The 2019 all-new Mazda3 has finally made its arrival amongst our shores, making its debut in Australia late March 2019.
This highly anticipated release is proving to be the talk of the industry with a large number of enthusiasts jumping on waitlists for updates and early viewing.
When Mazda flashed us a peek at its all-new model last year at the LA auto show, it was obvious the lengths Mazda have gone to push the limits of the Mazda 3 design. Featuring new body design, new interior, new engine, and for the first time ever (in the US) an all-wheel-drive option.
As you approach the all-new 2019 Mazda 3, it’s easy to see the change. Although still modeling its predecessor, there is enough change to standout in the crowd. From the front, the Mazda3 has clearly taken on some beautiful influence of the Kai concept launched at the Tokyo Motor Show back in 2017 and is coming into line with the look of the current model CX-5 range.
As we move around the car you notice the smoothing of some historically distinctive sharper details especially in the hatch, and progressing to the rear of the car you can’t help but notice the dropping of the shoulder line that defined the hatchback’s proportions.
In my opinion, this softens the previous sportiness of the hatch and starts to create a more sleek and classy, almost prestige feel to the design.
In true Mazda nature, the interior of the new Mazda 3 has been improved in almost every way. The general layout is similar to the previous model but all the elements look more cohesive than before.
A standout feature is the new design of the rotary dial for the infotainment system. With its larger dial and new layout, it’s the perfect compliment to the newly designed MZD connect interface.
With some general tweaks to the dash, air con controls, and center console, there is now a more streamlined feel to the interior. Feeling more connected and flowing and raising the bar for their already comfortable ride.
The 2019 Mazda 3 will launch the new version of the Mazda connect system. Upgrading from the previous 7-inch unit to its new 8.8-inch display, and will come with a newly designed operating system believed to be even easier to use than what we currently have on offer.
Hatchback: The new hatchback is almost identical in size to the previous model, only falling 0.6 inches shorter in height.
Sedan: Coming in at 183.5 inches long, 70.8 inches wide and 56.7 inches tall. The 2019 Mazda3 sedan is the same width as the previous model but is now 3.2 inches longer and 0.6 inches shorter in height.
Wheelbase: The wheelbase of the new Mazda 3 is coming in 1 inch longer than the previous model, now at 107.3 inches.
We are fairly sure we won’t be seeing the all-wheel-drive or hybrid versions (at least not right away).
G20 Evolve (additional to G20 Pure):
G20 Touring (additional to G20 Evolve):
G25 Evolve (additional to G20 Evolve):
G25 GT (additional to G25 Evolve):
G25 Astina (additional to G25 Evolve):
Not all colours are available in both the hatchback and sedan and Mazda have introduced a fantastic new colour to their already beautiful range referred to as Polymetal Grey Metallic, only available in the hatchback. Colour charts available in the brochure download.
How much does a brand new Mazda3 hatchback or sedan cost? Price varies depending on your preferred grade and whether you require automatic or manual transmission. Final drive away price can also vary state to state depending on local on-road fees. Below is a price guide of what you will pay in Australia excluding on-road costs.
|Mazda 3 Grade||Manual/Auto|
|G20 Pure - 2.0L||$24,990/$25,990|
|G20 Evolve - 2.0L||$26,690/$27,690|
|G20 Touring - 2.0L||$28,990/$29,990|
|G25 Evolve - 2.5L||$29,490/$30,490|
|G25 GT - 2.5L||$33,490/$34,490|
|G25 Astina - 2.5L||$36,990/$37,990|
Soul Red Crystal, Machine Grey and Polymetal Grey paints cost $495 AUD extra.
Brand new and recent model Mazda 3's are highly competitive and affordable when it comes to maintenance costs, and are no more expensive than competitors such as the Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic.
The vast availability of parts and lower importing costs (compared to European cars) allows Mazda to keep their servicing schedules affordable.
Meeting the markets demand, Mazda now offers a full 5-year manufacturers warranty (previously only 3 years). Thanks to their competitors - Hyundai 5-year warranty, Toyota 5-year warranty, Honda 5-year warranty and Kia with their whopping 7-year warranty, for example, Mazda's previous 3 years just wasn't meeting expectations.
Read full warranty terms and conditions HERE!
As of April 1st, 2019, Mazda now include 5 years of their premium roadside assistance with the purchase of any new vehicle. Depending on your current provider this means a saving of approximately $500 plus over the 5 year period. Not a bad little inclusion.
Read full roadside assist terms and conditions HERE!
The mazda3 is one of the most popular vehicles in Australia, so the launch of a new one is always a big deal. But what's really interesting this time around is how the company has moved even further upmarket like we've seen with the new generation Toyota Corolla and the Evergreen Volkswagen Golf.
There's no longer any base model per se, instead, the entry price is a few thousand dollars higher than before at $24,990 before on-road costs, topping out at$37,990 before on-road costs for the flagship Astina.
Naturally, in return for that, you get more high-tech luxury and safety features than before and much sleeker design than its predecessor which it has to be said was hardly frumpy, to begin with.
So getting the new and the old side by side really does show the differences, this car certainly looks more dynamic and aggressive. You've got this beautiful raking line running down the rear, this really big C pillar that gives it a real sense of muscularity and stance compared to the previous one which has a similar shape but less pronounced.
Obviously, a slimmer side window that doesn't help out with visibility but it really does improve the styling compared to the previous one as you can see, there's no character line running down the side it's just smooth surfaces so it really plays with light and shadows, especially in the cherry red paint.
As we move further forward you can see that the side mirror is narrower than previous, obviously different wheel designs and different tires but it's the different front designs of the two that really grabbed me.
The new Mazda 3 is really sleek and simple, just one set of lights with integrated indicators and LEDs, a much bolder blacked-out grille a far better first impression all around.
Naturally, as you would expect the interior on this new one is also a significant step up from its predecessor, just like with the exterior, Mazda has gone to great lengths to make the interior feel more sophisticated.
I really like the driver orientation, vents on either side of the instruments kind of wrap around you, the screen faces you, you really do feel like you're at one with the vehicle.
There's a greater breadth of steering wheel and seat adjustability, it's quite comfortable compared to before and you sit nice and low in the vehicle it definitely differentiates it from an SUV.
That new infotainment system, well thankfully it gets an upgrade over the slightly glitchy old one. You've now got Apple Carplay and android auto which is excellent, and a whole new range of software and hardware.
There's no longer a touchscreen option which is interesting, instead, everything is controlled by a rotary dial which we see in things like Audis and BMWs.
And all your information is also projected onto the windscreen in a head-up display that’s standard even on the base grades which is really unusual for the class.
The companies definitely gone above and beyond with this interior but there is a little bit of a downside which is practicality.
It doesn't exactly have the most spacious or generous back seats, legroom is really limited a bit like we've seen with that new Corolla. Headroom is alright but on the tight side, that C pillar is absolutely enormous which greatly limits outward visibility.
It's almost like Mazda has accepted that anyone regularly carrying backseat occupants is going to buy an SUV anyway.
The boot is also a little bit smaller than before though it is larger than the Corollas. The new hatch is actually slightly lower and shorter than the outgoing model but sits on a 25 mm longer wheelbase.
It also weighs between 39 and 55 kilograms more depending on spec grade because of the revised platform.
Unlike the rest of the car, the engine in the new Mazda 3 is basically indistinguishable from those used in its predecessor. Entry models dubbed g20 retained the 2 liters naturally aspirated SKYACTIV petrol engine that can run on 91 Ron fuel and uses either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic gearbox.
Producing 114 kilowatts of power and 200 Newton meters of torque, higher grades such as the Astina used a 2.5 litre SKYACTIV-G, and naturally, they're dubbed G 25. The outputs are slightly higher than before, 139 kilowatts of power and 252 Newton meters.
And once again they get both 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic gearboxes.
The much anticipated SKYACTIV X engine arrives at the end of this year, we don't know a whole lot of tech details but we do know that it has a world first spark guided compression ignition and a 48-volt mild hybrid system.
And what that promises is the fuel economy and the torque of a diesel, with the refinement and the response of a petrol engine so naturally we can't wait to get behind the wheel of that.
The platform and body are said to be stiffer now while the suspension has been completely overhauled. The McPherson strut arrangement remains at the front with some tweaks, but at the rear, there's now a cheaper and easier to package torsion beam setup which is a similar approach to what we've seen on the new Ford Focus and the Mercedes-Benz A-class.
A major focus was on reducing noise, vibration, and harshness and we'll get in a sec to whether that's worked or not.
Mazda has also fettled its G vectoring Plus system that cuts the engine torque according to steering inputs, effectively transferring the cars weight and improving stability and turning.
The most important element to any car for me is the driving position, and the Mazda 3 is really good in that regard. It really feels like a sporty coupe-like hatchback and kind of an anti SUV from behind the wheel which is really the point.
You sit nice and low in the car, the steering wheel falls easily in the hand and there's plenty of adjustability.
The instruments wrap around you and there's the head-up display giving you all the information that you need without taking your eyes off the road, so big tick there.
The company's also really improved two areas on the old 3 that did annoy me somewhat. So the NVH suppression is much better than before, it's much quieter it irons out tire and wind noise better than before.
There are a lot more sound deadening materials used, as a stiffer body there are rubber mounts throughout the interior of the car to really minimize the vibrations you get so a huge improvement there.
That really improves the interior dynamic and you can hold a conversation much more easily than before.
I also like the improvements made to the steering it's still quite positive and direct and gives you plenty of feedback but there's no longer any kickback through the wheel when you hit a bump mid-corner, and that was something that used to drive me a bit nuts on the previous generation car.
In terms of ride quality, it's obviously a little bit firmer than average, but that really sort of suits the cars sporty aesthetic and it's never uncomfortable.
One bugbear that I do have is the outward visibility clearly through that massive C pillar, it's a bit hard to see out at times but you do get plenty of technology to help you out.
So this car we're driving has blind spot monitoring and a 360-degree camera, all the technology you need to really help you out and that's quite impressive.
So all told I think Mazdas managed to really retain the DNA that's always made the Mazda 3 standout dynamically but improved on those few areas of concern that we had before, so a really good effort.
And I think that combined with the much sleeker exterior design and the more upmarket interior make this a far better proposition than its predecessor.
It's certainly one of the most engaging cars in class, certainly not the most practical but we would argue that most people that want practicality are probably going to buy an SUV anyway.
And that price point well, it might be a bit higher than before but you're definitely getting what you pay for when it comes to in-car tech.
So a big tick from us on our first impression of the Mazda 3 on local roads.
Well, this might be Mazdas small car but it's a big new model, the next generation Mazda 3.
Put in front of media for the first time since it was unveiled at the 2018 Los Angeles Motor Show, the new look hatch and sedan will give Mazda a new rival for the recently launched Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus and the popular Hyundai i30.
First impression is that this is a much more contemporary looking pair, with the hatchback making a statement for its thick curve C pillar, and the sedan a sleek new contender.
It might even lure new buyers with its longer footprint that increases the wheelbase and the boot space for the sedan.
Unfortunately, the hatchback, though on a longer wheelbase, gets a smaller boot. Probably a sacrifice for that curved rear end.
Well, the design changes aren't just reserved for outside, there's been quite a comprehensive change inside as well.
Mazda’s certainly aiming for more upmarket feel here when you compare it to some of the competitors, it has a very sleek layout.
Change like the large infotainment system spawns further away and it's easier to see, less of a distraction, but it has a nice rotary control dial as well. So you don't have to use a touchscreen, it doesn't feel like it's a bit haphazard in use.
As well as that it has a really nice steering wheel, it’s resculptured, it does feel very nice in the hands, it looks great.
A new dash layout in front with a 7-inch round screen inside and gages either side, it just looks a lot sleeker and it is quite comfortable.
The seats have been reworked, the ergonomics is quite a key theme. And in the back there's some really nice room, I've got a pretty tall frame but there's definitely enough knee room, you can move that seat around in front of me a little bit if you like and I've definitely got enough headroom. So it just feels like a nicer more spacious cabin than it's been before.
Underpinning this 4th generation model is SKYACTIV vehicle architecture, that is said to improve ride and handling and comes with a list of new safety features.
They include a cabin mounted infrared camera that detects if the driver is distracted or drowsy. New front cross traffic warning, 360-degree camera, and automatic traffic follow assist technology that works at up to 60 kilometers an hour.
It will also see the introduction of the innovative SKYACTIV-X engine. Though on this test we're only driving SKYACTIV-G engines.
Some of the most exciting news in this new model 3 will be the SKYACTIV-X engine, however that's not available for us to drive on this preview drive in the US instead we're driving the SKYACTIV-G engine, so it's a 2 liter and 2.5 liter made it to an automatic and a manual transmission and all of that should hopefully be available in Australia.
And for a small car like this, that's plenty of motor especially the 2.5 liters.
There's also been quite a focus on NVH and ride and handling as part of the SKYACTIV vehicle architecture.
And so far in the preview drive that seems to have paid off because it's pretty calm and quiet inside the cabin.
It's not as much road-noise, it doesn't seem like there's as much road noise coming in off the road and the tires feel a bit quieter.
We will get different spec tires of course in Australia but everything's pretty calm and the ride and the handling is quite compliant, but it also has quite a nice feel in the steering.
A little more improved, you mix that in with the strong engines and it feels like quite a nice all-around package.
It'll be great to see what the SKYACTIV-X engine’s like, more efficient, more power, should really provide potentially quite a key model that does come but for the moment this preview drive, what we're seeing is quite a well-rounded package.
Something that should come into the market and really give the Mazda3 a bit more punch that has been lacking in the last couple of years to its competitors.
The SKYACTIV 2 liter engine will come in two Tunes, one very similar to the current model on sale and this one on test, that is a mild hybrid version with less power at 90 kilowatts, but more torque producing 213 Newton meters.
It uses a very mild 24-volt belt-driven integrated starter generator, which is basically an electric motor to propel the car from a standstill or at very low speeds.
And it helps fuel efficiency that is claimed in this model at 6.3 liters per 100 kilometers.
Unfortunately, we're yet to receive details on what spec Australia will receive, but the overall finish and polish of the test models make for a convincing new rival.
The mild-hybrid engine works seamlessly but it might not arrive down under. Instead, we should see the SKYACTIV-X engine arrived but that motor won't be available until late 2019.
Regardless, the improvement in ride, handling, and cabin comfort has been a success.
No, as with most new cars the Mazda 3 no longer comes standard with a CD play.
I believe this is due to the evolution of technology with audio streaming becoming a common thing and general research that people just aren't using CD's in their car that much anymore. It's bulky and messy and really, your CD's get destroyed.
Mazda 3 does not currently offer a turbo option, although a turbocharged Mazda 3 is definitely a future possibility.
There is no confirmation at this stage but reports say that Mazda is most likely to use its 2.5-liter turbo four-cylinder engine as seen in the CX-5, CX-9 and Mazda 6.
Mazda is the most reliable car around... in my opinion. But! that is based on my hands-on experience working in dealerships and owning a Mazda for several years.
Based on my research, life long Mazda owners always had good things to say. Pay attention to every car you ever see broken down and think about how many are actually Mazda, not many, if any.
There is a reason why it is still common to see Mazda 323's, Tributes, CX-7's, etc driving around and why so many people are happy to spend good money even to get a used car because they just won't die!
Sure, you might get a lemon, but that can happen with any brand.
All cars lose value the moment you drive them out of the dealer. But Mazda holds their value far better than most due to a combination of affordable pricing, reliability, affordable maintenance, but mainly because they do not do fleet sales.
Now, if you are talking to a car broker or leasing company who is also getting their commission you may be told otherwise, but I can guarantee you, Mazda does not offer fleet discounts, and this is one of the biggest reasons they hold value. (I was a Mazda Corporate Sales Consultant)
Competitors such as Toyota, Hyundai and many more offer fleet incentives passed down from head office, basically allowing ABN holders to get better discounts especially when they buy lots of cars.
This is great for the company when buying but unfortunately this means a few years later when for example taxi drivers need to upgrade, they flood the market with cheap Toyota's, same with hire cars, etc. This means cheaper options for buyers and brings down the overall value of the cars quite a lot.
So although Mazda might be a little more upfront. You will have quite a lot more in the pocket when it's time to upgrade.
Mazda has recently announced a recall issue regarding a potential fault with the seat belt and front passenger airbag indicator lamps in some new 2019 model Mazda 3.
Although no mechanical issues, the fault can still cause risk to passengers and requires immediate attention.
Seat belt: This issue relates to the front passenger status indicator which may turn off even though the front passenger seat belt is unfastened.
There are no mechanical issues with the seat belt but this issue may be misleading to both the driver and passenger and could become potentially fatal if an accident was to occur.
Airbag Indicator: Don't worry, this isn't another Takata issue, the airbag is fine (to our knowledge).
Mazda claims the passenger airbag (no indication of which one) is mechanically fine and working.
This is simply another indicator light issue where the passenger airbag deactivation indicator light may not illuminate even though the passenger airbag is deactivated.
Luckily this issue was rectified early in the production release meaning only 231 registered as potentially having the fault.
A full VIN list of affected cars is available for download: Download Mazda 3 VIN list.
Or head to Mazda's official VIN check system to check your car of all possible recalls.
What does this mean for me?
If you are looking to buy a car, nothing. It is against the law for a dealer to sell a car with a known recall. If any cars are in unsold stock the dealership will be informed by Mazda and fixed before the sale, you will never even know it was there.
If you have already bought a car and are concerned. Go to the link above and check your VIN for any recalls. If your car is affected simply contact your local dealer and they will advise you through the process.
Now you know everything about the new 2019 Mazda 3, you're ready to take one for a drive! Head over to our dealer directory to find your local Mazda dealers.
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