Meet the 2019 Mazda 3: Moving the small hatch upscale

The mission of the new Mazda3 sedan and hatchback is no less lofty than “…to amaze and delight customers all over the world.” Not a particularly easy thing to do. Especially with a VW Golf out there on the market with which to compete. But with an entirely new model debuting at the Los Angeles auto show, Mazda feels its new compact sedan and hatchback are up to the task.

Mazda started with an all-new steel chassis it calls “continuous ring structure concept.” The new architecture incorporates more high-strength steel yet weighs less, costs less, and offers a quieter ride, better handling and better rigidity than the already-pretty-solid vehicle it replaces. To that new structure is bolted a MacPherson strut front suspension and a “newly developed” torsion beam rear.

The sedan and hatchback bodies you see wrapped around that more rigid structure are inspired by the Kai Concept revealed at last year’s Tokyo motor show. Smooth, rounded shapes take over where sharper, creased lines were before.

Under the hood you will find a variety of powertrain options. There will be three Skyactiv-G gasoline engines: 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 liter-fours; one Skyactiv-D 1.8-liter diesel with multi-hole piezo injectors for high-pressure, multi-stage diesel injection; and the fairly revolutionary 2.0-liter Skyactiv-X spark-controlled compression ignition (SPCCI) gasoline engine that is said to combine the best attributes of gasoline, diesel and hybrid technology.

Mazda promises “superior initial response, powerful torque, faithful linear response and free-revving performance. The (Skyactiv-X) engine is assisted by Mazda’s intelligent new M Hybrid system, which supports greater gains in fuel economy and achieves higher levels of driving pleasure and environmental friendliness.”

Mazda had earlier claimed that Skyactiv-X will increase fuel efficiency by 30 percent compared to a gasoline engine of the same displacement. It now says the 2.0-liter Skyactiv-X offers the power of a 2.5-liter gasoline engine and the fuel efficiency of a 1.5-liter diesel.

Those engines come mated to your choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions. From there power can be routed to either the front wheels alone or to all four wheels via i-Activ AWD. Mazda says the latter offers something it calls “four-wheel vertical load detection” and “works in harmony with G-Vectoring Control Plus to control torque distribution between the front and rear wheels.” The i-Activ AWD reduces parasitic losses by 60 percent compared to the previous awd system.

And while Kai Concept cues wrap the outside, the interior is slathered with KODO design, which Mazda says uses a “less is more” approach.

Look for more details to come but for now expect to see 2019 Mazda3 sedans and hatchbacks in showrooms early next year.

Source: Read Full Article