New Mazda3 aims to win sales from VW Golf

New hatchback is one of the most eyecatching cars in its segment


Mazda’s new family hatchback delivers on the styling promises made with the launch of the larger Mazda6 last year. The new Mazda3 is a stunning looking entrant into one of the most competitive segments in Europe and the leading sales segment in Ireland.

The new Mazda3 features the dynamic family styling for the brand, combined with a continuation of its new lightweight strategy, encompassing lighter powertrain elements and body parts. The new car arrives in Irish showrooms for sale at the end of the year in time for January 2014 sales.

Inside there are many ergonomic and styling features carried forward from the Mazda6, while the Japanese car firm is promising that this will be one of the first mainstream hatchbacks to offer a suite of online services. The new features includes in-car access to free mobile content including Aha, a cloud-based service with more than 40,000 stations including radio, podcasts, audio books, personlised location-based services, and Facebook and Twitter audio feeds. The new system also uses connected smartphone access to display SMS, MMS and emails and features readout functions.

The engine range includes a 1.5-litre 100bhp petrol engine; a 2-litre 120bhp petrol engine in both manual and automatic; and the firm’s 2.2-litre 150bhp diesel. They also feature the firm’s stop/start system called i-stop, which it claims is the world’s fastest idle-stop system.

The lack of smaller diesel engines may hinder big volume sales if the price is at the upper end of the market, but the look certainly makes it one of the most eyecatching hatchbacks on the market.