Since launch in 2009, the second-generation Mazda3 has proven to be one of the compact segment’s most attractive offers. Its line-up of two different body styles – a sporty 5-door hatchback and an athletic sedan – seven engines, a sports grade and the high-performance Mazda3 MPS, has been a big hit with European customers looking for stylish driving fun in a compact car.
Mazda is strengthening this successful line-up even further with the launch of an updated Euro 5 compliant 1.6-litre MZ-CD common-rail diesel engine, now with a six-speed manual transmission. It produces 85 kW/115 PS of maximum power at 3,600 rpm and 270 Nm of maximum torque in a wide engine speed range of 1,750 – 2,700 rpm. The new version uses just 4.4 litres of fuel per 100 km (combined) and produces 117 grams per 100 km of CO2 (combined). Its new low-friction two-valve SOHC (single overhead camshaft) layout and its aluminium block make this engine lightweight and compact.
The second-generation Mazda3 boasts an expressive exterior design that is sporty and dynamic with deeply character lines for a look of solid build quality. It is very aerodynamic with one of the segment’s lowest drag coefficients (0.28 for the sedan and 0.30 for the hatchback). Sporty and roomy on the inside, it has a refined human-machine interface cockpit for exemplary ease-of-use and offers superior cabin quietness. With the updated 1.6-litre turbo diesel under the bonnet, the lightweight second-generation Mazda3 is quick off the line, frugal at the pump and fun to drive.
Powertrain – Saving Fuel while Increasing Driving Fun
The enhanced MZ-CD 1.6 diesel engine with new six-speed manual transmission offers increased power and torque for great drivability, with improved fuel economy that meets Euro 5 emissions regulations.
In order to meet the exhaust emissions regulations, the updated diesel engine has a reduced compression ratio — which lowers the combustion temperature — and comes with an improved, highly efficient exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cooler and EGR cooler bypass system that enables the engine to warm up faster when started from cold. Its diesel particulate filter (DPF) is now maintenance-free.
The MZ-CD 1.6 engine was optimized for superb NVH performance. The friction of the valve train was reduced, for instance, by adopting a two-valve single overhead camshaft (SOHC) design instead of the previous four-valve double overhead camshaft (DOHC) arrangement. The precision of the injection system was also enhanced.
Due to the smaller number of parts in the two-valve SOHC structure, the updated MZ-CD 1.6 engine is about 4 kg lighter than its predecessor. Together with the new six-speed manual transmission that weighs 3 kg less than the five-speed manual of the previous model, the updated powertrain is approximately 7 kg lighter overall.
Thanks to these innovative measures, the updated Mazda3 satisfies Euro 5 requirements and realises smoother and more powerful driving performance as well as excellent fuel economy.
The updated MZ-CD 1.6 engine has a new, variable-geometry turbocharger (VGT) that is more efficient than the turbocharger used by the previous-generation engine. Combined with an improved compressor and turbine it allows the engine to deliver maximum torque of 270 Nm (+ 30 Nm versus the previous 1.6-litre diesel) in a wide engine speed range of 1,750 and 2,700 rpm for improved responsiveness. Its maximum output reaches 85 kW/115 PS at 3,600 rpm (+ 6 PS) at 3,600 rpm (400 rpm lower than before) for a dynamic yet comfortable and easy-to-control performance feel.
Common-rail injection system
The updated common rail fuel injector system includes new piezo injectors. The fuel is injected at 1,600 bar. This high pressure enables for more precise injection control that results in higher torque, lower fuel consumption and cleaner emissions. The updated Mazda3 MZ-CD 1.6 uses just 4.4 litres of fuel per 100 km (combined) and produces 117 grams per 100 km of CO2 (combined). Also, the use of multi-pilot injection realizes smoother combustion that leads to a quiet and comfortable ride.
New maintenance-free diesel particulate filter (DPF)
The previous MZ-CD 1.6 engine used an additive to burn off the particulate matter in the diesel particulate filter (DPF). The updated 1.6-liter engine uses an oxidation catalyst to increase the exhaust gas temperature and improve particulate combustion, enabling the DPF to operate without the use of an additive. The new coated DPF does not require maintenance and realizes a significant saving in running costs.
Over 560,000 customers around Europe have chosen the Mazda3 during the last seven years. 80,000 of them are already driving the current generation introduced in 2009. They know it as a four-door sedan and a five-door hatchback. Both body styles cover a chassis with a relatively long wheelbase, at 2,640 mm. Short front and rear overhangs underscore the compact’s dynamic character. With large wheels, and a front and rear track of 1,530 and 1,515 mm respectively (with 17-inch tyres), the wheel wells are almost completely filled out. This helped Mazda designers to sharpen the sporty profile of the Mazda3 even further.
The most striking design feature of the Mazda3 can be found at the front. Its large grille is horizontally articulated and flanked by two body openings placed at the edges of the vehicle. The front is strongly reminiscent of a performance sports car and is set to contribute to high levels of brand recognition.
For the updated diesel version, the list of exterior colours has been expanded by a new colour called Gunmetal Blue.
A part of Mazda’s ‘Sustainable Zoom-Zoom’ strategy is the development of new vehicles under a strict weight reduction programme, which lowers fuel consumption and reduces CO2 emission. The secondgeneration Mazda3 set an industry standard for being lighter than its predecessor while being larger and better equipped. To achieve this, developers used more high-tensile steels and a twin-beam instrument panel. They also optimized the shape of the rear suspension, while painstakingly reducing the weight of all components (sometimes by only a few grams). As a result, the current Mazda3 is up to 15 kg lighter than the previous model.
The dynamic attributes of the Mazda3 include high torsional stiffness, employing enhanced crossmember towers at the front axle, an evolved multi-link rear suspension and strengthened body joints. Along with the lightweight body shell, these measures give the Mazda3 excellent agility, a balanced and predictable handling and safe road hold.
The Mazda3 has a wide range of seven powertrains available to meet the diverse preferences of European customers. Besides the updated MZ-CD 1.6, the diesel line-up also offers the powerful yet frugal MZR-CD 2.2 in two fun-to-drive derivatives. The Standard Power version produces 110 kW/150 PS of maximum power at 3,500 rpm and 360 Nm of maximum torque between 1,800 and 2,600 rpm while the High Power version delivers 136 kW/185 PS at 3,500 rpm and 400 Nm between 1,800 and 3,000 rpm. Both derivatives are paired to a six-speed manual transmission.
The petrol line-up’s entry-level engine is the lively MZR 1.6 with intake manifold fuel injection and fivespeed manual producing 77 kW/105 PS of maximum power at 6,000 rpm and 145 Nm of maximum torque at 4,000 rpm. The frugal and fun MZR 2.0 DISI direct-injection petrol comes with Mazda’s unique stop/ start system i-stop as standard. It delivers 111 kW/151 PS at 6,200 rpm and 191 Nm at 4,500 rpm and is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. An MZR 2.0 petrol with manifold injection and five-speed automatic is also available. It puts out 110 kW/150 PS at 6,500 rpm and 187 Nm at 4,000 rpm.
Rounding out the engine line-up is the the high-performance MZR 2.3 DISI turbo direct-injection petrol of the Mazda3 MPS producing 191 kW/260 PS of maximum power at 5,550 rpm and 380 Nm of maximum torque at 3,000 rpm. It is combined with a six-speed manual gearbox.
In all European markets, the base grade of the Mazda3 has a long list of standard equipment. Power adjustable side mirrors are standard, as is telescopic and vertical steering wheel adjustment. The base grade audio system comes with a CD player with MP3 capability and an AUX jack for hooking up MP3 devices.
Depending on grade, the Mazda3 adds features like a Bluetooth® interface, a Bose® premium surround sound system, two-zone climate control, keyless entry and start system, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, rear parking sensor system, heated windshield, and a rain and light sensor system. The Mazda3 can be equipped with an affordable, integrated navigation system that uses a 4.1-inch display and can be operated from the steering wheel. Navigation data are stored on a compact SD card.
Up to five passengers are pampered on the inside by above-average roominess (for a compact car) and a long list of comfort features. The interior delivers what people have come to expect from Mazda – a sporty ambience with ‘form-follows-function’ ergonomics. Also typical for the Mazda brand is the interior’s high quality feel with carefully crafted materials.
The driver area is designed like a pilot’s cockpit centred on the driver with intuitive human-machine interface (HMI) functionality. All controls are grouped according to their function. Depending on their importance for driving and comfort, details are communicated via two easy-to-read LCD displays.
The Mazda3 is among the safest vehicles in the compact segment and was awarded five stars on Euro NCAP crash testing in November 2009. It features a triple-H body architecture, sophisticated front and rear deformation zones, and the use of high-tensile steels in the pillars and side sills. The front seats have active head restraints that lower the chance of whiplash during a rear collision. Two front airbags, two side airbags and integrated curtain airbags protect driver and passengers, accompanied by seat belts with double pretensioners (driver´s seat only) and degressive load-limiter retractors. Energy-absorbing foam in the front bumper beam enhances pedestrian protection.
Every Mazda3 features dynamic stability control (DSC) with traction control system (TCS) as well as ABS and brake assist. The standard emergency stop signal (ESS) warns following vehicles with rapidly flashing hazard lights when the driver suddenly brakes in an emergency situation. Once the car stops, the system continues to ﬂash in normal frequency, which can help prevent the following vehicle from hitting the back of the car.
Depending on grade and market, the Mazda3 can be equipped with a pivoting adaptive front lighting system (AFS) with bi-xenon headlamps that pivot left or right to a maximum of 15º and illuminate the corner or curve automatically. Also available is the rear vehicle monitoring system (RVM), which detects a vehicle approaching from the right or left rear or driving in the dead angle, then warns the driver before he might cause a dangerous situation by changing lanes.