What characteristics make a car feel premium? Mazda believes it is one that arouses all the senses, and to serve as an example, it presents the all new Mazda3. With a mission to amaze and delight customers all over the world, Mazda has applied its human-centric philosophy to create dramatic improvements in every area of the car: design, driving performance, NVH, environmental performance, and quality feel.
As a core model in the Mazda lineup, the Mazda3 has always reflected the latest advances in Mazda’s vehicle engineering and manufacturing prowess while continuously raising awareness of the Mazda brand globally.
Appropriately, the Mazda3 is the first model by Mazda to feature the evolved Kodo design language — a style that employs the “less is more” Japanese minimalist aesthetic. The Mazda3 eschews the usual sharp character lines that define traditional car designs to create a cleaner, more sophisticated interplay of light, shadow and reflections, using beautifully curved body panels.
Mazda calls this “Beauty in Subtraction” in design. The “subtraction” is done by hiding the windshield wipers, embedding the hood washer nozzles within the wiper assemblies, as well as hiding the traditional driver’s side key hole and adopting locking and unlocking sensors behind the main door handles. These achieve a cleaner and more mature design that doesn’t rely on flamboyant and pretentious displays.
Consistent with the exterior design direction, a concentrated effort was made to eliminate visual noise in the cockpit design. The car features a simplified, symmetrical layout of the dashboard, driver-oriented instrument panel and interior trims. Soft-to-the-touch surfaces abound with Mazda’s own grain designed to express the richness and warmth of genuine leather. Takumi craftsmen likewise ensured that every switch, button and control offered a consistent and “lively feeling.” Ergonomic changes were adopted, such as moving the cupholders forward of the drive selection lever, while a large center armrest with a “Karakuri” console lid mechanism makes opening and closing the compartment lid easier and more natural. Mazda also utilized a uniform color temperature for all lights inside the cabin.
Achieving the ideal driving position is a key design and engineering consideration. As such, every aspect, from the correct pedal placement where one’s right foot naturally falls, to an adjustable seat that supports the pelvis and promotes a natural S-shaped curve in the driver’s spine has been considered.
To help the driver better focus, a new windshield-projected Active Driving Display is introduced in the to show information such as vehicle speed, traffic signs, and navigation information to reduce the time the driver is not looking at the road. The driver sees the projection as if it were 2.3-meters ahead, reducing the time for one’s eyes to refocus from the instrument cluster to the road ahead.
On the instrument cluster is a seven-inch TFT LCD multimeter display that shows vehicle status information. The new layout can be toggled to reveal essential information such as coolant temperature, fuel level and efficiency, as well as trip and odometer readings.
Even the Mazda Connect infotainment system has been redesigned from the ground up. A wider 8.8-inch display is positioned higher with convenience information such as media, maps and warning and alert details. Its operation has been assigned to the Command and Controller knob and switch layout, eliminating the distracting touchscreen interface, and improving the hardware speed and performance of the system.
To reduce Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH) levels, Mazda engineers have left space between the body and carpeting floor, creating two walls designed reduce noise. In addition, there’s new engine insulation material, new seals around the door, acoustic glass for the front windshield, and redesigned suspension and chassis components.
With cabin noise greatly reduced, Mazda also invested in enhancing the quality of music inside the cabin. The standard eight-speaker Mazda Harmonic Acoustics sound system elevates the listening experience. Improvements in speaker placement were implemented, relocating woofers from the front door to the cowl underneath the dashboard for fuller, more powerful bass. Mid- and high-frequency speakers have been relocated to direct sound instead of bouncing them off interior surfaces.
A 12-speaker Bose Audio Premium Sound System available in Premium variants further enhances listening pleasure with the addition of a center speaker, sub-woofer and satellite speakers.
Audible alerts, which utilize a new set of chimes, have been redesigned to help the driver intuitively grasp the level of urgency and the source of the issue.
Mazda has naturally upgraded the car’s safety with a seventh knee airbag fitted across all models. The Premium line boasts of iActivesense technologies such as Mazda Radar Cruise Control for adaptive automatic cruising, a Driver Monitoring System to check for a driver’s attention span and drowsiness, Lane Departure Warning System at speeds above 60 km/h, Cruising and Traffic Support to keep a consistent distance from the vehicle ahead, Front and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Smart Brake Support Rear to prevent collisions with low objects behind.
The all-new Mazda3 will come in five distinct trims and prices: a 1.5-liter Elite Sedan at P1,295,000; 1.5-liter Elite Sportback at P1,320,000; a 2.0-liter Premium Sedan at P1,495,000; a 2.0-liter Premium Sportback at P1,510,000; and a 2.0-liter Mazda3Speed Sportback P1,590,000.
“Through exquisite design, superior finish, refined quietness and engaging vehicle dynamics, owners of the all-new Mazda3 will surely experience class-above driving pleasure,” said Bermaz Auto Philippines President and CEO, Steven Tan.
By Iñigo S. Roces