Parlin, New Jersey, United States
Thanks to our comrades at Top Gear Russia, the trickling reveal of the Mazda3 sedan has begun. We saw the hatch in person in New York (and loved it), and we wanted to see if the trunked version could hold onto the same mojo. If you like the Mazda6, then you should like the Mazda3 because it takes just about everything from its toothsome big brother and shrinks it into a compact package.
Top Gear Russia was allowed to share photographs of the Mazda sedan they call "Treshka" (or they leaked them, depending on whom you talk to), but not their drive impressions. The site page says it will come in four trims for the Russian market - Drive, Active, Active+ and Supreme - and offer three engines. Our specifications will certainly differ. Other than that, all we have to go on are the looks, which some may argue are even better than the hatch thanks to a trunk line that provides more balance to that long hood up front.
The Mazda3 will go on sale later this year and US prices should be announced in September. For the time being, content yourself with the gallery of high-res images above.
In terms of exterior appearance, not much has changed from the last time we spotted the next-generation Mazda3 out testing. Oh, sure - we can see plenty of details that clearly show the new Kodo design influence (that front end reminds us a whole lot of the sleek new Mazda6), but these latest round of spy shots don't really show us anything we haven't seen before. Oh, wait, yes they do - the interior.
Feast your eyes on the Mazda3's insides, showing a vastly reworked interior that also takes cues from the automaker's most recently refreshed products. We can see that there's a simple, clean center stack with a slim row of heating and cooling functions, and up top there's a large, presumably touchscreen display, with redundant controls found just aft of the shifter.
We expect that the 2015 Mazda3 will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September, packing both petrol and diesel engines. A sedan variant is also in the works, and should debut shortly after the hatchback.
This was sort of a quirky surprise drive opportunity. I've been over here in Italy for a while now, and Mazda Italia contacted me seemingly out of the blue to drive test some version of the Mazda6 with a diesel engine. Supremo. The Mazda6 is a sexy everyday beast and I have been digging their SkyActiv-D engines for a while now. Very spirited units.
My contact phones me the day of, and says he can come by with the car, and then we'll head off to some sort of special spot for dynamics testing and technical conversation. Nice deal, say I.
My guy Ernesto pulls up outside of the house and - lo and behold - it's a dang Mazda6 station wagon with the very most recent 2.2-liter SkyActiv-D motor good for 148 horsepower and healthy 280 pound-feet of torque. The wee four-banger with 14.0:1 compression ratio hauls this 3,260-pound wagon around with the best of them. A decent 0-to-60-mph time of 8.7 seconds, too.