While most other automotive manufacturers improve fuel-efficiency through developing complex and expensive electric hybrid systems, Mazda engineers have instead taken a bigger picture approach, looking at the entire vehicle from bumper to bumper and designing every individual part to have a symbiotic relationship in the quest for efficiency. Mazda calls this approach, SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY, and 2012 MAZDA3 Sedan is the first example of how every Mazda in the future will be designed.
Available in six trim levels (i SV, i Sport, i Touring, s Touring, i Grand Touring, s Grand Touring), with three four-cylinder engine options (2.0-liter, SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter) and, depending on the engine, four transmission choices (five-speed manual and automatic, six-speed manual and automatic), there is a MAZDA3 (MSRP from $15,200) to fit everyone’s needs and budget.
The proven 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter engines carry over from 2011, featuring good power and fuel efficiency. The all-new SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter, however, is the true standout, especially among every competitive engine in the compact car segment.
Featuring a new design that incorporates direct injection and a super high compression ratio of 12.0:1, the available SKYACTIV-G engine delivers an unparalleled blend of efficiency and power. With 155 hp and 148 lb/ft of torque available, the SKYACTIV-G still achieves up to a hybrid-like 40 mpg highway. There is no other compact car on the road today with a better balance of power and fuel efficiency than the MAZDA3 with the SKYACTIV-G engine.
The way Mazda SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY integrates engine, drivetrain and body structure into one highly efficient system proves that the whole can indeed be greater than the sum of its parts.
Take for instance the transmission options on the SKYACTIV-powered MAZDA3, with either an available SKYACTIV-Drive Sport six-speed automatic transmission or a standard SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual on offer. The SKYACTIV-Drive Sport is a unique blend of an automatic, a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and a Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), resulting in a blend of fuel efficiency and power not found in any other transmission. With both transmissions, a control system in the front transaxle of the MAZDA3 manages engine output and transmission gearing, to ensure that accelerations always maximize fuel efficiency.
SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY can also be found in how the MAZDA3 body is designed: an intensive focus on cutting unnecessary weight and improving body stiffness. Not only do these improvements improve fuel efficiency, handling prowess and safety of the MAZDA3, but the redesigned body is also one of the most aerodynamic on the road today, with a 0.27 coefficient of drag that cuts through the wind with minimal turbulence.
Mazda vehicles have always been known for their athletic handling, and the MAZDA3 Sedan is no different. Featuring an innovative Electro-Hydraulic Power Assist Steering (EHPAS) system that changes steering effort based on vehicle speed and steering input, the MAZDA3 Sedan makes the driver feel more connected with the car and the road. When the road endlessly turns on itself like a serpent, reinforced body mounts that blend perfectly with the suspension minimize body roll for a driving experience that puts a smile on the face of every MAZDA3 pilot.
Interior design is another inherent strength of the MAZDA3. You will be hard pressed to find another car in its class that can offer a higher quality, more sporting interior. The MAZDA3 cabin looks more expensive than the sticker price indicates. Satin-polished trim and piano black panels add sophistication, while an informative and useful Multi-Information Display (MID) shows service information, trip computer data and even the optional navigation system, all in the top center of the dash where it is easy to see. With options like Bluetooth Hands-Free Phone, a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound system, leather upholstery and heated front seats, the MAZDA3 can also be quite luxurious.
Not only is the MAZDA3 Sedan one of the most fuel-efficient cars in its class, it is also one of the safest. With added body rigidity thanks to an exclusive “Triple-H” body design that uses high-tensile steel to resist impact better, the 2012 MAZDA3 scored a perfect “5-Star” rating on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests.
Add on a long list of standard safety features – Anti-Lock Braking System with Traction Control System, Dynamic Stability Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution and six standard airbags – and it’s no surprise that the 2012 MAZDA3 also earned a prestigious “2012 Top Safety Pick” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
By itself, the 2012 MAZDA3 Sedan is an undeniably attractive machine, both in its looks and in its value. When you then evaluate it against every other compact car on the market today, you really understand how incredible a value the MAZDA3 truly is. No other compact car offers the same amount of performance, fuel efficiency, safety, quality, standard features and, the most important, smiles per mile.
Stop in today and get acquainted with the new compact car standard that is the 2012 MAZDA3.