Spy shots

All-new Mazda 3 spied before LA reveal - the Ford Focus had better keep an eye open

Mazda’s underrated hatchback is due for a total overhaul

The next Mazda 3 has been spotted undergoing final testing before its public reveal at the LA motor show later this year. The Mazda 3 has always been an underrated hatch in evo’s book, combining sharp dynamics and styling with perky, if not particularly brisk engines. Unfortunately, its relative niche status, not to mention hatchback juggernauts like the Golf and Focus seem to have kept it off the mainstream radar in the UK. This new model is hoping to change that.

Inspired the Kai Concept, which made its debut at the 2017 Tokyo motor show, the new Mazda 3 looks to closely match the Kai’s bulbous hatchback shape, with a low and sleek glasshouse and long bonnet. Peeking out from the 3’s low snout are a pair of slim LED headlights and the same large, sculpted grille seen on the concept.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

> Click here for our review of the Mazda 6

Under the bonnet will sit Mazda’s next generation of petrol Skyactiv-X engines, which combine both compression and spark ignition in the one engine to get the best of both worlds in terms of performance, refinement and efficiency. As we went into further detail in a prototype model driven earlier in the year, the engine will not switch between the two forms, instead it will bleed between the two forms of ignition depending on load and revs.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Refinement has also been a key priority for Mazda in its next generation 3, a common cause of complaint in the current model. To approach this, Mazda has made a concerted effort to increase structural rigidity, with damping nodes built into the chassis to absorb unwanted road noise and resonance. 

The interior will also be a big step up for Mazda, integrating a new infotainment system into a fresh dashboard architecture, which also takes cues from the Kai Concept. The new, more driver-focused interior not only hopes to compete with Volkswagen in terms of quality, but should also finally compete on integrated tech and refinement too.

Although a reboot of the hot Mazda 3 MPS is still off the cards, the next Mazda 3 will showcase the Japanese marque’s approach to the potential of the internal combustion engine before electrification inevitably takes the lead in the future. For now though, the Golf and Focus might have to look over their shoulders, as the Mazda 3 looks like it might finally present a real challenge to the status quo.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/mazda/3/22915/new-2019-mazda-3-skyactiv-x-review-impressive-hatchback-gets-a-powertrain-to-match
Mazda 3 hatchback

New Mazda 3 Skyactiv-X 2019 review

19 Jul 2019
Visit/mazda/3/22662/new-mazda-3-review-a-coming-of-age-for-mazda-s-golf-and-focus-rival
Mazda 3 hatchback

New Mazda 3 review

17 May 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/jaguar/f-type/22839/2020-jaguar-f-type-revealed
Jaguar F-Type

2020 Jaguar F-type revealed 

An updated Jaguar F-type has been revealed with a consolidated engine range and new front end
2 Dec 2019
Visit/bentley/continental-gt/202013/bentley-limited-edition-continental-gt-revealed
Bentley Continental GT

Bentley Limited Edition Continental GT revealed

Inspired by Bentley’s success at Pikes Peak, the Limited Edition Continental GT packs some visual punch based on the record-breaking racer
3 Dec 2019
Visit/toyota/yaris/201932/toyota-yaris-gr-4-teased-in-new-video-true-wrc-homologation-special-on-the
Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris GR-4 teased in new video

Gazoo Racing to follow up its 2019 WRC championship with an all-new car based on the GR-4 hot hatch
4 Dec 2019
Visit/hyundai/201819/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-nurburgring
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019