Full details of Mazda's new Focus rival
27 November 2008

Mazda will launch the new five-door version of its 3 family hatch at the Bologna motor show, the company has announced.

Tha launch is just weeks after the four-door saloon version made its debut in Los Angeles.

The Mazda 3 - which shares underpinnings with its key rival, the Ford Focus - is meant to offer a 'sportier' drive than the outgoing model.

Autocar has already driven a prototype model, and can report that it's a nimbler driving hatchback than even the latest Focus.

Powerplant options will include Mazda's newly developed 2.2-litre diesel engine, offered in either 148bhp or 183bhp state of tune.

Mazda claims this diesel powerplant will offer better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions than the current 2.0-litre diesel, although no official figures have been released yet.

The new 2.2-litre diesel will sit alongside the smaller 1.6-litre diesel from the outgoing car.

Revised versions of the 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre petrol motors will also be available and will now use an ultra-modern method of catalyst construction that helps Mazda reduce its use of scarce resources like platinum and palladium.

Environmental concerns were high on Mazda's agenda during the new 3's design phase. It's likely to be much lighter than the outgoing car and the aerodynamics have been honed to offer what's being billed as a best in class drag co-efficient.

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

Join the debate


28 November 2008

New Megane with a facelift already???

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK
  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals