MAZDA3 takes now as compact car celebrating 10th year in production
BY GERRY MILES
Mazda took the wraps off its all-new, third generation, Mazda3 for 2014 with a global reveal, 10 years after the first iteration was produced, with same-day events in New York, London, Istanbul, Melbourne and St. Petersburg.
Slated to arrive this fall, the new 3 will offer two engine choices: a SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter, or the SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter. If the motors have the same output as previous iterations, the 2-liter would made 155 hp and the 2.5-liter, similar to that in the 6, would produce 184 hp. However in a statement a spokesman said pricing, official engine outputs, transmission choices, fuel economy and options would be made available and confirmed at a later date.
The car’s “infotainment system” is what Mazda calls an HMI or human-machine interface (HMI) will debut. This HMI is meant to broaden the scope of the driving experience, and was designed with ease of use and safety as top priorities, as well as ensuring the driver’s focus remains on the job at hand: driving.
Mazda will also introduce new safety systems to be called i-ACTIVSENSE. These technologies use milliwave radars and cameras to recognize hazards, reducing the possibility of collisions and minimizing damage if accidents occur.
New safety technologies for the Mazda3 include a Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW), Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC) and Smart City Brake Support (SCBS).
“We are proud to mark 10 years of the Mazda3’s success with the global debut of the next-generation vehicle,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). “There is no doubt that the all-new Mazda3 arrives with all-new expectations. Yet as its track record has shown, we look forward to not only meeting those expectations, but exceeding them in the way only Mazda can.”
In production since June 25, 2003, more than 3.5 million Mazda3s have been sold in more than 120 countries around the world, and 136 global awards have been received. The best-selling model in the brand’s lineup, Mazda3 accounts for nearly a third of the company’s annual global sales.
The first generation (2003-09) – with its unexpected design, performance and quality – changed assumptions about the compact car segment consisting of low-cost, throw-away vehicles. By being the dynamic sports compact leader, more than two million units were sold.
The second generation (2010-13) further enhanced the Mazda3’s sporty driving essence, as well as improved its fuel economy consumption with the introduction of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY. Also not taking a backseat was safety, in which the second-generation Mazda3 received the highest five-star rating from Euro NCAP and was named a Top Safety Pick by the U.S.’s Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).