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

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28 November 2008

New Megane with a facelift already???

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