Mazda3: +45mm or +55mm for the Sports.
Following its presentation in the USA last November,
the all-new Mazda3 will be launched in Europe this spring in both 4-door
sedan (saloon) and 5-door hatchback body styles.
With global sales of over two million units of the
first generation since its launch in 2003, the compact Mazda3 is the top
model for the Japanese brand.
The five-door hatchback body version accounted for
about two thirds of the 480,000 units sold in Western Europe and Russia
combined, during the first generation's life cycle. In Western Europe
alone, the five-door hatchback represented 80 percent of sales. The
strongest sedan markets were Russia (64 percent of sedan sales), Spain,
Greece, Finland and Ireland.
sedan is 90mm longer than before (at 4,580mm).
However, facing a strong European and Asian competition
from other lower-medium, C-segment rivals such as the Renault Megane,
Peugeot 308, Citroën C4, Fiat Bravo, Ford Focus, Opel Astra, VW Golf,
Toyota Auris, Honda Civic, Hyundai i30, Kia Cee'd, Mitsubishi Lancer,
Subaru Impreza and others, the new-generation Mazda3 has to come with
Besides the progress on safety, technology, performance
and environmental grounds, the new Mazda3, which is assembled at the Hofu
Plant in Japan, brings its two clearly differentiated body styles, the
hatchback and sedan, with longer and wider dimensions.
Outside, the new Mazda3 sedan is 90mm longer than
before (at 4,580mm), the 5-door hatchback gets +45mm (at 4,460mm),
or 55mm (4,490mm) for the Sports high grade versions (more
dimensions). The wheelbase remains the same at 2,640mm.
interior with noise reduction between 6 and 11 percent.
Both body styles come also 5mm taller, at 1,470mm,
with a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.28 for the sedan and 0.30 for the
Inside, Mazda says that noise is reduced between
6 and 11% compared to the previous generation, thanks to aerodynamic work,
increased body rigidity and optimal positioning of vibration dampening
Engine choices include two
diesels in three power versions, and two
petrol (gasoline) ones. A new i-stop
system will be available later this year with a direct-injection
2.0-litre petrol engine, the MZR DISI 2.0-litre (DISI, for Direct
Injection Spark Ignition).
For the Mazda3 in the United States
2010 Mazda3 earned the SmartWay designation from the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last Tuesday,
certifying it as one of the best environmental
performers among light duty vehicles.
EPA developed the SmartWay light duty program to
compare vehicles according to their environmental
vehicle receives two environmental scores, on a
scale of 1 to 10: A Greenhouse
Gas Score (reflects carbon dioxide (CO2)
and other greenhouse gas emissions) and an Air
Pollution Score (reflects vehicle tailpipe
emissions that contribute to local and regional air
certification mark is achieved if a vehicle
receives a minimum of a 6 on both the Greenhouse Gas
Score and the Air Pollution Score, on the condition
that the combined score reaches 13 or higher.
In the US, the Mazda3i with the MZR 2.0-litre engine
and a manual transmission achieves 25 mpg (9.4
litres/100 km, 10.6 km/litre, 30 UK mpg) in the city
and 33 mpg (7.13 litres/100 km, 14 km/litre, 39.6 UK
mpg) on the highway, which is 10 percent better than
the comparable highway figure for the outgoing
In the US
MZR 2.0-litre engine is rated in the Mazda3 at 148
in Europe) and 135
lb-ft of torque (183 Nm). It features a compact and
light aluminium block and head with two chain-driven
overhead camshafts operating four valves per
Mazda3 engine in the USA moves from 2.3 to
2.5-litres of displacement, now with 167 hp and 168
lb-ft (228 Nm) of torque. Even with the increase in
power and displacement, fuel efficiency ratings show
no loss over the previous 2.3-litre models, with EPA
figures of: 21 city (11.2 litres/100 km, 8.9
km/litre, 25.2 UK mpg) and 29 highway (8.1
litres/100 km, 12.3 km/litre, 34.8 UK mpg) with a
manual transmission, 22 city (10.7 litres/100 km,
9.3 km/litre, 26.4 UK mpg) and 29 highway (8.1
litres/100 km, 12.3 km/litre, 34.8 UK mpg) with the
The first five engine choices are (more details can be
found in the specifications pages for all diesel
and petrol versions):
- MZ-CD 1.6-litre turbo diesel with
diesel particulate filter (DPF), generating 80 kW/109 PS at 4,000
rpm and 240 Nm of maximum torque at 1,750 rpm, with a combined fuel
consumption of 4.5 l/100 km (0.3 litres less than the previous generation)
and emitting 119g CO2 per km. The DOHC (double-overhead
camshaft), 16-valve common-rail, direct-injected engine has its turbo
intercooler now mounted by the bumper, to optimise balance between the air
conditioning efficiency and driving performance. A fan for the intercooler
was also added to provide efficient operation at low speeds.
- MZR-CD 2.2-litre turbo diesel (recently
launched in the new Mazda6) with Mazda's diesel particulate filter
technology (DPF), in two power versions, the 110 kW/150 PS at 3,500
rpm and 360 Nm of maximum torque at 1,800-2,600 rpm, with a
combined fuel consumption of 5.4 l/100 km (CO2: 144 g/km), or 136
kW/185 PS at 3,500 rpm and 400 Nm of maximum torque at
1,800-3,000 rpm, with a combined fuel consumption of 5.6 l/100 km (CO2:
The standard power version uses a smaller turbo charger
than the high powered one, with higher gear ratios. The high power
derivative comes only in the Mazda3 Sport grade. Its turbo charger
(variable-geometry type to intervene gradually from lower revs, rather
than suddenly at higher levels) is the same size as on the Mazda6, but it
uses a lower gear ratio to better match the compact size and reduced
weight of the Mazda3.
The new common-rail direct injection system gets four
additional holes per injector (10 instead of the previous MZR-CD 2.0-litre’s
6) to further optimise combustion. The DOHC valve system is chain-driven
for maintenance-free operation.
- MZR 1.6-litre, petrol: 77 kW/105 PS
at 6,000 rpm and maximum torque of 145 Nm at 4,000 rpm, with a
combined fuel consumption of 6.3 l/100 km, which comes at 0.6 litres less
than the previous generation (CO2: 149 g/km). This engine
version represented about two thirds of all Mazda3 sales in Europe.
The inline-4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve engine comes with a
five-speed transmission and an EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) system that
reduces pumping losses. It also has a new variable intake system, an
electric throttle and sequential-valve timing (S-VT).
- MZR 2.0-litre, petrol: 110 kW/150 PS
at 6,500 rpm and maximum torque of 187 Nm at 4,000 rpm. It comes
with a new 5-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift mode (6-speed
manual in some markets, like Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, as well as Morocco
and Libya). It has a combined fuel consumption of 7.6 l/100 km (CO2:
This engine is equipped with a new catalyst that uses single
nanotechnology (more in the opposite green box), as well as sequential
valve timing (S-VT) which optimises intake valve operation according to
actual running conditions. Combined with this engine’s variable
induction system (VIS), S-VT helps the engine produce powerful torque
throughout its operating range.
Mazda fitted at the front end what it calls a new
"front air pickup air induction system" (FAPAIS) to limit the
temperature of the engine air intake and thus prevent a performance
drop-off at high temperatures.
On the chassis side, larger dimensions and additional
equipment did not prevent the all-new Mazda3 from getting rid of up to 15
kg compared to - corresponding versions of - the previous generation.
Mazda attributes the most significant benefits to the
major evolution of the C-platform, especially in the increased balance
between sports handling and travel comfort.
These structural changes include 17% increase in use of
high and ultra-high strength steels, with double-digit increases in
flexural and torsional criteria for improved handling and safety.
The other major changes behind the new dynamics and
comfort include the enhanced suspension, with the electro-hydraulic power
assisted steering, which comes standard on all versions.
At the front, the suspension keeps the MacPherson strut
design, with a new stabilizer mounting span which is increased by 20 mm to
The multilink rear suspension has a centre member with
a new shape for better lateral strength and road holding. Like the front
suspension, the mounting span of the rear stabilizers are larger, which
improves roll control, and the monotube dampers of the outgoing model are
carried over for their tracking efficiency (suspension graphics are
published with the Mazda3
All versions of the all-new Mazda3 are outfitted with
an updated electro-hydraulic power assist steering (EHPAS). Mazda
increased the number of steering gear mount bushes from two to three to
enhance the balance between rigidity feel and low vibration. The steering
gear bushes have a softer setting in the straight-ahead position, and a
larger gear cylinder diameter to improve the power assist function when
needed (especially in low-speed manoeuvres).
On the mass reduction side, the body shell is made of
larger amounts of high tensile and ultra-high-tensile steels that are
light with superior crash resistance, in addition to lowering the weight
of many components.
Consequently, the European version of the new Mazda3 is
up to 15 kg lighter than its predecessor. In terms of contribution to the
weight reduction, Mazda cites the higher percentage of high-tensile steel
(- 11 kg), the change to twin-beam construction for instrument panel (-
2.0 kg), the optimisation of rear suspension shape and elimination of
centre stiffener (- 0.7 kg) and the weight reduction of some components
and systems (- 1.3 kg).
New bumper framed
by large openings at the corners.
On the front, the new Mazda3 gets a new integrated
front bumper design with a single grille (the previous generation had
separate upper and lower grille openings), framed by large openings at the
corners for a more a sporty expression.
The hatchback silhouette adds to the pronounced side
sills, a rising belt line, newly-designed C-pillar, flat roof line and
rear roof spoiler, while the sedan shows a smoother silhouette with a high
rear deck, a spoiler at the top of the boot opening and a rounder roofline
that accentuates coupe-like dimensions.
The rear end is inherited from the outgoing model, but
is now even lower. The deep edge of the side-panel belt line rises over
the rear wheels and the rear lamps, then falls into the thick rear bumper.
This is combined with the new C-pillar design and large combination rear
Sedan rear lamps
with a chrome-look fascia.
The standard headlamp design is now longer and more
three dimensional, emphasizing the cylindrical lamps inside the outer
frames. High grade sport models include Bi-xenon headlamps mounted to the
outside of the lamp assembly.
The rear combination lamps of the base five-door model
has a red inner lens, while high grade models have a clear lens for the
LED (light-emitting diodes) lamp. The sedan has rear lamps that include a
chrome-look fascia around the reverse and turn signal lamps for a more
three-dimensional look. High grade sedans have a pair of LEDs placed
side-by-side, with chrome reflectors.
Five of the nine available colours for the European
markets are new.
left and right of the dashboard and door handles.
The interior gets enhanced materials with interactive
lighting. Seen from the side, the dashboard sweeps out from the base of
the inner windshield and then down to form a concave shape. The floor
console between the seats rises up to the centre panel forming what Mazda
calls a “sweeping S” design.
The dashboard adopts a single hood design that begins
on the far right edge of the centre console, and sweeps in a wide arch up
and over to the outer side of the driver cluster (see opposite photo).
Silver-look accents are used at the bottom left and right of the
dashboard, at the lower end of the dashboard on the driver’s side, and
on the door handles (depending on grade).
The new Mazda3 multi-information
display (MID) shows all essential information in one
It is available with a 4.1 inch
thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT–LCD,
top photo) including navigation, or a 3.5 inch dot
Functions include a new MID
switch on the right of the steering wheel to select
information without taking hands off the wheel, a
trip computer readout for current fuel consumption
rate, average fuel consumption rate, remaining fuel
autonomy and average vehicle speed, in addition to
audio system info and other settings and maintenance
reminders like volume settings for warnings,
switching between km and miles, on/off settings for
displaying regular service inspections, tyre
rotation and other data.
Fewer seams and dividing lines at the top of instrument
panel, centre console and door trim also contribute to a higher quality
feel. The glove box now uses locks on both sides to keep its surface flush
and smooth. With the fully surrounding door seals, the doors have also a
high quality look when open.
A new top-mounted display is positioned to the right of
the steering wheel. Under its single hood, a new multi-information display
(MID, see opposite box) can be operated by a switch from the steering
wheel. Audio functions are operated by using the control panel buttons on
the left side of the steering wheel, while other vehicle systems are
controlled by new multi-functional dials on the centre panel.
The gear shift knob is brought closer to the driver to
allow him /her to shift without lifting the arm from the armrest, and when
moving the right hand (the left hand in RHD models) to the steering wheel,
the distance is now shorter, because the gear shift lever is 60 mm higher
and slanted towards the driver. The pedals also were redesigned to make
driving smoother and easier.
The standard seats come with a larger contact area for
the lower back, with seat cushion sides that are 20 mm larger, for better
leg comfort and hold. The new seat backs are extended by 35 mm and include
The power adjustable driver’s seat has memory
function (sports grade with leather) and can store three driver settings
on the seat itself, and two on the transmitters of the optional keyless
entry and start system.
|Lighting gets active
The new Mazda3 got more creative
with its interior lighting system (depending on
Once the car is unlocked, an Illuminated
Entry system activates, with a cockpit
spotlight, room lamp and foot lamps fading in to
illuminate the interior and make entry easy.
As soon as the door is opened, a Welcome
Lighting system fades in handle grip lighting to
welcome driver and passengers.
The moment the driver is seated,
the centre display, audio and air- conditioning
systems illuminate one after another. An Action
Illumination system emits a special, intuitive
light reaction at the touch of controls. For the air
conditioning system for instance, the temperature
setting has lighting that shines red when raising
the temperature and blue when lowering it.
Beneath the armrest (sliding on high grades) between
the front seats, a storage box with 4.9 litres capacity contains an AUX
jack and additional power supply. Between this and the gear shift lever is
a double cupholder and a storage box with lid (for a cell phone, MP3
player etc.). The new, double-lock glove box holds up to 9.7 litres.
Cupholders are integrated in each door pocket, front and back, in addition
to two other ones in the pop-down rear seat armrest.
An new design of the A-pillars give a wider field of
vision for the driver to the front and sides. The new head restraints are
lower and less obstructive when looking rearward, and the rear liftgate
window (hatchback) is wider with more downward visibility.
Behind the back seats, the sedan offers 430
litres of volume (17 litres more than the predecessor model), with 340
litres for the hatchback (40 litres less for hatchbacks with the Bose
system). The back seats can be folded down 60/40 to provide a load area
for large items. Other tools and items can be hidden a sub-trunk beneath
the boot floor.
equipment includes a CD player with MP3 capability.
In Europe, the new Mazda3 will be available in four
grades: Base, Touring, Touring+ and Sport (names may vary in some market).
Standard equipment includes from the entry level
(Base), emergency stop signal (ESS), DSC and
traction control, front, side and curtain
airbags, active front head restraints, electric side mirrors, tilt +
telescope steering wheel adjustment, CD player with MP3 capability and AUX
jack for hooking up MP3.
Depending on grade and market, other standard or
optional features include Bluetooth technology for hands-free
telephoning and wireless MP3 music on the car’s audio system, bi-xenon
pivoting adaptive front lighting system that illuminates the curve
when turning, a dual-zone air- conditioning system for front
passengers, Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry and Push Button Start
System, with a transmitter key that unlocks and enables starting the car
with an ignition button, parking sensors, auto-dimming mirror, heated
windshield, a rain and light sensor system, rear
vehicle monitoring (RVM), tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) and
parking sensor system.
Storage box with
AUX jack and an additional power supply.
To enhance both efficiency and quietness of the
standard air conditioning and heating system, the heat exchanger is 20
percent bigger, the compressor capacity is raised from 120 cc to 180 cc,
and airflow is increased to 500 m3/h.
The new Mazda3 is also available with the new heating,
ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) used on the new midsize
(upper medium, D-segment) Mazda6 (depending on market and grade), with
independent temperature controls for the driver and front passenger.
Front seat heating has been optimised for the new model
too, with increased heating power, faster warm up and using a new
five-step-type adjustment for finding the right temperature.
A new compact navigation system developed
especially for the new Mazda3 (optional or standard, depending on grade
and market), uses a high-resolution 11 cm (4.1 inch) screen mounted in the
upper section, where it can be easily seen and operated using the control
switch on the steering wheel. The system’s navigational information
comes from compact SD cards.
hatchback and sedan have a 60/40 split rear seat.
Designed also for the new model, a special Bose
Surround Sound System is available with 360° surround sound, Bose digital
amplifier and AudioPilot 2 noise compensation technology to compensate for
the effects of unwanted outside sound and vehicle speed.
Starting from the active safety to avoid accidents,
when possible, the new Mazda3 comes with standard (all grades) ABS, EBD
(electronic brake-force distribution), brake assist (BA), traction control
system (TCS) and dynamic stability control (DSC).
Additionally, an emergency stop signal (ESS) is
introduced to warn following vehicles with rapidly flashing hazard lights
when the Mazda3 driver suddenly brakes in an emergency situation. Once the
car stops, the system continues to flash in normal frequency, which can
help prevent the following vehicle from hitting the back of the car.
|New top safety ratings
For the new Mazda3 in the USA
The American Insurance Institute
for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests gave last Tuesday
the all-new 2010 Mazda3 the highest possible rating
(Good) for frontal crash performance.
The IIHS frontal crashworthiness
evaluations are based on results of 40 mph (64 km/h)
frontal offset crash tests.
Each vehicle's overall evaluation
is based on measurements of intrusion into the
occupant compartment, injury measures recorded on a
Hybrid III dummy in the driver seat and analysis of
slow-motion film to assess how well the restraint
system controlled dummy movement during the test.
To minimize the likelihood of
injury when a collision cannot be avoided, the
Mazda3 uses a Triple-H unibody design, which
consists of H-shaped reinforcements in the floor,
roof, and sides of the body structure to resist
intrusion and support crush zones at both ends of
Six airbags and active head
restraints are also standard Mazda3 equipment.
Side-curtain air bags, which help protect all
outboard occupants, have a new fast-inflating design
with 40-percent larger coverage area.
Depending on grades, the new Mazda3 is or can be
equipped (standard or optional equipment) with a new adaptive front
lighting system, including Bi-xenon headlamps that pivot 15º
automatically left or right to illuminate corners or curves at night.
Another available safety equipment, the rear vehicle
monitoring system (RVM), detects a vehicle approaching from the right or
left rear, to notify the Mazda3 driver before making a risky overtaking or
The new Mazda3 body structure has a triple-H
architecture, with strong H-shaped reinforcements in the floor, side
frames and roof (see opposite box). High strength steels were used
throughout the body for crash resistance. It has a front end structure
that dissipates impact energy from the front through the entire vehicle,
with a cross-car beam between the hinge pillars to help dissipate energy
before reaching the cabin.
A crushable zone at the front forces the engine,
transmission and suspension crossmember mounts to separate from the body
structure in case of a major frontal impact.
The door impact beams are newly located with
reinforcements added to their front sections. The area with energy
absorbing material used on the inside of the door and door trim are
enlarged as well, and a door trim armrest with a crushable design is
introduced to help reduce the risk of injury.
Mazda presented in
Geneva earlier this month the i-stop
(idle-stop & go) technology with a 2.0-litre
direct-injection petrol engine (MZR
DISI, for Direct Injection Spark Ignition).
This system is expected in a Mazda3 version to be
available later this year.
with other stop-start systems, the engine
automatically shuts down at red traffic light or in
traffic jams. When the clutch pedal is pushed again,
the engine starts immediately.
while other systems rely on electric motors to
restart the car once traffic resumes, the Mazda3
i-stop system restarts the engine by injecting
fuel directly into a single cylinder and igniting it
to force the piston down and set the crankshaft in
motion. It uses a combination of direct-injection
technology, valve opening, piston and crankshaft
placement (with a quick help from the starter
says that its system restarts (0.35 second) about
twice as fast as other systems. More
At the back, the rear side frames are made of tailored
blanks with high-tensile steel and have a thicker and straighter crossbeam.
the structure is designed to dissipate collision energy away from where the
fuel tank is positioned.
Inside, the standard safety package includes active
front head restraints to protect the neck against whiplash, in addition
to front, side and curtain airbags. Mazda says that the
newly-developed curtain airbags are mounted to the top of the B-pillars and
reduce inflation time by 4/1000th of a second, provide a large protection
area and efficient energy absorption.
Also standard are all-new seatbelts with double
pretensioners and digressive load-limiter retractors (LLR), which
are better at restricting body movement and at helping reduce shock to the
A crushable brake pedal, crushable pads below the heel
area, a new shape for the steering wheel adjustment lever and an
energy-absorbing steering column help prevent injury to the driver’s lower
legs and chest. Additionally, soft, energy-absorbing ribs are installed at
each corner of the cabin.
For pedestrian safety, the new Mazda3 bonnet is made with
an energy-absorbing structure at the cowl and fender bracket areas, to help
reduce injury. Energy-absorbing foam is used in the bumper beams and
energy-absorbing plastic in the bumper’s lower section, to reduce injury
severity to the legs here as well.