The Mazda 3, also known as the Mazda Axela in Japan, is classified as a compact car and is manufactured by the Mazda Motor Corporation. This vehicle was first introduced to the public in 2003 as the 2004 model, effectively replacing the Familia/323/Protégé. The Mazdaspeed 3, a performance-based version of the original model, was released in Japan as well as parts of Europe and North America. The second generation Mazda 3 was unveiled in 2008 as the 2010 model, first going on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show and the hatchback at the Bologna Auto Show.
The overall design that the Mazda 3 uses is heavily based on the Ford global C1 platform which is also used by the Ford Focus as well as the Volvo S40. This vehicle was first previewed by the MX-Sportif concept car and Mazda 3 now comes in two different body styles, including a 4-door sedan which was marketed as a couple throughout Europe. There is also a 5-door hatchback version of this vehicle which was called the Sport edition in Canada as well as Japan and the United States.
The front suspension for this vehicle is made up of MacPherson struts as well as coil spring and an anti-roll bar. The rear suspension was originally designed by Ford as a multi-link suspension and has four different locating links per wheel which are suspended on coil springs mounted inboard of the shock absorbers so as to reduce intereference with the cargo area. There are also four-wheel disc brakes which are fitted with 300 mm discs in the front and 279 mm brakes in the rear. The wheel and tire sizes for these vehicles vary depending on the specific model and they start at 15” for the base models and 17” for the higher-end models.
When it comes to the performance, The Mazda 3 1.4 S, which is the lower-end model, can go from 0-100 km/h in 14.3 seconds with a maximum speed of 170 km/h or 106 mph. The 1.6 CiTD 80 kW diesel engine which is sold in Europe uses a five-speed manual transmission which can go up to 100km/h in 11.6 seconds with a top speed of 182 km/h or 113 mph. The 2012 Mazda 3 Maxx Sport, which has a five-door 2.0 liter engine, can go from 0-100 km/h in 9.2 seconds with a top speed of 190 km/h. There is also the 2004 Mazda 3 five-door with a 2.3 liter engine and it has been reported to go from 0-60 mph in just 7.4 seconds.
There were some changes that were made to the 2006 Mazda 3 model, including the variable valve timing as well as variable length intake runners which were added to the 2.0 liter engine, resulting in a significant power increase to 150 bhp. The automatic transmission which the Mazda 3 S uses was changed from a 4-speed design to a 5-speed. The larger 2.3 liter engine was officially PZEV-certified for vehicles that were sold in California as well as some other states which use California’s automotive emissions standards.
The third generation Mazda 3, which is also the most current one, came with some changes, including the new Skyactiv chassis which it uses. This vehicle no longer uses the Ford C1 platform and this vehicle is available in numerous engines, including the 2.0 liter 155 horsepower and the 2.5 liter 184 horsepower one which is capable of 185 pound-feet of torque. The Skyactiv-G petrol engines are available in Europe as a 1.5 liter and a 2.0 liter, and both of them have different power ratings. This vehicle has experienced tremendous success with consumers over the years and remains a very popular choice.