Mazda has just released all the details of their 2019 Mazda 3. Unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the care is the first vehicle to come from their “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030” long-term vision for technology development.
The Mazda 3 has sold more than 6 million units worldwide since launching in 2003, so a full redesign is certainly a big deal we should pay attention to.
This is the first Mazda to adopt a more mature interpretation of the Kodo design language that explores the essence of Japanese aesthetics and pursues elegant and sophisticated styling.
While the design is important to how you feel about buying the car, the decision maker will almost certainly be the performance and technology available to create a unique driving experience.
The Active Driving Display meters and center display were all redesigned to present information in a simpler fashion. Mazda even focused on font selection to create a pleasing and consistent look.
The new Mazda 3 features an 8.8″ center-mounted display offering a simpler interface for the driver via the redesigned commander control dial.
Mazda’s spent a lot of time and effort in improving audio in the vehicle, particularly for the driver, but how its transmitted throughout the cabin more generally. Sound reflection and the placement of speakers towards the occupants ears was a key outcome of conducting a series of studies.
In terms of audio, there’s an 8-speaker sound system by default, or the Bose premium audio pack offers a 12-speaker sound system with more powerful bass and higher audio quality.
While not specifically mentioned in the release, Mazda have announced they’ll ship Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on their new vehicles, so that’s a safe bet.
Active safety: iActivesense
As you drive the Mazda 3, it monitors you using an infrared camera (with LED) to observe your behaviour. This system is able to see how open your eyes are, ensuring you don’t take a nap down the freeway and end up wrapped around a tree.
Also monitored is your blink rate, even your eye movement and the angle of your mouth and face to measure drowsiness. If the system judges you are not safe to drive, it’ll alert you with an audio prompt. If you’re deemed to be drowsy, it’ll cue the Smart Brake Support (SBS) system to shorten the time required for the brake warning to sound, hopefully avoiding you having an impact.
Front Cross Traffic Alert
Available with the new Mazda 3, the car can now see sideways, where you can’t, thanks to front side radards, enabling you to safely pull out of a park, even if your vision is obscured. We’ve all probably been in this situation, so it’s a nice inclusion.
The Mazda 3 will come in 3 Skyactiv-G variants for those who prefer petrol, a 1.5L, 2.0L and a 2.5L for the performance minded. There’s also a Skyactiv-D 1.8 diesel engine that leverages new injectors to provide better fuel economy, a smoother ride and performance.
A 5th, Skyactiv-X engine is the first production car to be assisted by Mazda’s new M hybrid system. This offers superior initial response (presumably from an F1-style battery system, also delivering great torque. There’s really no detail at this stage on the battery specs and abilities, so we’ll have to wait and see on that one.
In terms of drive train, the Mazda 3 will be available with i-Activ AWD, adding the “four-wheel vertical load” detection and works in harmony with G-Vectoring Control PLus to control torque distribution between front and rear wheels.
The Mazda 3 is available in both sedan and hatchback body types that can transport 5 people. The 5 engine variants are supported by a 6-speed manual or auto transmission.
While I, like many will wish Mazda offered the 3 in a fully electric variant, the addition of a hybrid offering opens the door to that in the future.
Design wise, the car looks great in both sedan and hatchback variants. The slick, aerodynamically appealing design won’t suit those looking for a hard cut, futuristic design, but this car is designed to appeal to the masses because, well Mazda want to keep selling boat loads of them.
There’s enough new technology both in the design and safety, as well as a brand new entertainment system, so that should keep most of us technology-forward car buyers happy.
There’s no official date, but what we do know is that an Australian release date for the new Mazda 3 is slated for mid-2019.
If you missed the launch event, it’s now available on Mazda USA’s YouTube channel.