After leaked images of the facelifted Mazda3 surfaced, Mazda has finally unveiled the updated 3/Axela compact car. New visuals aside, the new Mazda3 packs new technology, including two new diesel engines and G-Vectoring Control.
The facelift model is available as both the sedan and hatchback body styles, and changes are really subtle to be honest. Just as a refresher, the Mazda3’s facade gets a minimally revised grille, new headlights with redesigned LED daytime running lights and new fog lamps.
Inside, the biggest difference is the new electronic parking brakes which replaces the traditional lever-type handbrake. However, this feature is only available for the premium models such as the 2.2-litre diesel variants.
For the Japanese-spec 3 (known as the Axela in Japan), two SkyActiv-D turbodiesel engines are offered: 2.2-litre and 1.5-litre. The latter is a new addition for the Japanese market, where this oil burner develops 104 hp and 220 Nm of torque. The larger 2.2-litre lump meanwhile outputs 173 hp and 420 Nm of torque. Both engines can be had either with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
New to the updated 3 is the inclusion of G-Vectoring Control. This innovative software control system deploys the right amount of torque in response to steering inputs, providing integrated control of lateral and longitudinal acceleration forces. In layman terms, it applies the correct force onto each wheel depending on steering response, improving vehicle dynamics and ride comfort in the process.
Also to note, those who selected the 2.2-litre oil burner variant will receive the i-ACTIV all-wheel-drive system. In the safety department, it comes with Adaptive LED Headlights, Advanced Smart City Brake Support and Traffic Sign Recognition System (TSR). The latter assists drivers by monitoring speed limits signs and warns the driver should he/she exceed the speed limit.
The facelifted Mazda3 is now available across Mazda’s showroom in Japan with prices starting from ¥1,760,400 to ¥3,310,200 (approximately RM66k to RM124k based on today’s rates).
In a related development, Mazda Malaysia confirmed that no less than six new models will be introduced in Malaysia by 2017, with four of them being diesel variants of the CX-3, CX-5, 2, and 6. Last we spoke to Mazda, there were no plans to introduce the diesel 3, but that may all change with changing consumer trends.