Rabu, 26 Juni 2013
New Car: 2014 Mazda 3
It’s become something of a trope to proclaim that “economy cars now look decent,” as though last year saw the introduction of the AMC Gremlin. Mazda’s 3 is a perfect example, looking stylish and not the least bit cheap for both of its first two generations. This new third-gen car carries on the tradition, with flowing curves shaping its profile and thin, sharp lines for the fascia. For now, we’re only seeing the five-door hatchback version of the 3; a four-door sedan will debut soon. Mazda says that both will have best-in-class drag coefficients. Beneath the sheetmetal, Mazda has used quite a bit of high-strength steel and reports that the new car is not only 30 percent more rigid than the outgoing 3, but lighter, too.
That the new 3 looks so much like the also-new 6 is intentional, of course, but one does wonder if the two are so similar that only automotive illuminati will be able to distinguish them on the road. Like the 6, which shrunk for this generation, the hatchback version of the 3 cuts 1.8 inches from the last-gen car’s length. Worry not—too much, at least—about interior space. The wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer than before, and Mazda says that it has more hip and shoulder room inside. People of the taller persuasion, though, face some bad news: The new car loses 0.6 inch of headroom. Skip the sunroof and consider a flatter haircut, friends.
Once again, the Mazda 3—in non-Mazdaspeed form, at least—will be available in the U.S. with a choice of two engines. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder, introduced in the outgoing 3 late in its life, carries over from that car as the base engine. Despite the obligatory silly marketing name, the direct-injected “Skyactiv” engine is a fantastic little unit on both the power and efficiency fronts. Same as before, it delivers 155 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque in the new 3, meaning that even owners of entry-level models can brag about comfortable horsepower supremacy over virtually every other car in its class, save the 160-hp Ford Focus and 170-ish-hp new-generation Volkswagen Golf.
Thanks to: Car and Driver