Taking on Golf: Next Mazda3

2013-06-27 12:12

The new Mazda3, the third-generation of its best-selling car, sports a new design, engines and loads of tech. The Japanese automaker has only revealed the model in hatchback guise but promises that a four-door sedan is on the way.

The new hatchback benefits from the automaker’s Kodo design language already seen on the Mazda6 and CX-5.

Wheels24 is still waiting on confirmation from Ford South Africa as to whether the new model will arrive on our shores. Ford South Africa media communications manager Rella Bernades said: “Unfortunately we do not have dates when the new Mazda3 will arrive in South Africa.”


The hatchback borrows elements from the Mazda6 sedan and adds a more assertive grille, sleek LEDs and a curvaceous rear.

The model is slightly wider than the previous generation, with a width of 1.7m (increased by10mm) and sits 20mm lower at 1.4m. The length stays roughly unchanged at 4.4m and it wheelbase has increased by 60 mm to 2.7m.

Mazda has increased structural rigidity by 30% and reduced the mode’s weight by 90kg.

Mazda Europe CEO Jeff Guyton said: “Everything about the all-new Mazda3 is exciting, from the way it looks and feels to its dynamic performance, nimble responsiveness, reliability and operating costs.

“We already have big expectations for this model’s success in terms of sales, but I suspect it may even surprise us.”


The full global engine line-up includes three new Skyactiv-G normally aspirated petrol units and a Skyactiv-D turbodiesel. The European engine line-up includes an entry-level petrol is a 98kW/150Nm 1.5, followed by a 118kW/210Nm 2.0 and a 162kW/210Nm 2.0. There’s also a 147kW/380Nm 2.2 diesel.

Japanese customers will have the option of a hybrid model, which the automaker has yet to unveil. The engine can be mated to either six-speed manual or auto.


Like its design, a similar inheritance takes place inside the new model courtesy of Mazda's Skyactiv components and its latest driver aids.

The interior sports Mazda’s new “human-machine” interface' system, based on the heads-up concept. A 17cm touch screen sits atop the centre console, along with a new head-up display that flips up from behind the instrumentation. Boot space is rated at 350 liters (an increase of 10 liters).

The Mazda3 has blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, forward obstruction warning, cruise control and smart city brake support (SCBS). The smart brake support automatically applies the brakes if a gap with a vehicle in front narrows and the SCBS augments braking force at city-driving speeds.

  • Quinton Trout - 2013-06-27 12:44

    Seriously?? So nevermind the others like Megane,Focus and RunX et al, they just want to be like or better than the Golf? The Golf must be bloody good then.

      Chrono Man - 2013-06-27 13:35

      According to JD Power Golf scores 3/5 for Overall quality and 2/5 for Predicted reliability. Those who feel that these are good figures drive around in Golfs, the others drive the rest. Me, I can understand 3/5 and 2/5. It means I pay between R200K and R400K and get half the value in VW terms.

      Vickers Vermeulen - 2013-06-27 17:06

      According to the UK JD power results 2013, Golf (78.4%) beats the following direct competitors: Focus 76.8% Megane 76.7% Mazda 3 76.6% Astra 76% i30 75.8% 308 74.6% Giulietta 74.1% Full results can be viewed at http://www.whatcar.com/car-news/jd-power-survey-2013/full-results/265893

      Vince Hobs - 2013-06-29 08:36

      I also don't understand what is the fuss about a golf,drove one and ditched it because it lacks class and I bought my self a Honda Civic.am still driving it for the third year now and I bet its way better that a new golf.

      Rudolph Opperman - 2013-07-04 12:10

      For the small difference in result compared to the Focus and the price difference , I will stick to my Ford.

  • sikhumbuzok - 2013-06-27 14:51

    This is beautiful. Good to see some manufacturers still believe in NA. This bonnet is so long, what is in there since this car if FWD.

      Stig De - 2013-06-27 16:20

      Dude u need to have your eyes checked that thing is bland

      Thando Gqabaza - 2013-06-27 17:25

      I think it really is beautiful. The "Box on wheels" golf is bland

      Vince Hobs - 2013-06-29 08:39

      Really Thando,joking.I like your comment 1000 times because its nothing but the truth.

  • Hilton Carroll - 2013-06-27 17:56

    Big improvement, let's see if Ford market it correctly, with the right engines/specifications & with Auto option. Pricing against competition must be keen with a carry-over of current (good) warranty & service/maintenance plans.

  • Brutus Mcgreggor - 2013-06-27 18:26

    The diesel looks promising, hope they mate it with a good double clutch. This skyactive technology is anyway a bunch of hogwash, makes no difference in torque etc, just a media stunt

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