Mazda has confirmed its Mazda 3 SkyActiv-X will go on sale in the UK this October, with prices starting from £23,555. The car boasts a new petrol engine uses intense cylinder pressure to combust the fuel-air mixture at low rpm, like a diesel engine, with spark plugs take over at higher engine speeds.
The all-new supercharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder mild-hybrid powertrain produces 178bhp and 224Nm of torque, providing a 0–62mph time of 8.3 seconds and a top speed of 134mph. It’s available with either a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox, while higher-specced models can be had with four-wheel-drive.
Mazda claims the next-generation engine will offer petrol performance and responsiveness with diesel fuel economy and emissions. The front-wheel-drive manual variant provides a claimed 51.4mpg and emits 103g/km of CO2, providing comparable fuel economy and improved emissions figures over the equivalent Volkswagen Golf.
• Best hatchbacks on sale now
A further two engines are offered in the Mazda 3, with buyers given the choice of either a SkyActiv-G 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol or a SkyActiv-D 1.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel. The former unit is priced from £20,595 and produces 119bhp and 213Nm of torque, while the latter starts at £22,395, producing respective performance figures of 112bhp and 270Nm.
Five trim levels (SE-L, SE-L Lux, Sport Lux, GT Sport and GT Sport Tech) make up the range. All models come fitted as standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, LED tail lights, electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors, rear parking sensors, lane-keeping assist, a blind spot monitoring system and radar-guided cruise control.
Inside, the new Mazda 3 hatchback gets an 8.8-inch infotainment system with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, as well as Europe-wide sat-nav, a windscreen projecting head-up display and an eight-speaker stereo system.
SE-L Lux models are priced from £21,695, and add a reversing camera, keyless entry and heated front seats, while Sport Lux models, starting from £22,795, feature 18-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, chrome interior details and a frameless rear-view mirror.
GT Sport models, priced from £24,595, come with electrically adjustable leather seats, a heated steering wheel, a 12-speaker BOSE audio system and a CD player. The range-topping Mazda 3 GT Sport Tech costs £25,495 and up, providing a host of active safety equipment, including a 360-degree camera and a driver attention monitoring system with an interior camera.
Mazda’s designers have stuck closely to the looks of the Kai concept from last year’s Tokyo Auto Show. The new Mazda 3 has a fairly substantial front overhang, but the most noticeable element of its side profile is the thick C-pillar.
At 4,459mm long, the five-door hatch is half a centimetre shorter than the outgoing 3, but still considerably longer than a VW Golf. The Mazda’s wheelbase has grown, though, to 2,725mm, so it has over 100mm more than the VW between its two axles. This change is designed to improve cabin space, particularly for those occupying the rear seats.
The chassis continues to feature MacPherson struts at the front, but it gets simpler suspension at the rear, where a torsion beam replaces the existing model’s multi-link set-up.
Do you like the look of the new Mazda 3? Let us know your thoughts below…