• Aug 21st 2008 at 8:29AM
  • 22
New spy shots of the refreshed Mazda3 have surfaced, lending credence to the future-Mazda images we've seen oozing out of places like an EU harmonization office, and a Japanese toymaker. It looks like the doors remain largely unchanged, with the nose and tail receiving the bulk of the work. The front end will pick up new headlamps that mimic what big-brother 6 now wears. The black-tape ruse is not effective at disguising a C-Pillar that remains kinked forward, but the taillights are successfully obscured with adhesive applique. It won't be long before we see all the tape pulled off the refreshed 3 as the car show season heats up.
[Source: Car and Driver, Photo: Michael Cervantes/Priddy]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      It looks quite bubble nosed to me...

      I have a 2004 Mazda 3Sport GT and it is rusting along the rocker panels and rear fender edges. My engine light keeps blinking on and off randomly, my rear tires are wearing along the inside edges prematurely.

      My local Mazda dealer are major a-holes and frankly I think the Mazda 3 is quite tired looking and needs an update. So they make it bigger, heavier, and add a bigger engine. Is it even possible for the fuel mileage to get better than the current version? Not likely.

      My car has 77,000 kms and it is wearing out way too fast. I can't wait to get rid of it.

      • 7 Years Ago
      dual exhaust.....sexy. Please make an MS3 sedan.

      what platform is this on? Still C1? Surely not.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Seriously, why is it that when a GREAT platform gets older everyone bitches that they want to see a new platform even though it's still great. Use the same base, add new sheetmetal, interior, and engines, and it's a new car in my book. Sell it at the same cost and make more money due to savings in the engineering side. I don't friggin care if the A-arms are the same as the vehicle that came before it as long as it's still a brilliant drive.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah, it's still the C1 chassis. Thank GOD it's still the C1 chassis.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Not only is the platfrom the same, it appears that everything from the cowl back to the rear window are the same. Note the doors, as stated in the article.
        Not that that's a bad thing. The new 3 doesn't need to be bigger, heavier, or on a new platform.
        I think the front/rear tweaks and new powertrian are just what the car needs.
      • 7 Years Ago
      i haven't had an opportunity to drive one of the current mazda 3s, but i'm gonna go out on a limb and say that the new one will be a nice blend between a civic ("sportiness") and corolla (reliability)
        • 7 Years Ago
        Frankly, as far as I'm concerned, the Mazda 3s is the best driver's car that costs less than $25K (Realizing that the WRX STARTS under $25K, but doesn't have ANYTHING in it). I think it outperforms most cars that cost much more than it, looks better, and really is a good bang for the buck.

        My wife's is LOADED (minus Satellite radio and Leather seats), and it was less than $17K.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I've driven my friend's 08 Mazda3s. I don't see how you can compare it to any performance car under $25k for the simple fact the regular 3 is not a performance car in any way, shape or form. Though, I agree it handles well for an econocar.

        Unless you guys are talking about the Mazdaspeed3, which is a very nice offering and no doubt a performance bargain. But goodness, drive the 3speed or a WRX, then hop in a regular 3. There's simply no comparison...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Talk about handling, Try new Sentra (regular one) and that's what I call handling for a budget car
        • 7 Years Ago
        You need to get out more...
      • 7 Years Ago
      The 3 has great bones and is very fun to drive. While its high-class brother, the s40, is much faster and sharper, the 3 has a lot going for it (and about $10+k savings). I hope the next 3 improves on rigidity, mpg, and handling to keep its class leading place in the fun-to-drive/easy-to-own factor.

      Chevy, Mitsu, Ford and a host of others are hot on Mazda's zoom-zoom heels with new levels of sportiness and quality in the small car category (finally). Thank god for competition.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Looks awful.
        • 7 Years Ago
        What? It's an evolution of the present one, which still looks sweet after almost 5 years on the market, that tells you how the competition's doing.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think Toyota is a great company, they know what public wants, the reliability is great, all is great.

      But that Corolla, i am sorry looks are horrid, interior is even worse, driving dynamics are bad. That car is all around a bad vehicle. It is no where near Civic.

      I never drove a 3, but i did drive a Civic and Corolla and i have to say that from every perspective Corolla is no where near Civic.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Corollas are targeted towards those who only consider a car to be a transportation device. Generally speaking, driving is not an enjoyable task in any way, shape, or form. For them the concept of driving dynamics means the car is quiet and rides decently. The concepts of steering feel and handling finesse mean nothing to these buyers, who, frankly, represent the VAST majority of the automotive consumers out there. And they probably don't read Autoblog.

        Civics (and Accords too) used to be more of a driver's car, but in Honda's quest to catch Toyota, they've watered down the driving experience in their products in exchange for of those "mass appeal" features that draw people to Toyotas. One only has to compare the driving quality of, say, a 1990 Civic Si, to today's Civic Si.

        Cars like the Mazda 3 play to a different part of the market. They really are, in many ways, like the old Civics from 15 years ago - nimble, fun, driver-oriented. That's why they appeal to many who read this blog.

        However, I worry that Mazda will try to chase the meat of the market as well, all the while foregoing the qualities that make their cars fun to drive. Example - the new Mazda 6. It's more "Accord-like", and you can no longer get a manual transmission with the 6-cylinder. Is that REALLY a good thing? Time will tell if they follow this same path with the 3....

        • 7 Years Ago
        "But that Corolla, i am sorry looks are horrid, interior is even worse, driving dynamics are bad. "

        Yeah, but if you look at how the majority of people dress, how bland they look, and how unimportant look has become, this alone explains why Corolla sells so well.

        The phenomenal succees of the previous Camry proves the point. A car is no longer a symbol of anything. In fact, it is the opposite. I was playin golf the other day and around this golf course, you could see magnificient homes.... with a Yaris, and old 1998 Accord or a blend gold Corolla in the driveway.

        The excitement in the mass auto industry is a thing of the past. The only exception to this is the Civic, which has very distinctive silhouette.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This looks great. I've driven the current 3 (almost bought one even), and it's a really fun little car to toss around. The looks are great, the build quality and finish are phenomenal. I'm sure the new one will only improve.

      On a side note: Car & Driver's automatic photo slideshow is extremely annoying. And yes, I realize that there is a pause button, but I didn't notice until it was halfway through the gallery. They go by way too fast.
      • 7 Years Ago
      still makes me go Zoom Zzom Zzzz.
        • 7 Years Ago
        That's interesting coming from a (based on your avatar) Honda owner.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow That picture is amazing, how do you guys at Autoblog do it all.

      Now, Mazda3 is OLD, too old and yet it looks great, that car can sell it self on looks alone, never mind everything else. If Mazda is smart enough they will stop selling that Escape rebadge thing and that Ranger thing and they will have a truly amazing lineup, with the new 6 and new 3 this carmaker is set up. The Cx's are great, Miata, RX.......great cars all around. All Mazda needs to do is make sure that the lineup gets a little more MPG and they will be great.

      If Ford will need money they will be able to sell Mazda, which i am sure will bring Ford a big amount of money.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Haven't heard a peep about this:

      "as well as a new 1.6-liter rotary engine, details of which could be released as soon as this fall’s L.A. auto show. "

      I'd be really surprised if they released it with a rotary...
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