Entry- and mid-level models in the third-generation Mazda 3 range will be powered by the Japanese manufacturer's 114kW/200Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, which is a mildly revised version of the engine currently fitted to the Mazda 3 SP20 Skyactiv.
When teamed with Mazda’s six-speed automatic ‘Skyactiv-Drive’ transmission, the new Mazda 3 consumes 5.7 litres per 100km on the combined cycle, representing a saving of 30 per cent over the current base-grade 2.0-litre engine, which is rated at 8.2L/100km, and eight per cent compared with the SP20.
The new 138kW/250Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine destined for the new-generation Mazda 3 SP25 achieves similar savings. Despite producing 16kW and 23Nm more power and torque, the new model will also be 30 per cent more frugal than its predecessor, with combined cycle consumption slashed from 8.6 to 6.0L/100km.
The Mazda 3’s impressive fuel economy gains are the result of the new model embracing the brand’s full complement of Skyactiv technologies – including efficient drivetrains, lightweight materials and aerodynamic designs – that contribute to weight savings of 50-100kg over the outgoing model.
The new 3 will also benefit from a number of technologies from Mazda’s ‘i-ActiveSense’ advanced safety suite, such as blind spot monitoring and smart city brake support, which assists in the prevention of front-end collisions by reducing the car’s speed when it detects a slow-moving or stopped vehicle ahead and automatically applies the brakes if required.
High-grade models will also feature the head-up active driving display that presents speed, navigation and other important driving information data on a clear plastic panel above the instrument cluster.
Mazda 3s equipped with the seven-inch touchscreen will also offer drivers enhanced connectivity, with access to phone, SMS and email functions, as well as popular social media sites and thousands of digital radio stations through Pandora and Aha applications.
The Mazda 3 will arrive in local showrooms in roughly six months’ time, following the run-out of the second-generation range that now starts from $19,990 driveaway.
Read CarAdvice’s 2014 Mazda 3 Review.