When it comes to stylish family hatchbacks, 3 really is the magic number. This is Mazda’s all-new Ford Focus rival – which will reach showrooms in 2009 – and it debuts a smart new face and sleek body
that should turn heads.
The car has been designed to answer the criticism that the
current model lacks the flair of some of its more stylish class competitors, such as the Honda Civic.
As you can see, the new 3 takes its visual inspiration from the recently revealed Mazda 6 family car. But it also integrates elements of the firm’s striking 2018 design concept, which debuted at the Los Angeles Motor Show.
Our image, which has been produced using exclusive inside information, reveals that the second-generation 3 is an altogether more sporty model than its predecessor, with muscular wheelarches.
At the front, sleek headlights are mixed with deep air intakes and a low splitter. In profile, there’s the trademark angled C-pillar, but it’s joined by a waistline that kicks up over the back door. Together with a chunky rear bumper and a steeply angled tailgate, this creates an aggressive look. Inside, the Mazda has new, improved materials and a dashboard that copies its counterpart in the 6, complete with steering wheel-mounted controls for the stereo and ventilation systems.
The next 3 will use the longer platform from the forthcoming
third-generation Focus, due in 2010, and so will offer more interior
space than before. Other benefits include increased refinement and
Under the bonnet, the 3 will feature the same line-up of engines as the current model. A range-topping 250bhp MPS, with a new 2.5-litre petrol taken from the 6, will arrive in 2010.