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More sophisticated Mazda3 sedan and 5-door hatchback
Tempting Europe this spring with new features and engines

Mazda3: front view, static shot.

Mazda3: rear view, static shot.

New 5-door Mazda3: +45mm or +55mm for the Sports.

APN

28 March 2009.

 Exterior

 Interior

 Main dimensions

 Engines

 Petrol versions

 Diesel versions
 i-Stop
 Equipment
 Chassis

 Active safety

 Passive safety

 2.0 DISI specs

 Mazda3 US specs

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.

Mazda3: static photo, front-side view.

Mazda3: driving shot from side-rear.

New Mazda3 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 strong arguments.

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.

Mazda3: front and rear seats view with fascia and centre console. Side view.

New 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 hatchback.

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 material.

  Engines

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).

New EPA Smartway designation
For the Mazda3 in the United States

The all-new 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 performance.

Each 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 pollution).

The SmartWay 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 model.

In the US specifications, the MZR 2.0-litre engine is rated in the Mazda3 at 148 hp (150PS 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 cylinder.

The higher 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 new automatic.

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: 149 g/km).

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: 175 g/km).

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.

  Chassis

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.

 Suspension

At the front, the suspension keeps the MacPherson strut design, with a new stabilizer mounting span which is increased by 20 mm to reduce roll.

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 U.S. presentation).

  EHPAS

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).

  Mass reduction

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).

Mazda3: new bumper framed by large openings at the corners (one side view)

New bumper framed by large openings at the corners.

  Exterior

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 lamps.

Mazda3: The sedan has rear lamps that include a chrome-look fascia around the reverse and turn signal lamps.

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.

  Interior

Mazda3: Silver-look at left and right of the dashboard and door handles.

Silver-look at 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).

Multi-information display

Mazda3: MID, multi-information display with navigation system.
Mazda3: MID, multi-information display with different readouts (door open warning).

The new Mazda3 multi-information display (MID) shows all essential information in one location.

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 matrix LCD.

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 lumbar support.

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 and... interactive!

The new Mazda3 got more creative with its interior lighting system (depending on grade).

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

Mazda3: console.

Standard 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.

Mazda3: Storage box with an AUX jack and additional power supply.

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 multi-information display’s 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.

Mazda3 sedan (saloon): open boot. luggage inside.

Mazda3 5-door body version: open boot with luggage inside.

Both 5-door 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.

  Active safety

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 the vehicle.

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 lane change.

  Passive safety

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.

Mazda3: new i-stop system to join later with the direct injected 2.0 litre petrol engine.

Mazda3 i-Stop system

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.

As 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.

However, 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 motor).

Mazda says that its system restarts (0.35 second) about twice as fast as other systems. More details>>>.

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 passenger’s chest.

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.

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