The fourth-generation Mazda 3 is the first from the brand to showcase Mazda’s new generation design. Since the previous generation model, the company has been striving to build a vehicle that allows the driver to have an emotional connection with and not one that is just a means for transport.
The result in its fourth try is the all-new Mazda 3, which Mazda says has been designed to evoke a feeling of joy and exhilaration in the driver, no matter the circumstance. The evolved Kodo design language for the latest generation is one that expresses the essence of Japanese aesthetics. We test-drive the 2.0-L High Plus sedan variant and detail the things that make the new Mazda 3
Sculpting the exterior design
- Mazda has employed a ‘less is more’ design language in the new front and rear lamps.
- A refinement of the body design is seen in both the sedan and hatchback models with dynamic styling. The sculpting of the body and the way the light reflects off the surface remains in constant flow.
Perfecting the interior design and layout
- Mazda’s designers moved the gear lever and infotainment controls forward so that the operation on either the entertainment or driving position is easier and at a more natural angle.
- Similar adjustments were made to the cup holders. By repositioning them ahead of the gear lever instead of behind as on the previous generation, Mazda says that the driver can easily reach for the drink while focusing on the road ahead.
- A more optimum driving position is possible thanks to an additional 10 mm of movement on the telescopic steering, with an adjustment range of 70 mm. More support towards the thighs are standard now with a forward seat cushion tilt, ensuring that less fatigue happens when sitting.
- While interior insulation has improved and is certainly more refined than the previous, the way the engine noise sounds from the cabin is rough.
Staying connected and improving the digital look
- The driver instrument cluster is a new 7-inch unit that provides straightforward and important information. As with the positioning of the instrument cluster and the active driving display (heads-up display), the driver is able to focus easier on the warnings and indicators.
- The instrument cluster joins the all-new 8.8-inch widescreen central infotainment display with split-screen view. The graphics has been updated to offer a minimalist look. The unit comes compatible as standard with Apple CarPlay.
Power and driving dynamics
- Power comes from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine that outputs 162 hp and 213 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. The unit is mated to Mazda’s six-speed SkyActiv Drive transmission with power going to the front wheels.
- G-Vectoring Control Plus is improved from the standard GVC by including brake control to improve handling and grip. While exiting a corner, GVC Plus applies light braking force to the outer wheels, stabilizing the drive and helps restore the car to a straight line.
- Driving dynamics is thoroughly enjoyable as it improves from the previous generation, but with certainly more poise and refinement. The placement is sharp when going around corners, making it easy to control. Ride comfort is superior over its predecessor with Mazda certainly placing this as a premium segment compared to its closest competitors.
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