think it looks smart and distinctive. I would certainly like a closer look when it debuts.

Re. the return of the RX-7. I believe a replacement is on the cards in the form of the RX-9 due in 2015. It will be a two seat, three door coupe rather than the RX-8 design with 2 plus 2 and four doors.

In the passenger car segment I don't think Mazda and Ford cooperate at all anymore.
Can you name an example? All I can think of at the moment is the Ford Ranger/Mazda BT50 truck.

No original thought whatsoever in this model. There are element of Volvo V40 and BMW 1 all over the place.

At least this means it doesnt have an 80's throwback dash like the new 6 (although the exterior design is great on that car).

I'm no expert whatsoever but everything I've so far said I'm going by all the information I've read. Right now I can't tell you whether the CX-5 and 6 are based on/use any Ford components because I haven't looked up.

Of course the 2, the outgoing 3, the 5 all use some Ford parts. Do Ford and Mazda not sell the Ranger model non-commercially like the VW Amorok?

No. The new CX5 and 6 are bespoke (post Ford era) Mazda products from the ground up. Everything from platform to engine is Mazda designed. These new models using the new trademark 'Skyactive' tag which encompasses new engines,transmissions,body and chassis design. For a relatively small car company Mazda do punch well above their weight. The new 6 and CX5 have recieved a lot of awards.

The new 3 looks great but I hope they introduce an MPS version.

I like the All-new Mazda 3 hatchback that has been revealed

Volvo C30 lives on...except for the back end anyway

IMHO, what a great looking C-class hatchback. The engine lineup doesn't look very competitive (CO2 vs power), but I really hope the people will buy it for looks alone.

I would if I had the cash. (and I'm an Italian cars fan displeased with current Alfa nad Fiat lineup, apart Giulietta, but I don't like the styling on that car!)

Exactly what I thought. Looks like a cross between the Hyundai i30, Volvo V40 and Vauxhall Astra. Nothing new or distinctive here at all.

Although the C30 was more distinctive than this (particularly the rear!) and the design will no doubt age better than the 3 will. Also the C30 is a discontinued model from the previous generation rather than a new car.

New 3 not distinctive? I really beg to differ. I think it looks brilliant. Much sharper than i30, V40 and as for the feature-less Astra.........

Just another clone as far as the basic design is concerned. The new Astra due in 2015 will probably look almost identical to this. If anything the new 3 is even more overstyled and blingy than most of the competition and will therefore date quickly.

I agree. I love the 6 but scaling it down hasn't worked as well for the 3. The numberplate location doesn't help either. Perhaps it will look nicer in the metal.

DriverVIBE dot com
@DriverVIBE

For more breaking car news and reviews, subscribe to Auto Express - available as a weekly magazine and on your iPad. We'll give you 6 issues for £1 and a free gift!

Sponsored Links