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Mazda 3

Mazda 3
Mazda3 Sports-Line 2.2 SKYACTIV-D (Europe)
Manufacturer Mazda
Also called Mazda Axela (Japan)
Production 2003[1]–present
Assembly HofuJapan[2]
Body and chassis
Class Compact
Body style 5-door hatchback/wagon
4-door sedan
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel drive
Front-engine, all-wheel drive[5]
Predecessor Mazda Familia/323/Protegé

The Mazda3 or Mazda 3 (known as the Mazda Axela in Japan and Trinidad) is a compact car manufactured in Japan by the Mazda Motor Corporation. It was introduced for the 2004 model year, replacing the Familia/323/Protegé. A more performance-oriented version of the Mazda3 is marketed as the Mazdaspeed3 in North America and the Mazda3 MPS in Europe.

A second generation Mazda3 for the 2010 model year was unveiled in late 2008, with the sedan premiering at the Los Angeles Auto Show and the hatchback at the Bologna Auto Show. For the 2012 model year, Mazda began offering the Mazda3 with their newly developed SkyActiv technology, including a more rigid body, a new direct injection engine, and a new 6-speed transmission.[6]

First generation

First generation
Production 2003–2009
2006–present (China),
2005–2010 Tehran, Iran,[4]
2003–present (Colombia)
Assembly Hofu, Japan[2]
Nanjing, China[7][8]
Taiwan, Republic of China,[3]
Bogotá, Colombia[3]
Pretoria, South Africa
Willowvale, Zimbabwe (WMMI)[3]
Santa Rosa, Laguna, Philippines[9]
Body and chassis
Platform Mazda BK platform
Related Mazda Premacy/Mazda5, Ford Focus, Volvo C30, Volvo S40/Volvo V50
Engine 1.4 L MZR I4
1.5 L MZR I4
1.6 L MZR I4
2.0 L MZR I4
2.3 L MZR I4
1.6 L MZ-CD I4
2.0 L MZR-CD I4
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed automatic
5-speed manual
6-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,639 mm (104 in)
Length 2004–06 i Sedan: 4,529 mm (178 in)
2004–06 s Sedan: 4,540 mm (179 in)
2004–06 Hatchback: 4,485 mm (177 in)
2007–09 i Sedan: 4,506 mm (177 in)
2007–09 s Sedan: 4,511 mm (178 in)
2007–present Hatchback: 4,591 mm (181 in)
Width 1,755 mm (69 in)
Height 1,465 mm (58 in)

The Mazda3 has been generally well received by the automotive press for its performance, handling, styling and interior, with some describing it as feeling like a more expensive sport sedan despite its value-oriented price.[10] Some criticisms have included fuel economy and crash test results (only receiving four out of a maximum five stars from the EURO NCAP Safety Testing Programme) the latter of which was rectified by making six airbags standard.[11][12] In 2006 the Mazda3 was the second best-selling car in Canada and the best selling car in Israel during 2005–2007.[13][14]


The Mazda3 is based on the Ford global C1 platform, shared with the latest European Ford Focus and Volvo S40. Based on the styling of the MX-Sportif concept car, the Mazda3 is available in two body styles, a four-door sedan, marketed as "coupé style" in Europe, and a five-door hatchback, branded the Sport version in Canada, Japan, and the United States. The lead stylist for this model generation was Moray Callum.

The front suspension comprises MacPherson struts, with coil springs and an anti-roll bar. The rear suspension is a Ford-designed "E-link" multi-link suspension, with four locating links per wheel and an anti-roll bar, suspended on coil springs that are mounted inboard of the shock absorbers to reduce suspension intrusion into the cargo area. Four-wheel Disc brakes are fitted, with 300 mm (11.8 in) discs in the front and 279 mm (11 in) discs in the rear; ABS and electronic brake force distribution are available or standard, depending on the model. Wheel and tire sizes vary with model, from 15" on base models to optional 17" wheels on upper-level models.

When first introduced, United States-market Mazda3 models were available in only two trim levels, i and s, with the 2.0 L and 2.3 L engines, respectively. Since then Mazda has introduced additional models under the Touring and Grand Touring labels. British Mazda3s are offered in S, TS, TS2, Sport, and a top end 2.3ltr turbocharged Mazda3 MPS (Mazda Performance Series) models. Since April 2008, when there was a mainly cosmetic facelift of the Mazda3, there have been some changes to the trim designations for UK cars, with the models now being the entry level S, then Takara (which replaces TS & TS2), the Tamara Special Edition and the Sport and MPS as before.

All 3 models use the inline-4 Mazda MZR engine, with various types, displacements and outputs including the MZ-CD turbodiesel, depending on model and market. Transmissions are a five-speed manual transmission and a four-speed automatic transmission; since the 2006 model year, a five-speed automatic is optional on models with the 2.3 L engine. This transmission has now been made standard on the 2.0 L engine in Japan (FWD models only), as part of a minor facelift in early 2008 which includes different front/rear bumper designs, new wheel designs and body colors, stiffened chassis, and better interior materials. The MPS / Mazdaspeed version is only available with a six-speed manual.


The Mazda3 features the following engines:

Japanese market (JIS ratings):

  • 1.5 L: 118 PS (87 kW), 140 N·m (103 lb·ft)
  • 2.0 L: 150 PS (110 kW), 183 N·m (135 lb·ft)
  • 2.3 L: 171 PS (126 kW), 214 N·m (158 lb·ft)

European market (ECE ratings):

  • 1.4 L: 84 PS (62 kW), 122 N·m (90 lb·ft)
  • 1.6 L: 105 PS (77 kW), 145 N·m (107 lb·ft)
  • 2.0 L: 150 PS (110 kW), 187 N·m (138 lb·ft)
  • 2.3 L MZR DISI Turbo: 260 PS (191 kW), 380 N·m (280 lb·ft)
  • 1.6 L MZ-CD common-rail diesel: 109 PS (80 kW), 240 N·m (177 lb·ft)
  • 2.0 L MZR-CD common-rail diesel: 143 PS (105 kW), 360 N·m (266 lb·ft)
  • 2.2 L MZR-CD common-rail diesel: 185 PS (136 kW), 400 N·m (295 lb·ft)

American & Canadian markets (SAE net ratings):

  • 2.0 L: 148 bhp (110 kW), 135 lbf·ft (183 N·m) (04–05) PZEV engine: 145 bhp (107 kW) (04–06), 144 bhp (107 kW) (07–); 132 lbf·ft (179 N·m) (all years)
  • 2.3 L: 160 bhp (119 kW), 150 lbf·ft (203 N·m) PZEV engine: 153 bhp (113 kW), 149 lbf·ft (202 N·m) (2006 only)
  • 2.3 L MZR DISI Turbo: Mazdaspeed3: 263 bhp (196 kW), 280 lbf·ft (380 N·m)

Mazda changed the rating for US & Canadian markets 2007 2.3 L naturally aspirated engine:

  • 2.3 L: 160 bhp (119 kW), 150 lbf·ft (203 N·m) PZEV engine: 151 bhp (113 kW), 149 lbf·ft (202 N·m) (07–)

Asian markets (DIN ratings):

  • 1.6 L: 110 bhp (78 kW), 107 lbf·ft (145 N·m)
  • 2.0 L: 148 bhp (110 kW) and 138 lbf·ft (187 N·m)

Australian market (ADR net ratings):

  • 2.0 L: 145 bhp (108 kW), 134 lbf·ft (182 N·m)
  • 2.3 L: 154 bhp (115 kW), 150 lbf·ft (203 N·m)
  • 2.3 L: DISI MZR: 260 bhp (190 kW), 280 lbf·ft (380 N·m)
  • 2.0 L MZR-CD common-rail diesel: 143 PS (105 kW), 360 N·m (266 lb·ft)

South African market (DIN net ratings):

  • 1.6 L: 109 bhp (77 kW), 108 lbf·ft (146 N·m)
  • 2.0 L: 140 bhp (104 kW), 134 lbf·ft (182 N·m)
  • 2.3 L: 154 bhp (115 kW), 150 lbf·ft (203 N·m)
  • 2.3 L: DISI MZR: 260 bhp (190 kW), 280 lbf·ft (380 N·m)


Official performance figures for the European Mazda3 1.4 S, the lowest-powered model, are 0–100 km/h in 14.3 seconds, with a maximum speed of 170 km/h (106 mph). Wheels magazine reported an 8.7-second 0–100 km/h time for the Australian 2.0 model in its May 2004 issue.

The 1.6 CiTD 80 kW diesel (as sold in Europe) with a five-speed manual does 100 km/h in 11.6 seconds and has top of 182 km/h (113 mph) according to the official Mazda specifications.

In test results for the 2012 Mazda 3 Maxx Sport five-door 2.0-litre engine, it has been reported as having an acceleration time of 9.2 seconds (0–100 km/h) and a top speed of 190 km/h.

In its test results for the 2004 Mazda3 five-door with the 2.3-litre engine, Car and Driver magazine reported a 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) acceleration time of 7.4 seconds and a governor-limited top speed of 190 km/h (118 mph).

The fuel consumption of these models averages in the 10 L/100 km (24 mpg-US; 28 mpg-imp), with the 2-litre 2008 Mazda3 automatic-transmission model scoring a 10 L/100 km (24 mpg-US; 28 mpg-imp)/7.6 L/100 km (31 mpg-US; 37 mpg-imp) city/highway United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating.


For the 2006 model year, Mazda added variable valve timing and variable-length intake runners to the 2.0 L engine resulting in a power increase to 150 bhp (112 kW; 152 PS). The automatic transmission used in Mazda3 S trim with the 2.3 L engine was changed from a four-speed to a five-speed design. The larger 2.3 L engine was PZEV-certified (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle) for vehicles sold in California and other states that have adopted California automotive emission standards. The 2.0 L engine had already been PZEV-certified. The colour palette was also simplified in 2006, with the deletion of Canary Yellow and Lava Orange Mica.


(Actual Release date July 2006)

The 3 received a minor cosmetic facelift for the 2007 model year with minimal exterior, interior and mechanical changes. On base models, the black plastic at the top of the grille became body-coloured. The front fascia and bumper were changed with a floating foglight design and the lower air intake opening was reshaped to better resemble the typical "Mazda five-point face." All Mazda3 sedans and five-doors gained the same "Axela" clear-lens style rear tail-lights as the SP23 model. Which in 2007 Mazda brought out the Mazda Axela similar to the Mazda6 Atenza . In addition, the Grand Touring trim also featured LED brake lights. The LED brake lights were added to compete with the growing trend of higher-end vehicles using LED tail lamps for more visible light output. The range of alloy wheels were redesigned, featuring a 17 inch alloy wheel for the Grand Touring version. The rear fascia was slightly changed adding a notch on the bumper cover of the sedan. Several new exterior colors were added, phantom blue, a copper red metallic (April 2008), Aurora Blue and dark cherry. The Titanium Gray color was replaced with a darker Galaxy Gray color.

The interior of the Mazda3 was offered with several new color choices and an audio jack in the centre console, allowing the use of digital music players. Also, Takara models, which were introduced in the 2008 upgrade, added climate control and 6 cd autochanger to the TS specification.

The 2007 model also includes less visible mechanical changes. The keyless entry system was improved. Reinforcements to the body shell improve overall chassis rigidity. The front dampers of the MacPherson strut suspension have been re-tuned to quicken steering response and reduce understeer. The hydraulic dampers of the multi-link rear suspension were also re-tuned to match the front suspension changes. Mazda engineers and designers addressed concerns regarding cabin noise level by redesigning or changing multiple systems and adding sound-deadening material to the roof lining and hood panel.[15]

The bumper-to-bumper warranty was reduced to 36 months / 36,000 miles while the powertrain warranty was increased to 60 months / 60,000 miles in most markets. In the UK all Mazda3s have a 3 year unlimited mileage warranty, 3 year roadside assistance and 12 year anti perforation warranty as standard.

Canadian Mazda3s received standard seat mounted side-airbags and body shell mounted side curtain airbags across the model range. Previously both airbag types were not available.


In Canada, the 2008 model year was replaced in Spring 2008.

An additional trim level included the Sport GX with a 2.0L engine, previously all Sport hatchbacks had a 2.3L engine and came only in GS or GT trims. Compared to the GX sedan, the GX hatchback has body-coloured door handles, and fog lamps. Options for the Sport GX include air conditioning, a convenience package containing power accessories and 15-inch alloys, and a rear trunk spoiler.

The GS sedan received standard 16-inch alloy wheels, previously only available with the moonroof option, while the GX had 15-inch alloy wheels added to the convenience package (which includes steering-wheel mounted audio controls, power windows, power locks, and remote entry). The GS hatchback now comes with factory-installed air conditioning. GT models received standard xenon headlights, previously part of the leather package.

In the U.S., the i Touring trim level was replaced by the i Touring Value model. This new model added a body-color front grille, fog lights and 17" alloy wheels, giving it a very similar appearance to the more expensive s models. The interior also received leather-covered steering wheel and shift knob from the s model. Anti-lock brakes and side-impact airbags, previously optional, were now standard.


Initial news reports indicated the 2009 model year would receive a minor face-lift with exterior design modifications that included chrome door handles, a new roof spoiler, expanded use of black moldings on the rear bumper, and new alloy-wheel options.[16] This turned out to not occur in the US or Canadian market. The 2009 model year was only a few months long as production ceased in November 2008.[13]

Second generation

Second generation
Mazda 3
Also called Mazda3 All New
Production 2009–2013
Assembly RayongThailand (AAT) (Start on February 2011)
Pretoria, South Africa[17][18]
Taoyuan, Taiwan
Body and chassis
Platform Mazda BL platform
Related Mazda Premacy/Mazda5
Ford Focus
Volvo C30
Volvo S40/Volvo V50
Engine 1.6 L I4 petrol
1.6 L I4 diesel
2.0 L I4 petrol
2.0 L I4 diesel
2.2 L I4 diesel
2.5 L I4 petrol
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed automatic
6-speed automatic
5-speed manual
6-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,639 mm (103.9 in)
Length Sedan: 4,595 mm (180.9 in)
Hatchback: 4,506 mm (177.4 in)
Width 1,755 mm (69.1 in)
Height Sedan: 1,471 mm (57.9 in)
Hatchback: 1,470 mm (57.9 in)

In October 2008 Mazda released pictures and video showing the next generation design of the Mazda3. Mazda has restyled the exterior to reflect its then design language and a dual exhaust. Two engines are offered in the US and Canadian markets, the 2.0L petrol engine offered in the previous generation and a new 2.5L inline-4 that is shared with the second-generation Mazda6.[19]

The C1 architecture, a collaboration of Ford, Mazda, and Volvo,[20] from the previous generation is carried over.[21] The new model is marginally wider, longer and lighter than the previous generation Mazda3. The 2.3L engine was replaced with a 2.5L engine that produces 167 bhp (125 kW; 169 PS) and 167 lb·ft (226 N·m) of torque. In other markets, more engines are offered including a new 2.2L turbodiesel engine.[22]

Mazda unveiled the 2010 Mazda3 sedan at the Los Angeles Auto Show on 19 November 2008. The new Mazda3 is slightly larger than the older Mazda3 and is available in "i" and "s" versions. The "i" is powered by a 148 horsepower (110 kW) 2.0L engine while the "s" is powered by a 167 horsepower (125 kW) 2.5L engine adapted from the Mazda6.[23] Both engines are also available in PZEV versions, the 2.0L producing 144 hp (107 kW) and the 2.5L producing 165 hp (123 kW).[24] The 3s Grand Touring model adds leather seats, power driver's seat, rain-sensing windshield wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, and steerable active bi-xenon headlights as standard equipment.[23] The hatchback was unveiled a few weeks after the sedan at the Bologna Motor Show.

The European model includes the i-stop feature for the 2.0L DISI engine with an estimated increase fuel economy in city cycle by roughly 12%.[25] This feature stops the engine each time the car comes to a complete stop, it quickly starts up again without the need of a starter when the vehicle proceeds.

Full details and images of the high-powered Mazdaspeed3 (aka Mazda3 MPS) were released at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2009.[26] Like the previous generation, the Mazda3 hatchback variant has been selected as the basis for the 2nd generation Mazdaspeed3.

Changes occurred[where?] to the features and options of the Mazda3 midway through 2010. Features such as side mirrors with integrated turn signals, footwell lighting, and power seat memory functions were removed.

2012 update

The 2012 Mazda3 with SkyActiv powertrain was unveiled at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, February 2011. It comes with Mazda’s SkyActiv-G 2.0-liter, direct-injection gasoline engine, and SkyActiv-Drive 6-speed automatic or SkyActiv-MT 6-speed manual transmission.[27] There are minor exterior updates: revised grille and air intakes, and a reshaped rear valance panel. Skyactiv models receive a blue ring around the projectors in the headlamps.[28] Car and Driver reported that such a Mazda3 can reach estimated EPA fuel-economy ratings of 30 mpg city and 39 to 40 highway.[29]


Model Type Power, torque@rpm CO2 emissions (g/km)
Japanese models
ZY-VE 1,498 cc (91.4 cu in) I4 111 PS (82 kW; 109 hp)@6000, 140 N·m (100 lb·ft)@4500
LF-VDS 1,998 cc (121.9 cu in) I4 150 PS (110 kW; 150 hp)@6200, 186 N·m (137 lb·ft)@4500
LF-VE 1,998 cc (121.9 cu in) I4 143 PS (105 kW; 141 hp)@6500, 179 N·m (132 lb·ft)@4000
L3-VDT 2,260 cc (138 cu in) I4 turbo 264 PS (194 kW; 260 hp)@5500, 380 N·m (280 lb·ft)@3000
UK models
1.6 dohc 1,598 cc (97.5 cu in) I4 105 PS (77 kW; 104 hp)@6000, 145 N·m (107 lb·ft)@4000 149
2.0 dohc w/ AT 1,998 cc (121.9 cu in) I4 150 PS (110 kW; 150 hp)@6500, 187 N·m (138 lb·ft)@4000 175
2.0 dohc DISI w/i-stop 1,998 cc (121.9 cu in) I4 151 PS (111 kW; 149 hp)@6200, 191 N·m (141 lb·ft)@4500 159
1.6 8V sohc 1,560 cc (95 cu in) I4 diesel 116 PS (85 kW; 114 hp)@3600, 270 N·m (200 lb·ft)@1750–2500 114
2.2 dohc 2,184 cc (133.3 cu in) I4 diesel 150 PS (110 kW; 150 hp)@3500, 360 N·m (270 lb·ft)@1800 144
2.2 dohc 2,184 cc (133.3 cu in) I4 diesel 185 PS (136 kW; 182 hp)@3500, 400 N·m (300 lb·ft)@1800 149
US models
4-door i 1,998 cc (121.9 cu in) I4 150 PS (110 kW; 150 hp)@6500, 183 N·m (135 lb·ft)@4500
SKYACTIV-G 2.0 1,998 cc (121.9 cu in) I4 157 PS (115 kW; 155 hp)@6000, 201 N·m (148 lb·ft)@4100
4-door i PZEV 1,998 cc (121.9 cu in) I4 146 PS (107 kW; 144 hp)@6500, 179 N·m (132 lb·ft)@4500
4-door s 2,488 cc (151.8 cu in) I4 169 PS (124 kW; 167 hp)@6000, 228 N·m (168 lb·ft)@4000
4-door s PZEV 2,488 cc (151.8 cu in) I4 167 PS (123 kW; 165 hp)@6000, 226 N·m (167 lb·ft)@4000
5-door s 2,488 cc (151.8 cu in) I4 169 PS (124 kW; 167 hp)@6000, 227 N·m (167 lb·ft)@4000
MAZDASPEED3 2,260 cc (138 cu in) I4 turbo 267 PS (196 kW; 263 hp)@5500, 380 N·m (280 lb·ft)@3000
Canadian models
4-door GX,GS 1,998 cc (121.9 cu in) I4 150 PS (110 kW; 150 hp)@6500, 183 N·m (135 lb·ft)@4500
4-door GT 2,488 cc (151.8 cu in) I4 169 PS (124 kW; 167 hp)@6000, 228 N·m (168 lb·ft)@4000
5-door GX 1,998 cc (121.9 cu in) I4 150 PS (110 kW; 150 hp)@6500, 183 N·m (135 lb·ft)@4500
5-door GS,GT 2,488 cc (151.8 cu in) I4 169 PS (124 kW; 167 hp)@6000, 227 N·m (167 lb·ft)@4000
MAZDASPEED3 2,260 cc (138 cu in) I4 turbo 267 PS (196 kW; 263 hp)@5500, 380 N·m (280 lb·ft)@3000
Australian (2009) models
Neo 1,998 cc (121.9 cu in) I4 150 PS (110 kW; 150 hp)@6500, 183 N·m (135 lb·ft)@4500
Maxx 1,998 cc (121.9 cu in) I4 150 PS (110 kW; 150 hp)@6500, 183 N·m (135 lb·ft)@4500
Maxx Sport 1,998 cc (121.9 cu in) I4 150 PS (110 kW; 150 hp)@6500, 183 N·m (135 lb·ft)@4500
Diesel 2,183 cc (133.2 cu in) I4 150 PS (110 kW; 150 hp)@3500, 360 N·m (270 lb·ft)@1800–3000
SP25 2,488 cc (151.8 cu in) I4 169 PS (124 kW; 167 hp)@6000, 228 N·m (168 lb·ft)@4000
MPS 2,261 cc (138.0 cu in) I4 turbo 259 PS (190 kW; 255 hp)@5500, 380 N·m (280 lb·ft)@3000
Australian (2012) models
Neo 1,998 cc (121.9 cu in) I4 150 PS (110 kW; 150 hp)@6500, 183 N·m (135 lb·ft)@4500
Maxx Sport 1,998 cc (121.9 cu in) I4 150 PS (110 kW; 150 hp)@6500, 183 N·m (135 lb·ft)@4500
SP20 1,998 cc (121.9 cu in) I4 155 PS (114 kW; 153 hp)@6000, 194 N·m (143 lb·ft)@4100
Diesel 2,183 cc (133.2 cu in) I4 150 PS (110 kW; 150 hp)@3500, 360 N·m (270 lb·ft)@1800–3000
SP25 2,488 cc (151.8 cu in) I4 169 PS (124 kW; 167 hp)@6000, 228 N·m (168 lb·ft)@4000
MPS 2,261 cc (138.0 cu in) I4 turbo 259 PS (190 kW; 255 hp)@5500, 380 N·m (280 lb·ft)@3000

Third generation

Third generation
2014 Mazda3 (European spec)
Production 2013-present
Transmission 6-speed manual
6-speed automatic
Length Hatchback: 4460mm (175.6 in)
Width 1796 mm (70.7 in)
Height 1455 mm (57.3 in)

The third generation 2014 Mazda3 was revealed in Australia on 26 June 2013.[30]

Two SkyActiv engines will be offered in North American markets, the 2.0L (with 155hp and 150lb-ft of torque) and the 2.5L (with 184hp and 182lb-ft of torque). Initially only the smaller engine is available with 6-speed manual, the bigger motor is only matched to the automatic transmission, but later manual gearbox will also offered with the 2.5 liter engine. Model grades are Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring.

In Europe, the 1.5 liter gasoline and 2.2 liter Skyactiv-D (Diesel) are also offered.


  • The Mazda3 was introduced to the Speed World Challenge in 2009.
  • Team Sahlen entered a Mazda3 in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Street Tuner class in 2010.[31]
  • Mazda South Africa, in conjunction with MFC (a vehicle finance house) entered two Mazda3 MPS models into Class-T of the South African Production Car Championship from 2007 to 2010
  • Mazda3 is used in the seed category NASCAR Stock V6 Series in Mexico.[32]


External links

  • Official USA Mazda3 website
  • Official UK Mazda3 website
  • Official Canadian Mazda3 website
  • Good Pictures (Spanish)
  • Official China Mazda3 website (Chinese)
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