Test Mazda3 gasoline Skyactiv-G 122 HP and diesel Skyactiv-D 116 HP
The new generation of the Mazda3 was presented A few months ago at the Salon of Los Angeles and now begins its commercialization in Europe. Although we could see all the details and get on the Mazda compact in its static presentation, now we have moved to Lisbon and its surroundings to drive it and extract the maximum impressions at the controls We are anticipating that its dynamics is the best of the category.
This car for the C segment of the Japanese company adds more than 6 million trades in the world since the 2003, of which just over one million have remained in Europe. Today, with the rise of the SUV, it is not the main model of the brand in terms of volume, it is the third, but it is still quite important. We tested it on its 5-door hatchback body and with the two engines now available.
Before getting into the test, I wanted to tell you that it is now landing in dealerships the 5-door Mazda3 with the Skyactiv-G petrol engine 122 hp and Skyactiv-D diesel 116 hp , manual and automatic for the first and only with manual gearbox for the second. At the end of the second quarter, the Body Sedan will arrive with the same mechanical possibilities. Finally, after the summer will land the expected Skyactiv-X petrol engine with compression ignition.
I have called especially the attention that the forecasts of Mazda Spain when all the variants are on sale that only 2% will resort to the diesel engine , leaving 66% of the commercializations to the less powerful gasoline engine and approximately 32% to the Skyactiv-X of 180 CV. Here, in Spain, they foresee that almost 80% of the commercializations will be with three pedals and manual change.
On the other hand, 7 out of 10 will use the hatchback bodywork and the The vast majority of sales will go to the Evolution and Zenith finishing levels. According to them, the Mazda customer usually looks for mid-range or high-end finishes. In total, their estimates say that one year after the arrival of the Skyactiv-X engine they will have registered about 4,200 units of Mazda3 annually , and that this will represent 20% of the total sales of the firm in Spain. And now, let's go with the test.
It's not pretty, it's beautiful
There's no doubt that Mazda really is betting on emotion in their designs for a few years. The smooth and flowing lines are bringing a very characteristic touch to their cars and, at least to my liking, they are leaving quite beautiful results. The new Mazda3 launches a new evolution of the Kodo design that will be extended by the rest of vehicles as they are updated.
I do not want to go too much into aesthetic details from the outside, because I already told you a lot about it when I met him for the first time in person, during the static presentation we had in Madrid.It looks like a very personal car , but also identifies with the philosophy of the brand.
All the forms are quite natural , from the huge grill that now it does not seem so much for the introduction of the license plate (how much would the cars gain if the front license plates were dispensable, right?), to the design of their rearguard in both the 5-door hatchback bodies and the sedan 4 accesses.
Personally, the only point of the body that does not finish to convince me is the rear pillar in the hatchback body. Since they have knocked down the rear window so much, they have stretched this C-pillar so much that, to my taste, I think it's too thick and a bit disproportionate.
There are two things that I personally like very much about the Mazda3. The first is that it has a very fluid and beautiful design without the need to look for angled lines of tension on the sides or in the back to create muscle. The second is the way to play with lights and reflections thanks to very attractive paintings since, precisely, all of their curves are really curves, and not abrupt lines.
Exterior dimensions of the Mazda3
Although in this presentation we have only been able to test the compact model - because the Sedan will take a few more months to reach the dealers - in the next table we leave you the external dimensions of both.
Fluency and high quality inside
Passing to the interior , the Mazda3 welcomes us with a cabin that is very well resolved in almost every way. It has convinced me the quality of interior materials , as well as the adjustments of the different parts and trim. In addition, they have not neglected the rear seats at all, also using good quality materials. I do not think I have anything to envy rivals like the Audi A3, the BMW 1 Series or the Mercedes Class A in that regard.
It is true that visual technology is behind with the aforementioned rivals, because the Mazda is the last one to reach the market and does not offer, for example, a fully digital instrument panel (although it does have a 7-inch TFT screen for travel information) . For me, this is not very important, but I can understand that there are technology-loving customers who would like to find it.
Other things that I liked about the interior of the Mazda3 is that, > As standard, it brings Head Up Display and an 8.8-inch main screen in the center of the dashboard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; whose audio equipment consists of no less than 8 speakers. Yes, all of it as standard. Something that did not quite fit in Mazda in its previous products was the quality of image and operation of the infotainment , as well as the projection of the external cameras. I have to say that they have improved a lot. It does not arrive in cameras at the level of BMW, for example, but there is an important jump .
The steering wheel has a very good feel and a very adequate thickness.Mazda, have you looked for inspiration in the German brand for your steering wheel? One aspect that I find curious is the place where they have placed the front air vents on the passenger side, in a somewhat low position. I guess it will be a matter of time to get used to.
What I did not like at all , as I always say in all the cars that use it, the piano black finish . The " piano black " is fashionable, and it's one of those fashions that hurt. It is always dirty and scratches very easily. What's the point? All the units that we have climbed during these two days of testing presented clear scratches, and are cars did not reach 2,000 kilometers . These shiny black plastics are present in the vicinity of the gear lever, in the lid of the front cup holder and in the handle of the door, next to the buttons for the operation of the power windows.
Finally, I think that some air vents in the rear seats , adjustable even if only in air flow, located in the central area would have been good . Also I missed a couple of USB sockets and sockets in the rear seats, something very practical now that so "plugged" we are constantly to our devices.
Correct for four and with a trunk in the middle
Regarding the habitability , the front seats are correct and the seats allow extensive adjustments. In this generation of the Mazda3 have also expanded the possibilities of adjustment of the steering wheel, so now it adapts more and better to drivers of very high or very low, which is always a success because everyone has the right to be comfortable at the time of driving, right?
For its part, the rear seats have a clear approach to accommodate two occupants and not three here behind. The side seats are marked to offer a good lateral grip and pick up users, so comfort is good. The central square is narrow, higher, not subject and is influenced by the transmission tunnel. The space for legs and head is correct , in the middle of the segment, because it is not the fairest but it does not stand out for its breadth.
Meanwhile, the boot of the 5-door Mazda3 cubic 358 liters , so it is more or less in the middle. Yes, I consider it a bit small because it is one of the models with the longest category, so the relationship of the length of the body and the total volume is not good if we compare it with other rivals. A Volkswagen Golf, for example, has only 20 liters more cargo but it is a much shorter car. Folding the seats are 1,026 liters. The Mazda3 Sedan that will arrive in three months cubes 450 liters expandable to 1138, but its comfort and practicality when loading and unloading is lower.
Engines and technique: No sign of downsizing
In this marketing start the mechanical range is too fair; so much that it is limited to a gasoline engine and another diesel . As usual in Mazda and, in turn uncommon in the market, there is no trace of downsizing .This tetracilíndrico is 16 valves and does not resort to overfeeding, it is atmospheric. However, it has a system of electric support mild hybrid of 24 volts that allows you to receive the Eco Label of the DGT. On the other hand, it also uses a cylinder deactivation system to save fuel. This petrol engine develops 122 hp at 6,000 rpm and delivers a maximum torque of 213 Nm to 4,000 rpm.
Meanwhile, the Skyactiv-D diesel engine is a 1.8-liter with supercharging by turbo. This mechanics comes to replace, according to Mazda recognizes, the previous 1.5 and 2.2 previously used in the compact. Bring NOx catalyst and you do not need Adblue. In this case we are talking about a power of 116 hp at 4,000 rpm and a torque of 270 Nm between 1,600 and 2,600 laps. It is always combined with the manual change, there being no option - at least for the moment - to resort to automatic change.
|0 to 100 km/h
|0 to 100 km/h
|2.0 Skyactiv-G manual 6v
|6.2 l/100 km
|2.0 Skyactiv-G Auto 6v
|6.5 l/100 km
|1.8 Skyactiv-D manual 6v
|5.0 l/100 km
|2.0 Skyactiv-G manual 6v
|6 l/100 km
|2.0 Skyactiv- G Auto 6v
|6.4 l/100 km
|1.8 Skyactiv-D manual 6v
|4.8 l/100 km
Later the expected Skyactiv-X engine with 181 HP will arrive and its curious ignition operation by spark plug-controlled compression . This engine can be combined with a all-wheel drive intelligent system called i-Activ.
As I said above, Mazda Spain believes that only 2% of Mazda3 that you commercialize will have diesel engine . This is because the two gasoline engines will receive the Eco label of the DGT, a detail that currently has a fundamental weight in the potential buyers of a new vehicle. If we add to this the clear rejection of diesel today ... We asked the brand if a more powerful diesel will come to this model and the answer has been emphatic: No.
At the wheel: Keeping the dynamic touch and driving pleasure
During this two-day presentation I was able to test the compact Mazda with gasoline and diesel engine , although for obvious reasons we focused more on the Skyactiv engine -G 122 hp -because it will be the most demanded by difference during the next months-.It was not one of the widest or the most technological in the field of little screens, but it is a car that makes you feel quite driving and that is something that I, personally, like a lot. It reminds in a certain way some BMW models of a few years ago in that sense.
It has not lost a bit of the previously described with this new generation, which is news fantastic for all those who like to drive. Follow making yourself feel part of the car and driving thanks to its good steering feel and, above all, the manual change, with a knob that is near the steering wheel and with fast and accurate inserts. It is one of those cars that invite you to play with the lever (although below I'll tell you that although you do not like it you'll also have to do it).
It also generates that good general feeling of driving the brake pedal, because it has an unusual touch. It is somewhat hard compared to most normal cars and there is no first "approach" section, but from the beginning the pedal has the same hardness and progressiveness. In any case, do not think that it is necessary to do enough force to stop the car; not much, just that it has a more sporty feel.
The address of the new Mazda3 is fast and accurate, with a weight that offers a good compromise to have fun at the right time. to drive on a tacked road and at the same time be practical and comfortable when it comes to strolling or parking. In addition, the touch and thickness of the steering wheel, as I mentioned above, is good.
Meanwhile, the chassis-suspension set forms a good binomial . The bodywork shows no signs of lateral or longitudinal inclinations when drawing curves at a rapid pace or when braking hard. This translates into fairly quick support changes and a good feeling of stability at all times. Perhaps the suspension can be a bit dry when exceeding some abrupt bump -like a sewer or expansion joint-, but neither can be considered uncomfortable by excessive hardness or rebound at any time.
In highway a legal maximum expected A little better aerodynamic isolation, because the truth is that some noise is strained that, I think, comes from the rear view mirrors. It's not a very noisy car, at all, but in a vehicle that tries to rival the German premium trio (A3, Series 1 and Class A) I think they should have taken care of this section a little more. The rolling tone is also not high and that of the engine is quite isolated at normal revolutions. Of course, the feeling of aplomb at high speed is good.
For its part, strolling around the city, some aspects are appreciated, such as its visibility is partially impaired. for the exterior design, since the windows are in a slightly elevated position and the rear window is very inclined. The prominent rear pillar also limits visibility in the rear three quarter.The new Japanese compact feels quite agile and safe when facing a good stretch of high-speed corners; without curling up Having fun and driving a bit aggressively at times, at no time has he made any strange or compromising gesture and has always shown some intuitive and noble reactions.
Yes, I have not talked about the operation of your engines yet. I know. It's something I've purposely left for the end. And is that the Mazda3 petrol Skyactiv-G is not made for all drivers . Why? Because we are already too used to turbos, to engines with a lot of torque from below and to accelerate at any time and always have a good response.
While many current gasoline engines begin to give their maximum torque at around 2,500 or even 2,000 rpm, the 122 hp Mazda3 Skyactiv-G delivers its maximum torque at 4,000 laps. Therefore, do not expect to press the accelerator in fourth gear at 2,000 rpm uphill and receive a strong response. You have to play with the change , which has a delicious touch, and lower one or two gears. The engine will go up in revolutions and then we will have a good energy delivery. The maximum power reaches 6,000 laps.The sound of the engine is also different because it has no turbo and its "high" displacement, sounding more beautiful than cars with turbo both at idle and at high rpm.
Strolling and at low speeds do not notice that little torque at low revolutions per minute, since we do not usually accelerate thoroughly in first or second gear in normal driving. What's more, thanks to the fineness of the engine and the absence of the turbo, the performance of the car is noticeably softer and more progressive ; something that works for us when driving at low speed.
For its part, the diesel engine has a fair response , which is not enough, for those drivers who wish to move from one point to another without further ado. It is true that it is well insulated and that it barely sounds even when idling, so it is pleasant in that sense. However, at the time of requesting an incorporation to highway, for example, it can be a bit short.This new Mazda3 has a chassis so achieved that any normal power engine for the category it may seem short for what it is capable of absorbing.
The Mazda3 is a very car recommended if you like to drive and play with a good manual change. You have to keep it in mind. Dynamically it is the best of the segment, if not the best, and it is very fun, but the absence of the turbo raises the revolutions that we find the highest torque and this totally changes the way of driving. You have to change the chip.
If you really like its aesthetics but do not like to get too involved in driving, if you do not like the car to require you to change gears more than usual, you I strongly recommend you try it before buying it . I, because I like to drive a lot and do not mind using the gear lever again and again, I am sure that I would buy it; but everyone has their tastes and is not a car recommended by this peculiarity to all drivers.
To finish with regard to the mechanics, I have many wishes to get the new engine Skyactiv-X .If you expect a sports version, such as the MPS seen years ago, it seems that the Hiroshima firm has no intention of producing it.
The Mazda3 watches your rivals on a one-to-one basis previously mentioned, and in many aspects exceeds them. One of them is the relationship between quality, equipment and price. Well to Equality of equipment the Mazda is much cheaper than its rivals and also brings a high endowment from the most accessible version.
Among the series equipment for all Mazda3 in Spain highlights adaptive cruise control, rear parking sensors, blind spot control, lane change warning, automatic high beam, Head Up Display, 8.8 main screen browser inches, 16-inch wheels, LED back lighting, cross-traffic detection, G-Vectoring Control +, audio equipment with 8 speakers or recognition of traffic signals, among others.