Australian media got its first close-up look at the all-new 2014 Mazda 3 sedan this week ahead of the popular model’s arrival in local showrooms in January.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Mazda 3 has become a cornerstone model for the Japanese car maker, accounting for up to 30 per cent of Mazda’s global business and clocking up 3.5 million-plus sale in more than 120 countries.
Like the new Mazda 3 hatch that CarAdvice drove in California last month, the next-generation sedan has been completely redesigned from the ground up, adopting Mazda’s signature ‘Kodo’ design theme already seen in the CX-5 and latest Mazda 6 models.
The new sedan is identical to the hatch from the B-pillar forward, incorporating Mazda’s latest five-point grille design and LED daytime running lights on higher spec models.
While the overall length of the new Mazda 3 hatchback remains the same at 4460mm, the sedan is 10mm shorter than the previous model at 4580mm.
The sedan’s wheelbase has been lengthened by 60mm, while it’s also 40mm wider and 15mm lower. Overhangs have been reduced 35mm at the front and 24mm at the rear.
Like the hatch, the all-new Mazda 3 sedan incorporates a full suite of Skyactiv technologies and will be available from launch with a choice of two naturally aspirated four-cylinder ‘Skyactiv-G’ petrol engines that Mazda claims deliver significant improvements in fuel economy.
The 2.0-litre engine produces 114kW and 200Nm of torque, while using 5.7 litres per 100km on the combined cycle with the six-speed ‘Skyactiv-Drive’ automatic transmission. The larger 2.5-litre generates 138kW and 250Nm and uses 6.0L/100km combined.
Inside, the sedan gets the same all-new interior as the hatch, including a raft of new materials and technologies that will make their debut in the new Mazda 3.
There’s a new seven-inch ‘floating’ touchscreen accessed via Mazda’s iDrive-style Commander system, which controls the car’s navigation, media and communications functions.
Phone, email and social media will be easier to access while digital radio will be available through Pandora and Aha applications. The TripAdvisor travel information app will also be included.
For the first time in any Mazda there’s a heads-up display mounted on a clear panel above the instrument cluster hood that presents vehicle speed and turn-by-turn directions from the navigation unit.
Blind Spot Monitoring and Smart City Brake Support, which can bring the car to a complete stop between 4km/h and 30km/h, will also be made available on the third-generation Mazda 3.
Australian pricing and specifications of the new Mazda 3 range will be revealed closer to its launch in January 2014.