• August 13, 2013

A First Look at the 2014 Mazda 3

m3The new and improved Mazda 3 is one of the most hotly anticipated cars of 2014. It comes on the heels of success for the Mazda brand. The Mazda CX-5 and Mazda 6 have both received numerous awards in 2013, so the new Mazda 3 will have a lot to live up to. Fortunately, a first look at this new model shows that it will be able to stand on its own with a full array of improved features and driving dynamics. With competitive fuel economy, luxurious styling, and good value for money, so far the Mazda 3 is earning top marks. But how will it stack up next to competitors like the Ford Focus and VW Golf? It helps to look more closely at the details.

Engine and Driving Experience

The new Mazda will have plenty of power at its disposal thanks to a 118 horsepower 2.0-litre petrol engine, which is larger than many of its rivals. Another option offered will be a 148 horsepower, 2.2-litre diesel engine, which is able to take the car from 0 to 62 seconds in only 8 seconds. The most basic model will provide a fuel economy of 55 mpg, and the diesel option’s CO2 emissions are reduced to 104g/km. When you take a look at motoring.com.au’s Mazda 3 reviews for prior models, the sporty handling of the car is always mentioned as a positive attribute. This should continue in the newer model, with the gearshift and steering apparatus inspired by Mazda’s sporty MX-5 model. The car will be light and responsive as a result. With solid suspension and a quick response time, the new Mazda 3 should be both economy-minded and fun to drive.

Interior and Exterior Styling

Attention has clearly been paid to upgrading the Mazda 3’s interior for 2014. Although the specs are not yet available, you can expect features like smartphone connectivity and elevated dash screen in the higher end models. This puts it on par with the connectivity and amenities offered by competitors. For example, Nissan Micra tests on motoring.com.au mention the well-integrated Bluetooth and audio components, and the Mazda 3 should be able to match or exceed these features. The interior in the sample models is plush with accents of black plastic and chrome for a luxurious feel.

In terms of safety features, the car will now offer automatic emergency braking to help bring it to a full stop when needed. The exterior has similarly been revamped, with a more aerodynamic and stylish appearance. Yet despite its sleek lines, the Mazda 3 will also offer a generous amount of headroom and leg room for the rear passengers. However, it does offer less cargo space than competitors like the Golf, despite its otherwise roomy interior.

The Verdict

With a larger engine and greater level of power than competitors like the Focus and Golf, the new Mazda 3 still manages to match their levels of fuel economy. Although the exact pricing isn’t yet available, it’s also expected to start at a slightly lower cost. This could make the new 2014 model another bestseller for Mazda, and a fast favourite among global consumers.

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