2014 Mazda3 Hatchback: First Look

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  • Competes with: Honda Civic, Kia Forte, Toyota Corolla
  • Looks like: Mazda is keeping styling in the family; the resemblance to the Mazda6 and CX-5 is obvious in the 3's grille and headlight designs 
  • Drivetrain: SkyActiv 155-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder and SkyActiv 184-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder; six-speed manual and automatic transmissions
  • Hits dealerships: Early September

Mazda spent 2013 updating its crossovers — the all-new compact CX-5 and revised midsize CX-9 debuted. Model year 2014 is apparently the year of the sedan, with a redesigned midsize Mazda6 on sale and a new compact Mazda3 out soon. Sedan and hatchback versions have been redesigned with more evocative — yet familiar — styling, a revised control layout, additional safety features and a tweaked powertrain lineup. The automaker raised the curtain on the hatchback model first; the sedan will debut in a few weeks, according to spokesperson Jeremy Barnes. 

The new hatchback rides on standard 16-inch wheels or optional 18-inch aluminum alloys and is a good mash-up of the CX-5 and Mazda6 styling. The wide-smile grille with angular fog lights, sweeping headlights and crisp body lines are evocative of both vehicles. Mazda says it offers improved visibility, pushing the base of the A-pillars rearward by 3.9 inches and altering the position of the side mirrors.

The 2014 Mazda3 sits on a 2.4-inch-longer wheelbase, but the hatchback is 1.8 inches shorter than the previous generation. It loses 0.6 inches of height but grows 1.6 inches wider. Mazda says the growth spurt translates into more shoulder room for front and rear occupants. Longer rear seatbacks and more sculpted seats should provide more comfort and knee room; the driver's seat cushion is also bigger this year. No word yet on how cargo space dimensions have been impacted. 

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For 2014, two engines will be available. The SkyActiv 155-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder carries over from 2013 and is the new base engine. It joins a SkyActiv 184-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder, which is also shared with the Mazda6 and CX-5. Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions will be available.

Models in global markets will get Mazda's SkyActiv-D 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel and a hybrid version. Barnes told us that Mazda doesn't have any plans to offer either in the U.S. Mazda is offering some fuel-saving tech on U.S. versions of the 3 in the form of the i-ELOOP regenerative braking system; it stores electricity generated when the vehicle brakes and should boost fuel economy.

Inside, the gauge cluster has been restyled for a sportier look, and there's a new pop-up panel on the center dash to display audio and navigation information. Similar to the setup in the Mazda6, a center-console-area knob controls the panel; it's also a touch-screen.

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An updated multimedia system works with smartphone aps like Facebook and Pandora streaming internet radio and features text message functionality; it can read short emails, Facebook updates and text messages to the driver. A new speech recognition system can control the audio functions. An SD-card based navigation system is again optional.

Several new safety features are available for 2014, including blind spot monitoring; lane departure warning; forward obstruction warning; Smart City Brake Support, which automatically readies and applies the brake if a collision is detected at less than 19 mph; radar cruise control; and high beam control, a system that automatically switches the headlights between high and low beams. A backup camera will be available.

Sedan and hatchback versions of the redesigned Mazda3 will go on sale in early September. No word yet on pricing. Check out more photos below.

2013 Mazda3

2013 Mazda3

2013 Mazda3

2013 Mazda3

2013 Mazda3

2013 Mazda3

2013 Mazda3

2013 Mazda3

2013 Mazda3

2013 Mazda3

2013 Mazda3

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Comments 

Julio

I've found my next commuter car. Man, this thing looks demented and awesome. Love the looks!!

Skankzilla

Super bad ass.

Can't wait to see a Mazdaspeed verison!

Tony

Looks... flawless.
Competes with: NONE

Tony

Mazda really got a problem with this thing... how to make it better in the future.
16inch standard wheels - love it

Lance

I'm taking a WAG that this may be rated 42mpg hwy. The sedan version may even be rated 43mpg. They have lost 200lbs, added the grill shutter, iloop, and electric steering on the column. That could all add up to a nice increase over the rated 40mpg of this years model. That's the 2.0l version.

Now the 2.5l should get better than the Mazda6 which is rated at 38mpg but in the past Mazda has used gearing that gave the Mazda3 slightly less MPG than the Mazda6 with same exact engine. But of course it was peppier than the 6 because of that.

Mike S @ CTMechE

I like the styling, although not as big of a fan of the high rear beltline and what will likely be poor rear quarter visibility.

I suppose I'm one of the few who cares, but is Mazda ever going to update the Mazda5 in the US? It still rides on the old old Mazda3 chassis, and while they went with the 2.5 base engine in 2012, they still haven't bothered offering either of the SkyActiv engines. The Japanese Premacy had both the SkyActiv and MazdaSpeed versions available... why can't they bring them here?

It seems like with a lack of competition, Mazda sees no reason to bother updating the most practical vehicle on the road, which is a shame when they already have the tech.
I suppose that's what happens when you own the market segment and spend $0 on advertizing.

J

What's the point of failbook update read out on the go?

Looks pretty sweet to me. Nice job Mazda

Steve

This IS how small cars should be done. Fantastic job Mazda!! Stunning inside and out.

fanboy

Not bad. Looks like a yaris or fiesta.

MSS

Looks awesome!! Was wanting a Civic bit now I'm sold!! Hope it's priced well!

ecandlcubed

Look like a small version of their 6.

Paola

Mazda has become what Honda used to be. Maybe they could start making motorcycles, too.

Tony

Paola,
Civic was sharp handling but with extremely hard suspension. Exactly hard like late Acura RSX, which was basically a Civic with an engine. But then was Mazda Protege, which also had sharp handling and in addition, nice and forgiving suspension. I had 1990 Civic along with 1998 Protege. Protege's suspension was way superior.

Jerns

Too bad they do not see the need for the skyactiv D engine. Most likely would get better mpg than most hybrids without the complexity and added weight of this less than adequate system of improving fuel economy.

AJ

Love it! Perfect replacement for my 07 3 HatchBack.

Tom Eastburn

Wake me up when the manual 2.5 arrives. I was planning on a diesel CX-5, which didn't happen. Join VW bring on the diesels.

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