According to Car and Driver, the next-generation Mazda3 is set to undergo an extensive overhaul, similar to what the Japanese automaker has done with its larger Mazda6 sedan.

On the powertrain front, expect the still-new 155-horsepower 2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder to carry over. But since the next Mazda3 will likely shed hundreds of pounds thanks to the company's lighter Skyactiv-tuned platform (a good chunk of which will be shared with the CX-5), the 2.0-liter engine should return improved fuel economy and performance since there won't be so much heft to cart around. Currently, the 2.0-liter Mazda3 returns up to 40 miles per gallon on the highway.

C/D also states that a diesel-powered version of the compact Mazda3 is under consideration, as is a new version of the turbocharged Mazdaspeed3.

Visually, expect the new Mazda3 to receive the full brunt of the automaker's new Kodo styling language. That isn't a bad thing, though – both the new CX-5 and Mazda6 are handsome vehicles, and we think the aggressive headlamps and upright grille will translate nicely to the smaller package. C/D has worked up a rendering of what the Mazda3 could look like in hatchback form with the new styling direction, so head over there to check it out.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 77 Comments
      finzenchrome
      • 2 Years Ago
      Remember they had to reduce the compression ratio of the current Skyactiv 3 because the new 4-2-1 manifold wouldn't fit in the engine bay. The all-new 3 will be able to accommodate the new Sky-G powerplant with a higher compression ratio that maximizes efficiency. I wonder by what factor that, along with reduced weight, better aerodynamics, and i E-loop, will increase the effective mpg by? Could we be looking at high 40's highway?
        Gorgenapper
        • 2 Years Ago
        @finzenchrome
        Don't know if we'll get i-Eloop if the EPA testing is weighted not to favor start-stop idle systems.
        gray fox
        • 2 Years Ago
        @finzenchrome
        I thought Mazda had to reduce the compression of the current 3s Sky engine to accommodate buyers in the USA who put in 87 octane despite being told 91 only?
          Gorgenapper
          • 2 Years Ago
          @gray fox
          If Mazda, or any mainstream automaker, were to tell their customers that none of their vehicles were designed for 87 octane, it would be an automatic death sentence for them. I believe the compression ratio was reduced so that the engines would run fine on 87 octane, and also because they can't fit the 4-2-1 header in the current chassis. Once the new chassis is in use with the 4-2-1 header, I bet that the compression ratio will be tweaked so that it can still run on 87 octane but deliver better fuel efficiency than before.
      Ducman69
      • 2 Years Ago
      It needs a diet. Ooh, lets start a thread. YO MAZDA SO FAT, when it went to the drive-in movies she sat next to everyone. YO MAZDA SO FAT, when it backs up people make beeping noises. YO MAZDA SO FAT, that its horsepower to weight ratio can only be explained in irrational complex numbers. YO MAZDA SO FAT, its exhaust is a subwoofer. YO MAZDA SO FAT, it violates 17 different zoning laws. YO MAZDA SO FAT, it hauls ass she has to make two trips. YO MAZDA SO FAT, when it parked on the beach greenpeace tried to push it back in the water
      artandcolour2010
      • 2 Years Ago
      the shedding of hundreds of pounds per platform is such good news to my ears. I think almost every car could lose 1,000 or more pounds per class with the right science and brain power behind them.
      Hazdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      HUNDREDS OF POUNDS?!? That would be pretty darn impressive since the current model is already fairly light for its class at ~3000 lbs. Its finally happening. Automakers had to be pushed and prodded in complying, but they are FINALLY putting their cars on a diet. This is really good for regular consumers and the industry overall and enthusiasts as we well.
        drew
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        The new 6 tops out at about 3100 pounds, so it's not hard to imagine the new 3 being closer to 2800.
      Gorgenapper
      • 2 Years Ago
      What a horrendous looking rendering, it captures nothing about the Mazda 3 hatchback which makes it look well proportioned (smiley face notwithstanding). Go here for what someone thinks the next Mazdaspeed 3 will look like: http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k486/Queued/Misc/MS3-Bumper-v3.jpg
      chromal
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'll be curious to see what directions things go with the MZ3/MS3, but am perfectly happy with my 2012 mazdaspeed3. :)
        Gorgenapper
        • 2 Years Ago
        @chromal
        I'm also happy with my 2010 MS3 (stage 2 with upgraded fuel pump), but it won't stop me from looking at the next gen MS3 anyway. I know that trading in my current MS3 (modded as it is) just for a newly updated MS3 - especially a first year production run - would be a very bad financial decision and that alone would stop me from doing the deed. Better to hold onto the MS3, drive it for a good long while and see what else is being offered when the time comes to put the MS3 out to pasture.
      GasMan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lose 200 lbs and the stupid smiley face and you've got something Mazda.
      wafflesnfalafel
      • 2 Years Ago
      2800lbs, 2.5 litre direct injected skyactive with the 6 speed, 5 door hatch, new Shinari styling. Pretty please.
      TwoBits
      • 2 Years Ago
      I was recently in the market for for a fun to drive compact. This was on the top of my list, until I test drove one. It wasn't terrible my any means, but the interior was lacking and the "sportier" engine completely sucked for mileage (no Skyactiv on the 2.5). This car is clearly in dire need of a refresh. I really hope these updates go a long way... I want to see this car get ahead of the pack again.
        Tuga
        • 2 Years Ago
        @TwoBits
        Mazda really needs to bring their interiors to the level of their exteriors and tech. Even the CX5, which is a great car, has a meh interior.
          NightFlight
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Tuga
          You realize the Mazda 3's interior has won a Ward's Award, right? I love to see all these people complaining that have no idea of what they are talking about
          drew
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Tuga
          Ergonomically pleasing and well-built = meh.
          PeterScott
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Tuga
          I prefer Mazda interiors to the silver plastic transformer look of some other cars in the segment.
      MotorworldHype
      • 2 Years Ago
      The RX is coming back! They are using the Nissan GT-R as their benchmark (allegedly). I have proof! (kind of) http://www.motorworldhype.com/2012-09-17/hype-rumor-why-is-mazda-keeping-a-nissan-gt-r-at-their-rd-building-spyshots-andy/
      MotorworldHype
      • 2 Years Ago
      The RX is coming back! They are using the Nissan GT-R as their benchmark (allegedly). I have proof! (kind of) http://www.motorworldhype.com/2012-09-17/hype-rumor-why-is-mazda-keeping-a-nissan-gt-r-at-their-rd-building-spyshots-andy/
      CarCrazy24
      • 2 Years Ago
      A diesel would be a fantastic addition, I would love the option of a 50+ mpg commuter car with handling to spare. Do it Mazda!
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