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The next-generation Mazda 3 is here, revealed as a five-door hatchback first – the car was launched in five countries at a go, with Melbourne hosting the global reveal ahead of launch events in New York, London, St Petersburg and Istanbul. The new car shares its handsome looks with larger sibling Mazda 6, and the sedan version that will probably come later will look even more like a mini Mazda 6.

The new Mazda 3 is on average about 60 kg lighter than its predecessor, despite being a larger car. Its wheelbase has grown 60 mm to 2,700 mm, and it’s now 4,465 mm long, 1,795 mm wide and 1,450 mm tall, which represents a growth of about 5 mm, 40 mm and 20 mm respectively.

It’s worth noting that the 2014 Mazda 3 now has a longer wheelbase than the Mk3 Ford Focus – other than the Mazda 2 and the BT-50 truck, there’s not much platform sharing with Ford going on any longer. The car rides on MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link suspension at the rear.

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Five engines have been announced at launch – a new 1.5 litre SkyActiv-G engine, two different tunes for the 2.0 litre SkyActiv-G engine, a 2.5 litre SkyActiv-G engine, and a single 2.2 litre SkyActiv-D diesel motor.

The new 1.5 litre SkyActiv-G slots in between the 1.3 litre and 2.0 litre versions and outputs 100 PS at 6,000 rpm and 150 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm with direct injection and a compression ratio of 14.0:1.

The lower powered version of the 2.0 litre SkyActiv-G engine produces 120 PS and 210 Nm of torque, curiously low power for a 2.0 litre engine. It’s obviously detuned for fuel economy and emissions purposes because the high power version of the engine with the i-ELOOP system produces 165 PS and 210 Nm. Both engines have direct injection and run a 14.0:1 compression ratio.

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The SkyActiv-D 2.2 litre engine produces 150 PS at 4,500 rpm and is the most torquey of the lot – 380 Nm at 1,800 rpm. All four engines can be had with a six-speed manual transmission. The low-power 2.0 as well as the 2.2 diesel can be had with a six-speed automatic. The final engine is the 2.5 litre SkyActiv-G, which is likely to be quite similiar to the one in the Mazda 6.

Mazda also announced that the Mazda 3 sedan will be coming and will also be available with a petrol electric hybrid powertrain – if it’s mated to a 2.0 litre and below engine capacity, perhaps we might see it introduced at a very good price in Malaysia?

What do you think of the new Mazda 3? Like what you see?


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