The 2019 Mazda3 made its global debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, followed by its regional debut in early 2019 at the Singapore Motorshow. The all new, fourth-generation vehicle features a revolutionary redesign, a larger infotainment screen, high-compression engine designed to save fuel, an available infrared driver-monitoring system, and the list goes on. If you weren’t interested before, then the new model is sure to catch your attention with the technology and the amount of features that it ushers in.
The new Mazda will introduce the first ever spark-control petrol compression-ignition engine – the technology which Mazda labeled SKYACTIV-X. The technology is designed to provide the company with the means necessary to meet the global emission requirements which are ever increasing. The engine is designed to offer high levels of drivability and refinement coupled with diesel-style fuel consumption, which in turn helps reduces emissions. The vehicle will feature SKYACTIV-X coupled with a mild-hybrid system which features an integrated starter generator which is belt-driven, and a 24-volt lithium-ion battery pack. Additionally, there is the possibility that Mazda will combine the hybrid system with conventional diesel and petrol powertrains at some point in the future.
Size and Style
The new model also introduces Mazda’s second-generation SKYACTIV chassis concept and packed with it a 25mm stretch in the wheelbase, which is a slight increase in height and an increase in width. The additional 25mm sits between the rear axle line and the rear seat. The couple distance between the rear and front seats remain unchanged though, despite the extra wheelbase. The main factor that comes into play in the stretch is providing room to pack in a battery bank for the mid-hybrid model which will lead, in some markets, the 3 range. For the new sedan and hatch, the battery will be sandwiched in the floor.
When it comes to the difference in style between the sedan and the hatch, only the windscreen and the bonnet are shared. The sedan is longer than the 5-door by 80mm and it resembles in many aspects Mazda6. Mazda also promises that the 3 hatch will feature equal or superior luggage space compared to the existing model – which in turn means that the sedan’s trunk will be even larger.
One key aspect that the 2019 Mazda3 set out to improve is noise and refinement. One key part which comes into play as far as the solution for that is the new platform of the vehicle, but there have also been changes made to the rear suspension design. The versions of the vehicle which feature front-wheel drive will ditch the independent rear suspension, the simpler torsion beam design contributing significantly to the improved refinement.
The new Mazda also introduces new Skyactiv Vehicle Architecture, which is an umbrella term for a few structures, including the seats which maintain the natural curve of the spine, as well as a ring-structure bodyshell designed to reduce transmission lag, increase rigidity, and improve vibration, harshness levels and noise.
Performance and Fuel Economy
While Mazda has not yet released efficiency or power figures for the 2.0 liter SKYACTIV-X engine, the company noted that a 20% reduction in fuel consumption was possible in average real-world driving scenarios, and a 30% reduction during low-speed driving. The engine also promises powerful torque, superior initial response, free-revving performance, and faithful linear response.
The SPCCI engine is capable of producing 181bhp and 164 pound-feet of torque. It was also confirmed that the powertrain will be scalable for petrol engines with more or less displacement. Assisting the engine is the 24-volt mild-hybrid system, in which the engine is assisted by an electric motor. The same applies for 2 traditional SKYACTIV-G engines within the line-up, which are 2.0 liter and 1.5 liter petrol units.
For the first time, the new Mazda will be available with all-wheel drive, the latest version of i-Activ AWD system working with the car’s torque vectoring in order to control distribution between rear and front wheels. This is designed to make the car respond better to the driver, according to the company.
When it comes to safety, the vehicle’s infrared driver-attention monitoring systems works with its automatic emergency braking system in order to alert you in case of a dangerous situation. The company noted that automatic emergency braking will be a standard feature, and that Mazda3 will provide forward cross-traffic alerts in order to help out in intersections where there is low visibility. The airbag count goes up to 7, with the addition of knee airbag for the driver. The vehicle’s available adaptive cruise control system can automatically handle steering inputs in specific high-traffic situation.
New Skyactiv Vehicle Architecture
Better fuel economy
Automatic Emergency Braking system for standard trims
Redesigned, intuitive infotainment system