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British mag Autocar just got through driving a 2010 Mazda3 prototype and the author seems to have come away impressed. The mag got the chance to sample the new 3 in gas and diesel variants while driving them around Iceland's coastline. They were very impressed with the new 2.2L diesel, but we'll likely just get the equally new and impressive 2.0L direct-injection gas engine here in the former colonies. They described that DI engine as "impressively smooth, refined and torquey" while routing its power through a "very slick" six-speed manual. Mazda has apparently also kept the spirit of Zoom-Zoom alive in the handling department, producing a car that is more "pointable... than is common in this class." Autocar went so far as to compare it to a Mk IV Golf V5. High praise indeed. We'll have to wait until later next month at the LA Auto Show to see how the U.S. version turns out, but for now we'll take Autocar's word on this being "a big improvement over the current car," which many of us already love.

[Source: Autocar]

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