Fourth-generation Mazda 3 on sale now in UK; innovative compression ignition engine due later this year

The new fourth-generation Mazda 3 hatchback is now available to order in the UK, with on-the-road prices starting from £20,595 and first deliveries due in May.

The Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus rival, unveiled at the Los Angeles motor show, features the Japanese car maker's new design language seen on the Vision Coupé concept shown last year. 

The hatchback will initially be offered in the UK with a choice of five trim levels and two engines: a 120bhp 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G petrol featuring a 24V mild-hybrid system (starting from £20,595) and a 114bhp 1.8-litre Skyactiv-D (starting at £22,395) diesel. All cars will be available with a manual or automatic transmission.

The brand's innovative Skyactiv-X engine, a spark plug-controlled compression ignition petrol unit that promises dramatically improved efficiency over a standard petrol engine, will be added to the range later this year, along with the saloon model.

First drive: Mazda 3 Skyactiv-G 2019

The new Mazda 3 introduces the firm's new Skyactiv Vehicle Architecture, an umbrella term for a number of new structures including seats that maintain the natural curve of the spine and a ring-structure bodyshell that increases rigidity, reduces transmission lag and improves noise, vibration and harshness levels.

All of these features form part of Mazda Premium, a goal by the firm to position itself more in line with traditional premium car brands.

Our Verdict

Mazda 3
The SkyActiv platform used in the 3 features more high and ultra-high-strength steel, offering greater strength and less weight

Mazda's SkyActiv revolution hits the family hatchback class with a desirable blend of brisk performance and energetic handling

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The new Skyactiv-X engine is the most marked feature of the new 3, given that it has the potential to breathe new life into petrol power amid stricter emissions and efficiency targets.

Mazda is yet to release power or efficiency figures for the 2.0-litre Skyactiv-X engine, but it earlier this year told Autocar that a 30% reduction in fuel consumption was possible during low-speed driving. The company also claimed 20% was possible in average real-world driving scenarios. 

Alongside better efficiency, the engine also promises “superior initial response, powerful torque, faithful linear response and free-revving performance,” says Mazda. 

The SPCCI engine produces 181bhp and 164lb ft of torque. Powertrain boss Hirose-san also confirmed to Autocar that the powertrain is scalable for petrol engines with more or less displacement.

The engine is assisted by a new 24-volt mild-hybrid system, in which an electric motor assists the engine. This is also the case with the two traditional Skyactiv-G engines in the line-up, which are 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre petrol units. A 1.8-litre Skyactiv-D diesel completes the range.

The latest version of Mazda’s i-Activ AWD system, which is not yet confirmed for the UK, works with the car’s torque vectoring to control torque distribution between the front and rear wheels. This makes the car respond better to driver input than previously, according to Mazda.

Inside the new 3, Mazda said it has focused on ergonomics and ensuring a good driving position and visibility. 

The infotainment system, including an 8.8in screen, has been redesigned to be more intuitive to use, while speakers have been positioned, following research, to ensure excellent sound quality.

Safety systems include a driver monitoring system that uses an infrared camera and LED to observe the driver and sounds an alert if the system considers the situation is dangerous. 

Read more

First drive: Mazda 3 Skyactiv-G 2019

Mazda to launch EV and rotary hybrid in 2020

2018 Los Angeles motor show report

Mazda 6 2.5 GT Sport Nav+ 2018 UK review

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Comments
32

28 November 2018

Every other hatch looks a bit daggy in comparison.

28 November 2018

Beautiful designs, outside and in!!

28 November 2018

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28 November 2018
What a cracking looking hatch! No doubt some will bemoan about the rear seats being dark, or that visibility will be poor. Fine, buy a golf. Me, I'd much rather have this. Kinda reminds me of the mk1 Leon.

28 November 2018

 Best design in a long time from any Car makers ?, it looks sporty, purposeful, I just hope it does drive as well as it looks.

Peter Cavellini.

28 November 2018

 Best design in a long time from any Car makers ?, it looks sporty, purposeful, I just hope it does drive as well as it looks.

Peter Cavellini.

28 November 2018

The introduction of this compression ignition petrol hybrid sounds like a real breakthrough. That's if it achieves the promised real world fuel efficiency while delivering acceptable NOx emissions and refinement, which must have been challenging.

It proves that there can be life yet in ICE engines and that, in the short to medium term, developments such as this (and Toyota and Honda's Atkinson cycle engines) can deliver better CO2 reductions than a small number of EVs mainly purchased as additional vehicles can.

And yes, I think it looks pretty too! 

28 November 2018

Could that C pillar be any bigger and the rear view/side windows any smaller. Be interested in the size as it looks longer than the last model. But, I do like the fact they 've given alot of thought to the driving position and seats.

At the end of the day it'll sell about the same the previous version in Europe, which is nothing special.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

FMS

28 November 2018
xxxx wrote:

Could that C pillar be any bigger and the rear view/side windows any smaller. Be interested in the size as it looks longer than the last model. But, I do like the fact they 've given alot of thought to the driving position and seats.

At the end of the day it'll sell about the same the previous version in Europe, which is nothing special.

 

YES & YES. Now explain to the rest of us, exactly what your thoughts would be 1) if it is longer than the last model and 2) if it is shorter than the previous model...what difference does it actually make and why?. TwIT, the w is silent, as you should be.

29 November 2018
FMS wrote:

xxxx wrote:

Could that C pillar be any bigger and the rear view/side windows any smaller. Be interested in the size as it looks longer than the last model. But, I do like the fact they 've given alot of thought to the driving position and seats.

At the end of the day it'll sell about the same the previous version in Europe, which is nothing special.

 

YES & YES. Now explain to the rest of us, exactly what your thoughts would be 1) if it is longer than the last model and 2) if it is shorter than the previous model...what difference does it actually make and why?. TwIT, the w is silent, as you should be.

Actually bearing in mind blind spots are dangerous I'm hoping you get one.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

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