Tag Archives: Compact Cars

Take a First Look at the all new 2014 Mazda3

Like the latest CX-5 and Mazda 6, it will have some degree of Skyactiv lightweight and fuel-saving technologies built in. Also, as a recent batch of spy photos clearly shows, it will inherit the 6’s and CX-5’s attractive Kodo design language. Stay tuned for more, but based on these leaked images, we can say this: The Mazda 3 is once again one of the most attractive small cars out there.

2014 Mazda 3 - Front Headlight Silhoutette

2014 Mazda 3 – Front Headlight Silhoutette

The next Mazda3, like the recently revamped 6, is a complete departure from the outgoing model, with virtually no lingering Ford DNA whatsoever. Following the anthropometric trend of gradually increasing size, the wheelbase stretches 2.4 inches to 106.3 and the width broadens by 1.6 inches, yielding 2.3 inches of front and 0.4 inch of rear shoulder room. The roofline drops by 0.6 inch for better aerodynamics.

2014 Mazda 3 - Front 3/4

2014 Mazda 3 – Front 3/4

In North America, the 3 will have two available engines. The 2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G engine will produce 155 hp at 6000 rpm, and 150 lb-ft at 4000 rpm. The other engine is the 2.5-liter SKYACTIV-G that’s already found in the CX-5 and Mazda6, making 184 hp at 5700 rpm and 185 lb-ft at 3250 rpm. Another cool efficiency trick i-ELOOP brings: capacitors that store energy regenerated by the alternator during braking, another claimed world-first. Mazda’s new i-ELOOP suite of fuel-saving extras also includes active grille shutters that route air around the car except when the radiator absolutely needs it to cool the Skyactiv engines. Either engine comes with a choice of manual or automatic six-speed transmissions.

2014 Mazda 3 - Rear 3/4

2014 Mazda 3 – Rear 3/4

Inside, the big news is the HUD, which Mazda will integrate into all Mazda vehicles going forward as part of a “human-machine-interface” system. That conjures up images of cyborgs, but really the point is to combat driver distraction. We know the HUD display will carry all the normal driving info you’d expect, but it’s not clear what other information will be displayed. A suite of new safety-related “apps” utilizing cameras, millimeter-wave radar, and laser sensors is offered under the i-ACTIVESENSE moniker (maybe the hyphen and shout-case are to keep them out of trouble with Apple?), a pricey option package. Features include high-beam control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, forward-obstruction warning, Smart City Brake Support (enhanced or automated braking, when a collision is anticipated at speeds under 19 mph), and radar cruise control.

2014 Mazda 3 - Dashboard layout

2014 Mazda 3 – Dashboard layout

Diesel? No plans to make a SKYACTIV-D version at this point. That could be code for pretty much anything in manufacturer-speak, so we’ll have to wait and see what direction Mazda goes there. Likely the reception of the Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D will be the key factor in a possible diesel Mazda3, but our European and Japanese friends get the diesel engine right off the bat.


2014 Mazda3 is rendered by artist following the brands new Kodo design language

We have to tip our hats to Autoguide.com as they have decided to use some of their graphics budget to pay someone to render what the next generation of the Mazda3 will look like. I’m personally a little pissed as I just purchased a new 2012 Skyactiv Mazda 3 two months ago because of its sporty ride fuel efficient engine and aggressive styling in this case on the Mazda3 sport model.  So when I saw the below artist rendering and loved it really only made me jealous.

An Artists rendering of what the 2014 Mazda3 could look like

Most significant are changes to the front fascia. Gone is the silly gen 2 smiley face and in its place we find a more angular and premium design, similar to that of the newly released Mazda6 images. Rumor has it that the  the new 3 will be an all-new light weight platform. Mazda has committed to reducing the weight of each of its new models by as much as 220 lbs, meaning the base curb weight for the 2014 model should sit around just 2,650 lbs.

The entry level engine on the new 2014 Mazda3 will be the current 2.0-liter 4-cylinder SkyActiv unit that is found in the current SkyActiv model sold today, which are tuned for 155 hp and 145 lb-ft or torque. . The only difference is that the engine bay will be designed to incorporate the 4:2:1 exhaust manifold that should allow the engine to run at 13:1 compression and slightly increase the torque figure to around 155 lb-ft and improve the engine sweet spot. I am even more jealous now as the current engine configuration is ultra sweet and the 6-speed automatic that sends the power to the front wheels is one of the best that I have driven lately and will perform just as well and in most situations better then the leading dual clutch designs that are current for sale.

For those wishing for a powerful Mazda3 that does not have a Mazdaspeed badge on it should be able to opt for a new 2.5-liter SkyActiv engine, which will produce as much as 189-hp in the upcoming 2014 Mazda6. Mazda is also reportedly considering a new 2.2-liter turbo diesel engine option for the US, which during the Mazda6 launch party was said to be able to produce roughly 170 hp and over 300 lb-ft of torque. That engine is confirmed for North America and will arrive in the new mid-size 6 sedan late in 2013. I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these engine as with just under 8000km on my new SkyActiv Mazda3 I’m averaging just over 5.5 L/100km or right around 40 mpg, so I can only imagine what kind of numbers a SkyActiv diesel will be able to achieve.

When more official news gets leaked about the upcoming Mazda3 you can be sure that we will have it here so check back with us frequently and often to catch all of the breaking news.

If you are also interested in seeing the all new 2013 Mazda6 SkyActiv you can read all about it here: “All you need to know about the new 2014 Mazda6