Mazda launches saloon version of its family hatchback
20 November 2008

Mazda has launched the saloon version of its new 3 at the LA motor show. The 3 will go on sale in spring next year, and the very similar Euro-friendly hatchback version will make its debut at the Bologna show in December.

The new 3 benefits from a number of design revisions, including a new front grille that’s meant to bring it more in line with the rest of the Mazda range.

Mazda’s engineers say the 3 offers a stiffer body structure than any other Mazda, which should ensure it has more confident handling than the current car. It uses a reworked version of the last 3’s chassis, with multi-link MacPherson struts.

Interior quality has been massively enhanced, with a sweeping dashboard and large, clear instrument clusters. The driving position has also been improved with seat cushions that are almost an inch longer in an effort to improve under-thigh support.

Mazda claims to have launched a weight-saving programme in an effort to improve economy and performance of the 3, but official kerbweight figures will only be released nearer to the launch.

Will Powell

Our Verdict

Mazda 3 2009-2012

The Mazda 3 hatchback is superbly refined and a more competitive package now previous faults are fixed

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20 November 2008

Nice to see that Peugeot don't have a monopoly of hideously ugly cars.

23 November 2008

Couldn't agree more! I used to like Mazda design.

Why do manufacturers think adding a grill and various embellishments make a car look good?

If I want an autonomous car, I'll take a taxi.

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