Updated compact car gets improved driving dynamics
Mazda revealed an updated Mazda3, offered for sale in Japan now with gas, diesel, hybrid, and all-wheel-drive variants. Perhaps the biggest highlight of the refresh is the addition of Mazda’s trick G-Vectoring Control, which Mazda says will find its way across the entire lineup.
In North America, the Mazda6 will be the first vehicle to receive G-Vectoring Control. This new technology uses the car’s onboard computer to minimize steering inputs made unconsciously, correct understeer, minimize pitch and roll, improve steering precision, and reduce jerkiness. The system is essentially a step forward in Mazda’s quest to make all of the cars it offers fun to drive by using the car’s computers to help you drive better.
While the exterior styling changes are subtle, they’re not so minor that you need a magnifying glass to see them. The front fascia, for instance, is slightly revised. The grille is rounded, the headlights are larger, and the lower front fascia features a more horizontal appearance. LED headlights and fog lights also look like they’ll be available on higher trim levels, at least for the U.S. The Mazda3’s rear end, however, only receives minor tweaks such as a restyled lower bumper.
Mazda’s president and CEO Masamichi Kogai said in a press release that the automaker “is striving to become an irreplaceable presence in the lives of our customers, to create a special bond with them and to be a ‘one-and-only’ brand they will choose again and again.” He also noted that Mazda will continue to update its models with the latest innovations without timing them with a car’s redesign.
Expect the refreshed Mazda3 to be offered with the same engines as the current pre-facelift model in North America. A 155-hp 2.0-liter inline-four should be standard while a 184-hp 2.5-liter inline-four is optional. Expect a six-speed manual and automatic transmission to be offered across the entire lineup. What you shouldn’t expect is a hot-hatch Mazdaspeed variant, as Kogai-san has noted we won’t likely see one on the current generation.
The 2017 Mazda3 arrives at U.S. dealerships later this year.