In our opinion, it’s a good-looking machine and Mazda says it will set new standards in the standard-equipment department. The car will basically take the idea of connectivity to a new level by giving the driver and passengers access to Facebook, Twitter, audio feeds and audio books.
The new car is larger in most respects, so interior space won’t be a problem. The hatchback and fastback share the enlarged 2 700mm wheelbase - the longest in the C-segment and 60mm longer than the current model.
Mazda says its new 3 is going to deliver some remarkable fuel economy and emissions figures. European buyers will be offered a choice of three naturally aspirated petrol powerplants and one turbocharged diesel, all fitted with i-stop (Mazda’s idle-stop system) as standard.
The new 1.5-litre petrol engine delivers 73kW, which might not sound punchy, but it more than makes up for it in the fuel-economy stakes. Mazda claims 5.0 litres/100km and Co2 emissions of 119g/km. The 2.0-litre petrol delivers 88kW and 6.0 litres/100km.
The 2.2-litre turbodiesel powertrain delivers 110kW and a massive 380Nm of torque. The claimed consumption figure for this model is under 4.0 litres/100km, which is unheard of in this particular segment.
Mazda’s new 3 will be made available in the UK early in 2014. At the moment there’s no word on when it will arrive in South Africa.