Official: 2014 Mazda3 configurator zoom-zooms to life

Filed under: Car Buying, Budget, Marketing/Advertising, Hatchback, Mazda

2014 Mazda3 Configurator

The 2014 Mazda3 is probably going to be on a lot of shopping lists, thanks to its striking good looks, clean interior treatment, fuel economy and driving character. If it happens to be on your personal list of new cars to test, you’ll be happy to see that the configurator for Mazda’s newest product has officially gone online.

In terms of build-your-own web items, configuring a 3 isn’t much of a departure from the rest of the Mazda range. Most of the work comes from choosing one of the three trim levels – Sport, Touring and Grand Touring – and selecting either the 155-horsepower, 2.0-liter, Skyactiv four-cylinder or its larger sibling, the 184-horsepower, 2.5-liter, Skyactiv four. From there, a simple range of color and interior finishes are available, before a slim list of packages, options and accessories. Really, Mazda’s made it easy to get through this build process.

Click on over to the configurator and take a look at the options, colors and prices for Mazda’s newest five-door hatchback.

2014 Mazda3 configurator zoom-zooms to life originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 29 Aug 2013 11:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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First Drive: 2014 Mazda3

Filed under: Budget, Hatchback, Mazda, First Drives

The Cure For The Common Corolla

2014 Mazda3

I hate the Toyota Corolla. I’m not talking about the new 2014 model; I can’t yet judge a car I haven’t driven. I’m referring to the current, old-as-dirt sedan. As an appliance, I get why people buy it, but it represents everything that I, as a car enthusiast, dislike. I don’t like looking at it, I don’t like sitting in it, and I really don’t like driving it. There is absolutely no amount of emotion dialed into any part of the Corolla experience and every other vehicle in the segment is a far better choice. But still, somehow, Toyota sells ’em like hotcakes.

Thankfully, there are a lot of people who agree with me. And for folks like us, companies like Mazda exist. This small Japanese automaker places emotion and driver involvement as its top priorities when creating new products, and mostly – especially in recent years – the end results have been great. The new CX-5 crossover is a doll, to say nothing of the rakish and lovely new Mazda6 that launched earlier this year. And let’s not forget the Miata…

It’s a shame, then, that Mazda’s sales numbers have never correlated with how we enthusiasts feel about the products, though a lot of that simply has to do with the company’s weaker advertising efforts, not to mention a less robust dealer network. Mazda continues to build cars that are great to drive above all, and the automaker is slowly but surely getting its refinement issues and infotainment technologies in order. This new 2014 Mazda3 aims to offer the best of the brand’s new Skyactiv powertrain DNA, housed in a package with features and technologies that stand up to every other car in the highly competitive C segment.

It is everything the Corolla is not. And it’s fantastic.

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2014 Mazda3 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 12 Jul 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Mazda3 diesel under consideration for US, hybrid not so much

Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Hatchback, Mazda, Diesel

2014 Mazda3 at NYC reveal - front three-quarter view, red

It’s been a long time coming, but we finally clapped our eyes on the real deal, officially official 2014 Mazda3 in hatchback form yesterday. Yet there’s a lot more to learn about this next-generation version of what has always been one of our favorite compacts. We know that the US version will come with one of two Skyactiv engines, but what about alternatives? Will there be any… or will the gasoline-fed four-cylinders be powerful and frugal enough to carry the day?

According to Automotive News, the answer is a definite maybe. Mazda North America CEO Jim O’Sullivan has told the trade publication that his employer will consider adding the company’s well-liked 2.2-liter Skyactiv diesel powerplant to the model down the road. However, the company first wants to see how the engine fares with American consumers in its big-brother Mazda6 sedan, a model that goes on sale later this year. As for a potential Mazdaspeed3 successor, mum is still the word.

Anything else? Uncharacteristically, Mazda will build a hybrid model of its new 3. We say “uncharacteristically,” because the Japanese independent has long shied away from gas-electric powertrain tech. In fact, it’s gone so far as to boldly announce its aversion to the technology, with auto show banners proclaiming “Not Electric. Not Hybrid. Not A Drag To Drive.” Despite all that, this new generation of Mazda3 will in fact be the company’s first full hybrid production model. According to AN, however, O’Sullivan says that the company has “no plans” to sell it in the US.

Production for the 2014 Mazda3 will throttle up ahead of the car’s September on-sale date in the US, but supply might be pinched until Mazda’s new Salamanca, Mexico plant fires up next year.

Mazda3 diesel under consideration for US, hybrid not so much originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Jun 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Exclusive: Live pics of 2014 Mazda3 from NYC, sedan on its way

Filed under: Budget, Hatchback, Mazda

2014 Mazda3

Here it is, ladies and gentlemen, straight from the memory cards of our own cameras. As you can see, the only version of the 2014 Mazda3 that the automaker is showing off at the moment is the hatchback, but we’ve gotten confirmation from Mazda that the sedan version will be shown sometime within the next five weeks.

So far, Mazda isn’t commenting on whether or not we can expect a higher-performance Mazdaspeed3 version of the car, but we’ve got our fingers crossed. In any case, we’re quite drawn to the appearance of this new hatchback from Mazda, with its flowing lines and character creases setting it apart from the rest of the compact segment in which it competes.

We also appreciate the sound engineering that went into the new 3. Despite boasting a wheelbase that’s longer than the car it replaces, we’re pleased to see that Mazda has kept its exterior size in check – it’s actually shorter overall than the last-gen model – while also reducing weight by about 200 pounds. That’s bound to be good for the new 3’s dynamic properties.

Have a good look at our live image gallery above, click here to read about the car’s new specs, and let us know what you think of Mazda’s latest compact hatchback in the Comments.

Live pics of 2014 Mazda3 from NYC, sedan on its way originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Jun 2013 14:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Mazda3 officially unveiled

Filed under: Budget, Sedan, Hatchback, Mazda

Mazda has officially pulled the sheets off of its 2014 Mazda3. The all-new compact boasts a wheelbase that’s a full 2.4 inches longer than the outgoing model, yet the hatchback is a nearly two inches shorter from stem to stern. The machine is also lower and wider than before, which should give occupants plenty of space indoors. The driver gets treated to a new human-machine interface that features a new Active Driving Display for information like vehicle speed and navigation instructions conveniently in the line of sight. Likewise, the vehicle’s infotainment system has received a complete rebuild.

Outside, the new Mazda3 makes full use of the company’s KODO design language, and to our eyes, the result is one of the most attractive entries in the segment. Jump under the hood, and buyers can expect to find a Skyactiv-G 2.0-liter gasoline engine with 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque, though no fuel economy estimates are available. For those looking for a bit more thrust, Mazda also offers a 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G gasoline mill with 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. So far there’s no word on the diesel engine available to our friends in Europe.

Both engines can be mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic and feature the automaker’s i-ELOOP brake energy regeneration systems. The recaptured energy is stored in a capacitor and used to power the vehicle’s various electrical systems.

Mazda says the company’s newest compact features a chassis that’s a full 30-percent stiffer than the 2013 model thanks in part to extensive use of high-strength steel. The material also let Mazda cut around 200 pounds from the vehicle. Expect pricing, availability and fuel economy information to surface later. In the interim, you can read the full press release below for more information. We’ll have more photos to share shortly, so stay tuned.

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Mazda3 officially unveiled originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Jun 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breaking: 2014 Mazda3 breaks cover early, in Euro-spec at least [UPDATE]

Filed under: Budget, Sedan, Europe, Hatchback, Mazda, Diesel

2014 Mazda3 - front three-quarter dynamic view

We’re set to get a closer look at the US-spec 2014 Mazda3 later today, but AutoExpress has the first peek at the machine’s European cousin (after initial leaks reportedly came from a Czech outlet). The photos show a compact that’s taken plenty of design inspiration from its older sister, the Mazda6. That’s excellent news, as the larger car’s dynamic front fascia, accentuated fender arches and long nose translate well to the Mazda3. Inside, there are are new and improved material choices, and the longer wheelbase means occupants get to enjoy more room than before. There’s also a larger trunk with 12.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity.

Buyers in the EU can get their hands on a 1.5-liter Skyactiv-G gasoline engine with 99 horsepower, though the old 2.0-liter four-cylinder will still be available in either 118 hp or 163 hp configuration. A 2.2-liter diesel tops out the engine choices.

The 2014 Mazda3 is lighter than its predecessor and boasts disc brakes and a multi-link rear suspension on every trim. That means this thing should be fun to shuffle around. Stay tuned for details on the US-spec variant later today, including a lot more images of the good-looking hatch.

UPDATE: We’ve just received word from Mazda that the photos seen here do, in fact, show the global Mazda3, and not merely a European version. So the good-looking hatch in our gallery is one that you can look forward to in your dealership before too long. Expect to see full US specs, and even more images of the 3, later today.

2014 Mazda3 breaks cover early, in Euro-spec at least [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Jun 2013 09:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New York 2011: Mazda’s refreshed 2012 Mazda3 looks to the sky

Filed under: New York Auto Show, Sedan, Hatchback, Mazda

2012 Mazda3 with SkyActiv

2012 Mazda3 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Mazda is betting big on its SkyActiv engine technology, and the first North American vehicle to carry the new motor is the 2012 Mazda3. Makes sense, since one out of every three Mazda vehicles sold around the globe wears a “3” on the back. Launching with the 2012 Mazda3 this fall, SkyActiv engines and transmissions will then wind-up in the upcoming CX-5 by next spring, and a year later we’ll get a diesel variant of the efficient engine.

mazda skyactiv-g engineFirst up, however, is the SkyActiv-G gasoline-burner, which is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The directly injected unit is rated at 40 miles per gallon on the highway in the Mazda3, and produces 155 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 148 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm. That’s a horsepower increase of five percent and torque bump of 10 percent, all in a package that’s 4.4 pounds lighter than the currently available standard 2.0-liter.

The SkyActiv-equipped 2012 Mazda3 is offered with a choice between two transmissions: a six-speed manual or automatic, both of which are also part of the SkyActiv family. SkyActiv-Drive is the automatic of the group, and helps the Mazda3 achieve a range of 540 miles. While the auto is the transmission of choice for 40 mpg drives, the SkyActiv-MT also allows for efficient motoring. When equipped with the manual, the fuel economy rating dips to 39 mpg on the highway.

SkyActiv-G engines will be offered under the hood of both the sedan and hatchback versions of the Mazda3. Both have also received a minor exterior refresh, which comes in the form of a revised front fascia. SkyActiv-equipped models can also be distinguished by some subtle blue headlamp trim and SkyActiv badging.

See the updates for yourself in the galleries below, and be sure to head past the jump to learn more about the 2012 Mazda3 and its SkyActiv technology.

Gallery: 2012 Mazda3: New York 2011

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Gallery: 2012 Mazda3

Live photos copyright (C)2011 Jeff Glucker/AOL

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New York 2011: Mazda’s refreshed 2012 Mazda3 looks to the sky originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 Apr 2011 14:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2012 Mazda3 with new SkyActiv engine gets 40 mpg, updated exterior

Filed under: New York Auto Show, Budget, Sedan, Hatchback, Mazda

2012 Mazda3

2012 Mazda3 – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2012 Mazda3 has officially made its debut at the 2011 New York Auto Show, and it’s brought along the first production use of the long-awaited SkyActiv fuel-efficiency tweaks. That means the newest Mazda3 is good for a whopping 40 miles per gallon on the highway thanks to the addition of a new SkyActiv-G four-cylinder engine mated to either a new six-speed automatic or manual transmission.

2012 Mazda3 SkyActiv 2.0-liter four-cylinder enginePreviously, the Mazda3 has only been good for up to 33 mpg in its most efficient form, but the new drivetrain advancements will go a long way toward making the model more competitive against ever sharper metal from Ford, Chevrolet, Hyundai and Honda. Mazda says that the new 2.0-liter, direct-injection four-cylinder is good for 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque, which offers modest increases over the old, non-DI 2.0-liter mill.

That old lump will still be around as standard equipment on the sedan, though don’t expect to see it on the Mazda3 hatch. Instead, the long-roof will still benefit from the larger 2.5-liter four-cylinder found in the last-gen vehicle.

In addition to the newly-efficient drivetrain, the 2012 Mazda3 also wears a suitably updated exterior. Buyers can look forward to redesigned headlights and an adjusted front fascia with a slightly different grille that tones down the exuberance of the car’s trademark grin. Likewise, the rears of both the sedan and hatch have received a subtle warming-over. Follow the jump to hear it from Mazda’s own mouth.

Gallery: 2012 Mazda3

[Source: Mazda]

Continue reading 2012 Mazda3 with new SkyActiv engine gets 40 mpg, updated exterior

2012 Mazda3 with new SkyActiv engine gets 40 mpg, updated exterior originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Apr 2011 15:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2012 Mazda3 to get Skyactiv engine and gearbox

Filed under: Technology, Hatchback, Mazda, Canada

Mazda3 SkyActiv

2012 Mazda3 SkyActiv – Click above to enlarge

Mazda has announced that the company will employ its new SkyActiv technologies in the 2012 Mazda3. The vehicle is set to debut at Toronto’s upcoming Canadian International Auto Show, and it will boast the Japanese automaker’s much gabbed-about SkyActiv-G gasoline four-cylinder engine and SkyActive-Drive gearbox.

Mazda says that the two new pieces of hardware should help the Mazda3 deliver more torque at mid-range engine speeds, and that the trick should be good enough to increase fuel economy along the way. As you may recall, the SkyActiv-G engine is a direct-injection design with a low-friction block to minimize mechanical drag.

This will mark the first time that either the new engine or the gearbox has ever been offered in a production vehicle, and the company’s designers have thrown in a few exterior tweaks to mark the occasion. Buyers can look forward to slightly revised bumpers front and rear as well as new 16- and 17-inch wheels. The more efficient Mazda3 is expected to land in dealerships by the end of this year. Hit the jump for the full press release.

[Source: Mazda]

Continue reading 2012 Mazda3 to get Skyactiv engine and gearbox

2012 Mazda3 to get Skyactiv engine and gearbox originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Feb 2011 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Prototype Mazda3 with 2.0L Sky-G engine gets 30/40 mpg

Filed under: Budget, Technology, Mazda

2010 Mazda3

2010 Mazda3 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Mazda gave us a glimpse of its next-generation Sky-G (gas) and Sky-D (diesel) powertrains at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, as well as its new Sky-Drive six-speed automatic transmission. These engines are currently running the testing gauntlet, as the first applications are expected to show up as early as next year in the refreshed Mazda6 sedan.

Car and Driver was able to snag an early test of a 2.0-liter Sky-G engine, which will reportedly achieve 30 miles per gallon in the city and 39 to 40 mpg on the highway when used in a Mazda3. This puts it in the same territory as the Volkswagen Golf and Jetta TDIs, not to mention besting smaller offerings like the Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit.

C/D also got the skinny on Mazda’s 2.2-liter Sky-D diesel powertrain, which the automaker has confirmed for application in its “next-generation mid-size sedan” (*cough* Mazda6 *cough*) which will achieve up to 43 mpg on the highway. Take that, Fusion Hybrid. Head over to Car and Driver‘s full deep-dive for a raft of details about both of the new engines.

Gallery: Review: 2010 Mazda3

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Photos Copyright (C)2010 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: Car and Driver]

Prototype Mazda3 with 2.0L Sky-G engine gets 30/40 mpg originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 01 Sep 2010 15:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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