Available as a four-door sedan and a five-door hatchback, the all-new Mazda 3 retains the model's distinctive silhouette but now re-sculpted by the wind. It has lost its small upper grill to improve aerodynamics, while the front bumper and its signature five-point lower grill now protrudes out to suck in large volumes of air (or just about anything that stands in its way). The headlights have then been swept back and are now deeply-recessed, and two new faux air dams sit on the bumper's periphery to add to its sporty appeal. Meanwhile, its backside is reminiscent of the Mazda 6's. All in all, its one good looking package.
Inside, you'll find orange-illuminated knobs and buttons, which are typical of Mazda. Soft-touch plastic is abundant all throughout the cabin with silver trims accentuating its lines. And new for this model is a multi-information display on top of the dashboard that gives you important details such as fuel economy, ambient temperature, and range. Besides audio controls, the three-spoke steering wheel now also houses paddle shifters. But instead of the usual Formula 1-inspired ‘pull on the right to shift up, pull on the left to shift down’ methodology, it's now ‘pull to shift up and push to shift down.’ Add to that a start/stop button, and you're almost ready to race.
Unfortunately, we weren't able to take the all-new Mazda 3 for a spin at the Expo, but Mazda claims that ride comfort has been improved, yet maintains its nimble handling characteristics. In other words, they've made it less harsh on bumps, though we suspect its corning abilities might have been somewhat compromised.
Looking at all the improvements inside and out, don't be too disappointed when you discover that it has yet inherited Mazda's SKYACTIV technology. It still retains the previous generation's 1.6L four-cylinder engine with 103 horsepower and 144 Nm of torque, and its 2.0L counterpart with 145 horsepower and 182 Nm.
Looking at the specs alone, the all-new Mazda 3 is certainly worth the three year wait. Now could you imagine how much better it'll be behind the wheel?
At P999,000 for the 1.6L V sedan, P1,099,000 for the 1.6L V hatchback, and P1,299,000 for the 2.0L R sedan, the all-new Mazda 3 is shipped CBU (Completely Built-Up) from Japan and comes in black mica, crystal white pearl, aluminum metallic, graphite gray, velocity red, and sky blue.