2014 Mazda 3 for Oz: 2L, 2.5L engines; 7-inch nav, internet display

Mazda has officially unveiled the new 3 hatch, and Mazda Australia has let the first few juicy tidbits about the Australia-bound 2014 Mazda 3 out of the bag.

The new car will go on sale in Australia in the first quarter of 2014, and the initial engine line-up will consist entirely of petrol engines — it’s likely, although Mazda as yet to confirm, that the 110kW/380Nm 2.2-litre turbo-diesel will arrive later. At launch buyers of the 2014 Mazda 3 will get to choose from a 114kW/200Nm 2-litre SkyActiv-G engine or the larger 138kW/250Nm 2.5-litre SkyActive-G motor. These engines will be mated to your choice of either 6-speed automatic or manual transmission.

No word yet on whether (or which) Australia-bound 3s will feature the i-Eloop regenerative braking system. According to Mazda, the new 3 (in up-spec trim at least) will feature 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 215/45 rubber.

From the photos we can tell that top of the range models will feature dual-zone climate control air con, push button start, front and rear parking sensors, heated front seats, LED driving lights, LED tail-lights, xenon headlights with adaptive front lighting, heated front seats, cruise control, driver adjustable speed limiter, head-up display, (probably faux) carbon fibre trim, automatic engine start/stop, and lane keeping assistance.

The new 3 also features an integrated entertainment and navigation system, as opposed to the tacked-on systems currently available the CX-5 and Mazda 6. Although the high resolution 7-inch screen sits proud on the top of the dashboard and looks like a high-end portable nav device, it looks to be well integrated into the new 3. The system is controlled via an iDrive-style controller and buttons in the centre console. In addition to allowing the driver to see nav instructions, control the entertainment system, and access their phone, the new system is internet capable, and is able to display social media feeds, email and SMS. There are also buttons on the steering wheel and voice recognition.

Dubbed Active Driving Display, the new head-up display is able to show speed, nav instructions and other info projected onto a tinted piece of pop-up glass. The instrument cluster for high-end models features a large centrally located tacho with a digital speedo in the corner, which is flanked by two LCD screens.

According to reports the new Mazda 3 sedan will be unveiled within the five weeks or so, and the new car is around 90kg lighter than current BL model.

As revealed in our earlier article on the new 3, the car sits on a longer wheelbase, but is shorter and lower overall. (See table below.)

Dimensions, capacity, etc.

Length: 4,465mm (-41mm compared to BL Mazda 3)
Width: 1,765mm (+10mm)
Height: 1,450mm (-20mm)
Wheelbase: 2,700mm (+60mm)
Boot space: 350L (+10L)
Drag coefficient: 0.275

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Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]