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THE Mazda3 2015

The New Mazda3: A Vitalizing Partner

From the first generation launched in 2003 through to the second generation, Mazda3, with its emotional design, assurance of driving fun, high level of craftsmanship, and exceptional environmental and safety performance, has continued to offer values that transcend the era and the expectations of customers. Mazda3 is well-received in over 120 countries, has sold more than 3.5 million units in approximately ten years, and grown to become Mazda’s most important model, accounting for over thirty percent of the company’s annual unit sales.



While fully inheriting and evolving its appeal as a “fun-to-drive sport compact” built up over the first and second generations, what we aimed to create with the new Mazda3 was an “energizing sports compact”. We repeatedly examined the automobile from the customer’s perspective, not just as a means of transportation, but as a reliable partner, bringing energy and vitality to the owner’s everyday life. The car would make a stunning impression at a glance and the moment the driver got onboard, while on a deeper level its appeal would grow during a long-term ownership experience. To achieve this, the development programme was guided by the following three key values. 


The first of these values was to realize a design that triggers a positive change of mood in the driver, encouraging their natural vitality. This required dynamic styling that immediately grabs the driver’s attention, as well as an interior space that instantly evokes a sporty impression the moment the owner gets into the driver’s seat, together with well-crafted details that lend a sense of sharpness to driving.


The second value was to offer an experience that makes everyday driving more enjoyable and the driver feel more active. Specifically, we pursued dynamic performance that substantially enhances high-speed stability and ride comfort while adding linear characteristics to the singularly nimble handling of Mazda3. In addition, the new Mazda3 achieves a high level of environmental and safety performance owing to full-scale investment of Mazda’s cutting-edge technologies.


Thirdly, we wanted to offer a new kind of car life brought about by connecting the enjoyment of the drive to more encounters and pleasures along the way. To achieve this we focused on a system of connectivity that keeps the customer in constant touch with external networks while driving, and supported this with a new Human-Machine Interface that prioritizes driving safety.


We expressed these key values in three key words: namely, Switch, Action, and Inspire, denoting quick change of mood, the desire for more activity, and propagation of driving pleasure, respectively. These three key words were shared among all those concerned, from design through to manufacturing, as we proceeded with development aimed at realizing the values the words signify.


In developing the new Mazda3, we aimed for a car that exceeds the expectations of the C-segment in its role as a reliable partner for the customer. We didn’t simply emphasize beating competitor models in terms of charts and figures. Rather, we focused first and foremost on making clear improvements to dynamic performance, packaging, comfort, quality, and other basic attributes demanded of a car from the perspective of how the car would be used, in view of the lifestyles of prospective customers. Also, by incorporating our 'KODO — Soul of Motion' design theme to express beautiful dynamics, SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY to produce an exciting drive with exceptional environmental and safety performance, and our proprietary connectivity system MZD CONNECT that provides interactive communication with external networks, the new Mazda3 evolved to engender stronger ties with the customer.


I sincerely hope that the new Mazda3, which is the product of passion and an uncompromising spirit of challenge, will take its place for a long time to come as a partner that brings energy and vitality to the daily lives of our customers. 


Kenichiro Saruwatari

Mazda3 Programme Manager




Mazda is proud to unveil the all-new Mazda3. This new C-class benchmark is engineered with the full complement of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY – a proprietary suite of fuel-efficient, performance-driven components and manufacturing philosophies – as well as the handsome styling of the 'KODO – Soul of Motion' design language. In addition, world-class safety is assured with the adoption of the latest iteration of Mazda’s proprietary i-ACTIVSENSE, and an advanced Human-Machine Interface that has safe driving as its top priority. Finally, MZD CONNECT, the new in-vehicle connectivity system, offers access to the Internet and a host of the latest services. 



Expressive and Enticing, Inside Out

From the dynamic signature wings of the five-point grille to the expansive sheet metal cresting over sleekly slanted headlamps; from the wide-stance muscular fenders to the taut character lines flowing into a chiseled rear featuring provoking taillights, KODO gives Mazda3 a presence unlike any other.


Standard 16-inch full-cover steel wheels and higher trim-level 16-inch and 18-inch aluminium alloy wheels express dynamic motion from hub to rim. Mazda3’s cab rearward posture and raked profile further emphasize its agility and speed.


Available in nine colours, including the premium metallic finish Soul Red Metallic, and two all-new Mazda hues: Titanium Flash Mica and Deep Crystal Blue Mica.


The interior shares the same outstanding levels of design and craftsmanship. New Mazda3 is the first vehicle to feature Mazda’s all-new Active Driving Display, a clear pop-up panel mounted behind the meter hood that displays vehicle speed, navigation directions and other important driving information. This feature not only places necessary information comfortably in the driver’s line-of-sight but also beyond the instrument panel, more in line with where a driver’s eyes are naturally focused. The Active Driving Display panel automatically folds back into its concealed position when the ignition is shut off.


The redesigned meter cluster features a centrally positioned analogue gauge flanked by a pair of wing-shaped digital displays. The dial face for the centre gauge is characterized by three-dimensional metallic numerals, evidence of the designers’ attention to detail, while its red-ring border pulses as soon as the driver’s door is opened, a nod to the vehicle’s sporty DNA. A decorative dash panel finished in satin silver extends from the gauge cluster, with piano black trim pieces adorning areas of the centre console and front door inserts.


Upholstery is available in cloth (Black, Sand) and leather (Black, Off-White). Together with the multitude of exterior and interior colour combinations and accents, this further showcases the attention lavished on the finest details and also on satisfying the widest variety of consumer preferences.



Taking space efficiency to higher levels

Lower and leaner than its predecessor, this third-generation Mazda3 shares little more than its name with its older siblings. All new from the ground up, the 2014 Mazda3 sits on a wheelbase of 2,700mm, which is 60mm longer than the previous generation, yet the sedan is 10mm shorter in length at 4,580mm. With a height of 1,450mm and a width of 1,795mm, Mazda3 reduces its ceiling by 20mm and gains 40mm in the hips while retaining similar headroom space and offering rear legroom at 909mm. The rear seatbacks are nearly 50mm taller for added passenger comfort. Front and rear shoulder room have also increased to 1,452mm and 1,382mm, respectively. This efficient use of space is wrapped in the increasingly striking KODO styling and its emotional proportions and refined strength.


The seat architecture is redesigned with added focus on comfort and space, while at the same time reducing weight. For example, the front seatbacks are further sculpted to provide rear seat passengers more knee room than the previous-generation Mazda3, and shoulder room for all passengers is increased as well. Additionally, the driver’s seat cushion is made larger, while still optimizing the seatback to create a more natural seating position with ample lateral support, a welcome addition for those long drives.


All-new for Mazda vehicles and being launched with the new Mazda3 will be a next-generation Human-Machine Interface (HMI) system. Based on the Heads-up Cockpit concept, the new HMI system aims to help drivers maintain proper posture, concentrate on the road and drive more safely, even while handling larger amounts of information. The information presented is divided into groups, and an innovative screen layout is employed to let the driver safely balance the primary job of driving with absorbing other peripheral information.


The pedals have been laid out symmetrically to the left and right of the driver’s centre-line with a hinged organ-type accelerator pedal as standard for added safety and comfort. Designed not only to appeal to the senses, each control and function is also specifically placed with intuitive utility in mind. The less time spent focusing on adjusting knobs and tapping touch-screen commands, the more time a driver is engaged with the actual act of driving, being alert to what is on the road ahead and, therefore, being able to react quickly, accurately and safely.


For added precision, the base of the A-pillars has been repositioned about 100mm rearward to afford greater range of vision for both the driver and front passenger. The outside mirrors are mounted on the doors instead of the base of the A-pillar to expand the scope of visibility when looking over mirrors from the driver’s seat.




The long relationship between Mazda, the brand, and Zoom-Zoom, the anthem, is no secret. Jinba Ittai, the oneness between car and driver, is a long-standing brand philosophy, an essence built into every Mazda ever engineered that can always be felt, whether it’s a leisurely drive or hot laps around a track. With Mazda3, a vehicle that is sold in more than 120 countries and accounts for 30 percent of the company’s annual global sales, this connection is even more important and made even more precise.


The new Mazda3 will be offered with two or three engine choices: the currently-offered SKYACTIV-G 2.0-litre petrol engine, a new SKYACTIV-G 1.5-litre petrol engine, and the currently-offered MZR 1.6 petrol engine in order to meet local market demands.


Both SKYACTIV-G engines feature a new high-tumble-port 4-2-1 exhaust system that increases engine output. The SKYACTIV-G 2.0-litre produces 121kW*1 (114kW*2) at 6,000rpm and 210Nm*1 (200Nm*2) of torque at 4,000rpm. As compared to the outgoing MZR 2.0 engine, the torque output on the SKYACTIV-G 2.0 engine at low- to mid-range speeds is greatly increased. The SKYACTIV-G 1.5 produces a peak of 88kW*1 (82kW*2) at 6,000rpm and 150Nm of torque at 4,000rpm*1 (144Nm at 3,500rpm*2), to provide plentiful torque across the entire rev range along with excellent fuel economy.


Carried-forward is the MZR 1.6 engine. An electronically controlled throttle, low-speed cams and Sequential-Valve Timing (S-VT) contribute to producing maximum output of 77kW at 6,000rpm and maximum torque of 144Nm*3 (143Nm*4) at 4,000rpm. Fuel economy is more than adequate in typical driving situations.


*1 For Brunei, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia and Singapore

*2 For countries except Brunei, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia and Singapore

*3 For South Africa

*4 For countries except South Africa


Vehicles equipped with a SKYACTIV-G engine will be available with a choice of the SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual and SKYACTIV-DRIVE six-speed automatic transmissions. SKYACTIV-MT offers the short, crisp shift pattern reminiscent of the MX-5. On models equipped with the i-stop idle-stop system, SKYACTIV-MT features a new clutch restart function that enables instant restarts after an unintended engine stoppage simply by pressing the clutch pedal again. SKYACTIV-DRIVE achieves a direct shift feel and quick gear changes that contribute to fast acceleration, while maximizing the best features of a direct-shift gearbox and a conventional torque-converter system. The MZR 1.6 engine is paired with the currently-offered five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.


SKYACTIV-G engine models feature an evolved i-stop idle-stop system. This conserves fuel by shutting down the engine when the brake pedal is pressed and the car is brought to a stop at a traffic light or in a traffic jam. It automatically restarts the engine when the brake pedal is released. For the new Mazda3, i-stop is enhanced to give the same fast and smooth restarts within 0.35 seconds while using just half the amount of fuel required before.


Mazda’s unique i-ELOOP regenerative braking system employs a capacitor to store electricity generated when the vehicle decelerates. Regenerative braking systems in general improve fuel economy by reducing the inherent parasitic drag of the alternator when possible, to maximize the efficiency of the vehicle under all modes of operation. Unlike other battery-based systems, i-ELOOP (the name is derived from “Intelligent Energy Loop”) is the world’s first capacitor-based system able to power all of a vehicle’s electrical components.


The Active Air Shutter, a new-to-Mazda feature, is mounted in front of the radiator and automatically opens and closes flaps in accordance with driving conditions to improve aerodynamic performance while contributing to real-world gains in fuel economy. The sedan and hatchback models achieve excellent coefficient of drag (Cd) at 0.255 and 0.275, respectively, when equipped with the Active Air Shutter.


The added combination of the SKYACTIV-BODY and SKYACTIV-CHASSIS enhances the Jinba Ittai spirit by offering high-performance, lightweight materials for added strength and safety. Carefully engineered load-transfer ensures a firm grip on the road that the driver can sense. The SKYACTIV-BODY provides increased rigidity of 30 percent compared to the previous model while reducing weight as well.


Although variable from market to market, the expanded use of high tensile-strength steel, and the complete reevaluation of more than 300 separate components, has led to significant weight savings.


Straight-line stability, tyre grip and ride comfort have been greatly improved by tuning the suspension system’s springs, dampers and stabilizers. Mazda’s new mechatronic column-type electric power assist steering system is compact and lightweight, with a gearing ratio of 14.1:1. The brake response also was improved to be even more responsive, allowing for excellent vehicle control and feel as well as a braking distance amongst the best in the segment. Such improvements also reduce rolling resistance, all improving fuel economy.


A new lightweight material that exhibits a high level of noise absorption is introduced on the dash insulator and floor mats, and insulating material also is positioned for maximum effectiveness behind the instrument panel. These measures achieve a level of cabin quietness that is highly competitive within the compact car class, and fully comparable to a class-above vehicle.



Safety Features Beyond Compare

The new Mazda3 introduces several all-new safety systems under the umbrella known as i-ACTIVSENSE. These technologies use sensing devices such as milliwave radars and cameras to support the driver in recognizing hazards, avoiding collisions and minimizing damage, should accidents occur. While these systems will not eliminate accidents, their intent is to minimize them and reduce the severity of a crash.


The features available under i-ACTIVSENSE are:

•      Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC) – The system determines the difference in speed and distance to the vehicle in front and will automatically adjust the cruising speed in order to maintain a safe distance.

•      Distance Recognition Support System (DRSS) – This system monitors the headway distance and shows it in the meter cluster, and warns the driver if the vehicle gets too close to the preceding vehicle. DRSS operates when travelling between speeds of 30 and 145km/h.

•      High Beam Control System (HBC) – The system automatically switches the headlamps between high and low beams.

•      Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) – This safety confirmation system detects objects located in blind-spot areas to the sides and rear of the vehicle and issues a visual alert within the outside mirrors for the driver to see. Should the turn signal be on for the direction in which the “blind” object is located, audible beeps will alert the driver.

•      Rear Vehicle Monitoring (RVM) – This system enhances the driver’s awareness of vehicles in blind spots behind and to the sides of the car.

•      Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) – This system monitors the lane markings on the road and issues a warning to the driver when it predicts that the vehicle is going to depart from its lane.

•      Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) – When travelling at speeds of 4–30km/h, SCBS helps prevent or minimize a collision with a vehicle. Should the imbedded laser sensor detect an object, and the system calculates a high risk of a collision, the brake pedal travel is reduced in order to hasten braking. Should the driver fail to perform an avoidance manoeuvre, the system will activate an automatic braking function.

•      Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW) – This system monitors the vehicle ahead and issues both audible and visual alerts to help the driver take evasive action when it determines a high risk of collision to exist. FOW operates when travelling between speeds of 15 and 145km/h.

•      Smart Brake Support (SBS) – When FOW issues warnings, SBS applies pilot pressure to the braking system. And if the vehicle gets even closer to the preceding vehicle, SBS applies the brakes to cause deceleration. And if the system deems that a collision is unavoidable, SBS applies the brakes harder to prevent or soften the impact. SBS operates when travelling at speeds of 15–145km/h.


* Availability of i-ACTIVSENSE features depends on equipment level and market.


Mazda Proactive Safety is Mazda’s development concept, and it aims to help the driver avoid dangerous situations before they occur by minimizing the risks that can lead to an accident. Additionally, it maximizes the range of conditions in which the vehicle can be driven safely and with peace of mind.


The SKYACTIV-BODY efficiently absorbs impact energy from any direction and minimizes the chance of the cabin structure being compromised. Other standard safety features on the new Mazda3 include six airbags (front, side and full side-curtain), whiplash-reducing front headrests, power-assisted ventilated front and solid rear disc brakes, anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, daytime running lights, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), a Traction Control System (TCS), a collapsible steering column (following air bag deployment), a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), three-point safety belts for all seating positions, front seatbelt pretensioners with load limiters as well as ISOFIX child-seat anchors.



Stay Connected While On the Go

Mazda’s infotainment system receives its own sort of overhaul as well. With the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablet computers, lifestyles, and subsequently driving habits, have changed. To ensure that consumers can continue to be connected in real time with their online community regardless of where they are, Mazda has developed its new operating system MZD CONNECT to be intuitive and less distracting, which leads to an overall safer and more pleasurable driving experience.


MZD CONNECT connects via Bluetooth® to a smartphone and can easily be updated to ensure users always have access to the latest features and services without the need to swap out hardware. In addition to the current music access points via standard AM/FM radio, CD and USB/auxiliary port connections, new features such as the Internet-based app Aha™ by HARMAN will be available. An optional Bose® premium audio system with Centerpoint® 2 virtual surround sound playback will bring the harmonies and vocals to life for even the most discerning of audiophiles.


The system can also read short messages aloud while the vehicle is in motion using text-to-voice technology. Short Message Service (SMS) messages can be received and shown on the touch screen monitor. The system can then articulate the messages as well as allow users to send replies using fixed phrases. A new speech recognition system also allows users to repeat and shuffle audio tracks, as well as search and select folders. When connected with a smartphone, Twitter and Facebook updates can be read by the system with audio responses available using the Shout function. The system also allows users to search the Internet for locations and map directions. An SD card-based navigation system is optional.


* Availability of connectivity-related features and functions may vary according to market.




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