2019 Mazda3 Gets Driver-Oriented Redesign, AWD

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - November 28, 2018

The Mazda3 is one of the brand's best-selling vehicles, so the new, fourth-generation of the compact vehicle is getting an important overhaul for the compact vehicle. Needless to say, Mazda brought the heat at the Los Angeles Auto Show, where it unveiled a stylish Mazda3 with a new platform, a new Skyactiv-X engine, and an available all-wheel-drive system.

Starting on the outside, the new Mazda3 gets a lot of inspiration from the Kai concept from the 2017 Tokyo Auto Show. Regardless of whether you're looking at the sedan or hatchback, it's easy to tell that the new Mazda3 is a car from Mazda's designers. While the new hatchback measures in at roughly the same size as before, the sedan is now 3.2 inches long and 0.7 inches lower.

Mazda is launching the vehicle globally with a host of engines, but consumers in the U.S. will only get a choice of a Skyactiv 2.5-liter inline-four that can be paired with a six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission. Power figures haven't been announced yet, but we're expecting the motor to make around 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque, which are figures from the current motor.

Later on in the model's life, Mazda will introduce its first Skyactiv-X engine. The high-tech engine brings the best aspects of a diesel engine to a regular combustion engine for improved efficiency and performance. The unique motor utilizes a high compression ratio, a mild-hybrid system, a supercharger, and complicated combustion timing.

Other impressive news is the addition of Mazda's i-Activ all-wheel-drive system, which is a rarity for the compact segment. Mazda has also packed the new Mazda3 with its G-Vectoring Control Plus system with brake-powered torque vectoring.

The new Mazda3 will also come with the brand's Driver Monitoring system, which uses an infrared camera and infrared LED to monitor the driver's condition while behind the wheel. Specifically, the system looks at how wide open the driver's eyelids are, the angle of the driver's mouth and face, and the number of time he or she blinks. Smart Brake Support, Front Cross Traffic Alert, and Cruising & Traffic Support are also available on the Mazda3.

Things have been updated on the inside, too, where the Mazda3 has a more premium look. The minimal dashboard design mimics something from Audi. A new 8.8-inch screen is prominently placed onto the dashboard, while the telescopic steering wheel now has an extra 10 mm of movement. In an attempt to improve sound quality, Mazda has moved the location of the Mazda3's speakers, too. A new seat design and a new location for the shifter round out the notable changes in the cabin.

The changes for the Mazda3 continue the Japanese brand's movement as an upmarket brand. The more stylish design, refined cabin, high-tech powertrain, and available all-wheel-drive system push the Mazda3 into new territory.

Drivers interested in a Mazda3 with the 2.5-liter engine will be able to get an example in early 2019. Models equipped with the Skyactiv-X engine are expected to arrive in dealers by the end of 2019. With all of the improvements, we wouldn't be surprised to see pricing increase from the current model's price tag of $18,990.

Learn about the current Mazda3 available now

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter | Website