2019 Mazda3: First Look – Cars.com

Compact car shoppers should take note of
the 2018 LA Auto Show. Hot on the heels of the new Toyota Corolla and Corolla
Hybrid comes a fourth generation redesign of the Mazda3 and yes there
will be a hybrid of that as well. Now the Mazda3 comes as a sedan and hatchback.
It sort of sees an evolution of its current koto styling themes that
includes a very low set grille with kind of squinting headlights that branch out
from the upper sides of the grille. It’s all kind of cleaned up in a simpler way
though similar to what you’ve seen on updates of the Mazd 6 and a redesign of
the CX-5 SUV. So very clean simple lines, fewer openings up front, definitely a lot
less cladding. You get around back and there’s beadier taillights now with quad
rings that you can see through the lenses. The Mazda3 sedan grows about
three inches versus its predecessor. This predecessor was kind of one of the
smaller cars in a class that included the likes of the Honda Civic the
Volkswagen Jetta, so this one kind of fits more evenly with the competition
now. The Mazda3 hatchback doesn’t change dimensionally versus its predecessor but
it looks a lot different especially when you get around to the c-pillar which is
very, very thick versus kind of the thinner pillar before. It just kind of
looks like this whole swoop of body lines that kind of curve around the rear
of the car, we’ll have to see how that actually kind of affects visibility
looking out the rear once we get a chance to drive the new Mazda3. Now
inside the prior generation Mazda3 the third generation of this car sort of
inaugurated for Mazda this idea of a tablet like touchscreen display that
perched over the middle part of the dashboard. That’s something you’re seeing
in a lot of different cars Mazda and otherwise going on right now. The fourth
generation Mazda3 keeps some of the formula but abandons other parts of it.
That screen is still there and it’s higher up the dashboard now it’s also
larger 8.8 inches versus 7 inches before but it’s no longer a touchscreen. The
only way to use it is through a console based knob controller. The prior
generation did have a knob controller but it also allowed you to use the
screen as a touchscreen when the vehicle was in park, that no longer is the case
now but kind of was a moot point anyway because we’ve had a chance to really sit
in this car at the Auto Show and the new screen really too far away to have used
as a touchscreen. Under the hood a 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine
will come with front or all-wheel drive, now available for the first time in the
US Mazda3 when this car hits dealers in early 2019. We don’t know horsepower or
torque or fuel economy yet, we’ll learn that as time comes closer to the on sale
date. We’ll also probably learn more about the hybrid system. Now this system is
coming later on in the 2019 calendar year for the Mazda3. Mazda did share
some details that it will include Sky ActiveX technology which borrows kind of
a page out of the diesel engines playbook with compression ignition. Again
we don’t know a whole lot more than that so stay tuned to Cars.com for plenty
more about the Mazda 3 and the 2018 LA Auto Show.