RAC Cars News


New Mazda 3 On The Way

By raccars Published

After the appearance of leaked pictures online, Mazda has been revealing details about the new Mazda 3 due out at the end of this year. The 3 is undergoing some serious updating and will be the recipient of some very modern technology and engines.

The new engine range will include three petrol engines: a 1.5 litre unit with 99bhp, a 0-62mph time of 10.8 seconds and a 113mph top speed and two versions of a 2.0 litre unit, with 118bhp or 163bhp. At launch, there will be the same 2.2 litre diesel unit used in the previous model but this will be joined later on by another, smaller diesel.

On the inside, the updated Mazda 3 will be roomier than its predecessor for both passengers and cargo, with an added 10 litres making the boot comparable with rival small hatchback, the Vauxhall Astra.

Stylistically, the 3 will follow the current design language used on other recent Mazdas, such as the 6 and the CX-5 SUV, with the same downward pointing V shaped grille and sloping headlights. The newly aerodynamic shape is not only attractive but also efficient, with a knock on effect upon fuel economy and emissions. Some work has also gone into its airflow and cooling functions to the same effect. Driver visibility has been improved by side pillar rearrangement. The new 3 is unlikely to spawn estate or three door variations.

Impressively, Mazda's engineering team has managed to produce a stiffer and lighter car that is nonetheless quieter than the outgoing model, thanks to the use of up to date materials and a liberal sprinkling of modern technology – the new 3 is the recipient of a touchscreen satellite navigation system with a heads up display and internet connectivity allowing smartphone pairing.

More details are expected to be forthcoming when the 3 is officially launched at September's Frankfurt Motor Show, including pricing information, although the new 3 is likely to be slightly more expensive than the current version.

Mazda's development department is also busy at the moment working on a Nissan Juke rivalling compact SUV. Industry rumour suggests the small crossover will be badged the CX-3 and that the Japanese company plans to have it on the market next year. Its engine range is expected to match the new 3 and it will be similarly rammed with modern technology. In the interests of competitiveness, CX-3 prices should start at about £13,000 and the SUV will be followed by an ambitious raft of other new vehicles from Mazda.

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