The third-generation Mazda 3 is the also the third model from the Hiroshima-based company to be developed under its much-flaunted ‘Skyactiv', high-efficiency mantra and its Kodo design language.
Outside it's a clear relative of the previous Kodo (Japanese for ‘soul of motion') Mazdas, the D-segment 6 and CX5 compact SUV. Its DRG is familiar from those cars with a deep, five-sided grille with a sharp chrome accent that spears into the wide lamps. It's far more serious-looking than the manic grin of the outgoing car, albiet rather more conservative.
In profile it's now more cab-rearward, with the base of the A-pillars 100mm further back, creating a longer hood and less momovolume silhouette. Strong fender surfaces define the body sides, while its DLO and rocker surface are reminiscent of both the Opel Astra and Alfa Romeo Giulietta. Its drag co-efficient is an impressively low Cd 0.275 when fitted with the active air shutter.
Its tail is characterized by a strong wide, triangular stance via the broad rear screen, horizontal lamps and the trapezoid formed by the license plate surround and lower mask graphic.
Inside Mazda has updated the 3's HMI with a gauge pack that features a large, central tacho flanked by digital readouts, augmented by a head-up display that projects onto a retractable transparent surface. This presents speed and navigation information to the drive. An on-trend, tablet-aping central screen with full smartphone connectivity sits above the center stack.