Four years after the original was released, total production has surpassed 2 million units making it Mazda's most popular model, a reputation set to be continued by its successor.
Offered in two distinct body styles - hatch and sedan - both are longer and taller than their predecessors, sharing a common design theme with its Mazda2 and Mazda6 siblings.
The interior boasts up to 11 percent noise reduction versus the previous generation, largely thanks to improved aerodynamics with a drag coefficient of only 0.28 for the sedan and 0.30 for the hatch.
The gear shift lever has been repositioned for easier shifting while the dashboard has been turned toward the driver to enhance its sporty design with minimal parting lines achieving a look of interior quality.
Driver ergonomics have been redesigned for less distraction from the road, and includes a new multi information display with an interactive lighting control and illumination entry system.
Despite its larger dimensions and added equipment, the new-generation Mazda3 is up to 15kg lighter due to a 17 percent increase in the use of high and ultra-high strength steels compared to the outgoing model.
The front boasts newly evolved MacPherson strut front suspension while the rear uses multilink rear suspension, coupled with double-digit increases in ﬂexural and torsional criteria for improved handling and safety.
Standard safety equipment consists of ABS, EBD, brake assist, traction control system (TCS) DSC as well as front, side and curtain airbags.
The standard vehicle features a MZR 1.6-litre petrol engine which develops 77kW and 145Nm, mated to a five-speed manual transmission which uses just 6.3 litres per 100kms.
A MZR 2.0-litre petrol engine is also available mated to a five-speed automatic transmission which develops 110kW and 187Nm while using just 7.7 litres per 100kms of fuel.
The first of the diesel offerings is a MZR-CD 1.6-litre diesel engine which develops 80kW and 240Nm while using just 4.5 litres of fuel per 100kms.
The MZR-CD 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine, shared with the all-new Mazda6, will be offered with two levels of tune, developing 136kW and 400Nm in its high-powered guise while using just 5.6 litres per 100kms.
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