Car Reviews

10 Things You Need To Know About the new Mazda MAZDA3 with SkyActiv

The new Mazda MAZDA3 is part of Mazda’s push into the next generation of compact car technology thanks to the inclusion of SkyActiv technology. SkyActiv is a new approach to small engine design that provides exceptional fuel mileage without sacrificing power or drivability. On top of its impressive drivetrain specs, there are a lot of other things to like about the new Mazda Mazda3, which joins the ranks of efficient automobiles that are also a blast to drive.

Let’s take a look at 10 things you need to know about the new Mazda MAZDA3 with SkyActiv.

01. SkyActiv Engine Technology

What makes the SkyActiv power plant found in the new Mazda MAZDA3 so different from the traditional four-cylinder engines that Mazda has offered in the past? The SkyActiv-G (for gasoline) design is lighter than a standard motor of the same size, and it also offers a unique direct-injection system that makes use of multi-hole fuel injectors to provide the most efficient fuel spray possible. Dual sequential valve timing (S-VT) combines with a high 12.0:1 compression ratio to keep power levels up, and a unique piston shape that includes a special cavity helps to manage engine heat.

02. Four-Cylinder

The new Mazda MAZDA3‘s SkyActiv-G engine displaces 2.0-liters and offers up a very healthy 155 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. Mazda claims that the engine will deliver real-world fuel mileage of 28 mpg in city driving and 40 mpg on the highway.

With a wide powerband designed to smooth out around-town driving, the SkyActiv-G engine feels more capable than any other naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine ever offered in a Mazda compact.

03. Two Additional Engine Options

It’s still possible to order the new Mazda MAZDA3 in entry-level form, which installs a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine under the hood that is capable of generating 148 horsepower and 135 lb-ft of torque.

Higher trim levels open up the availability of a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder option that offers 167 horses and 168 lb-ft of torque. The larger engine has a slight edge in terms of acceleration but its increased size knocks its efficiency figures down to 22 mpg around town and 29 mpg on the highway. Transmission choices for the two power plants include a five-speed automatic and a five-speed manual, with the 2.5-liter unit offering an additional forward gear with its manual unit

04. The new Mazda MAZDA3 with SkyActiv Provides A Range of Transmission Choices

The new Mazda MAZDA3 is available with a pair of transmission options when ordered with the SkyActiv engine package. The first is a new six-speed automatic unit that has been specially developed for use with the ground-breaking motor, and it includes a torque converter that has had its lockup characteristics tuned to squeeze as many additional miles per gallon as possible out of the already thrifty engine. A six-speed manual transmission can also be specified with the MAZDA3 SkyActiv engine, and although not quite as efficient as the automatic, the three-pedal gearbox has been engineered to be lighter than the 2.5-liter engine’s own six-speed. The transmission also features a short-throw shifter that improves the accuracy and speed of gear changes.

05. The new Mazda MAZDA3 Comes In Sedan and Hatchback Body Styles

The new Mazda MAZDA3 is available in two distinct body styles. The most affordable version of the car is the four-door sedan, a model which can be had with the full range of drivetrain choices listed above. Those who are looking for a little extra practicality out of their compact car – as well as a sportier look – can opt for the Mazda MAZDA3 5-Door.

The Mazda MAZDA3 5-Door offers a larger trunk than the sedan (17 cubic feet versus 11.8 with the rear seats locked in position), and with those same seats folded forward the hatchback can swallow a much more impressive 42.8 cubic feet of gear.

06. The new Mazda MAZDA3 Comes In i and s Trims

Mazda has divided the new Mazda MAZDA3‘s trim levels across two distinct lines. The i trim, which is further separated out across SV, Sport and Touring models, is meant to denote the more affordable versions of the compact car, with features such as power door locks and windows and an MP3-capable CD player coming standard.

Moving up through the i trim levels can see the addition of items such as air conditioning, an upgraded stereo system and keyless entry. The MAZDA3 s trim (which includes Touring and Grand Touring models) is more luxury oriented, with leather seats, ambient interior lighting, a navigation system and dual automatic climate control found on its list of available equipment.

07. The new Mazda MAZDA3 Offers An Updated Exterior

The new Mazda MAZDA3 makes several subtle, but notable styling changes to its exterior sheet metal aimed at pleasing those buyers who may have been leery of the previous model year’s more extroverted looks. The MAZDA3’s front fascia has seen its “smile” toned down, giving it a more refined yet still individual look that is not quite as ornate as it was for 2011. Rounder fog lights also help to frame the new front end, and taking a look at the profile of the sedan or hatchback model reveals several new available rim styles. The Mazda MAZDA3 with SkyActiv stands apart from other versions of the car thanks to the inclusion of a SKYACTIV badge, unique blue “halos” ringing the front headlights and a blue engine cover.

08. The new Mazda MAZDA3 Provides Top Notch Compact Handling

The Mazda MAZDA3 has always had a reputation as one of the most fun-to-drive affordable compact cars on the market, due in large part to Mazda’s commitment to inject sports car DNA into each and every one of its vehicles.

The new Mazda MAZDA3 features a chassis that has been stiffened in order to improve its cornering ability, with reinforced crossmembers and new braces holding things together more effectively underneath the body work. The vehicle’s shock absorbers have also been adjusted to provide additional communication between those piloting the MAZDA3 and the road, and an electro-hydraulic power steering system improves the precision of drive inputs.

09. The new Mazda MAZDA3 Is Safe and Secure

The new Mazda MAZDA3 sedan and hatchback models feature the same high level of safety technology that helped to make previous versions of the car IIHS Top Safety Picks. The MAZDA3 comes with side-impact airbags mounted on each of the front seats, which complement two forward airbags designed to minimize injuries in the event of a serious accident. Side curtain airbags also stretch from the front to the rear of the MAZDA3’s passenger compartment. On the preventative side, the Mazda also features active safety systems such as standard electronic stability control, traction control and an optional blind sport monitoring system.

10. The new Mazda MAZDA3 Will Offer A High Performance MAZDASPEED3 Model

In addition to the improvements of the SkyActiv technologies, the new Mazda MAZDA3 will continue to offer the fire-breathing MAZDASPEED3 hatchback. This impressive compact rocket packs a 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes use of a turbocharger to churn out a hefty 263 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque.

A six-speed manual transmission is the only available transmission with the MAZDASPEED3, and the vehicle’s prodigious power output allows it to leap to 60 mph in a quick 6.3 seconds. A limited-slip front differential helps the hatchback put as much power down to the road as possible while radical aerodynamic additions to the car’s body work instantly identify it as a spicy compact option.

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