By Wayne Gorrett
• Receives styling enhancements, new tech and updated cabin.
• Four trim levels, prices start from £17,595.
• Includes new ‘G-Vectoring Control’.
Mazda have refreshed their popular mid-range ‘3’ hatch and fastback for their 2017 model year. Enhancements include subtle design changes to the exterior and an updated cabin. Also introduced is ‘G-Vectoring Control’, the introduction of Mazda’s new SkyActiv-Vehicle Dynamics technology.
With global production of the ‘3’ having passed five million cars at the end of April 2016, the current generation of Mazda’s world-wide sales leader set new standards when it went on sale in the UK in 2014.
Externally, the 2017 Mazda3 wears a revised grille and a new front fog light bezel. Across both body styles, revised door mirrors feature wraparound turn indicators, while hatchback versions have a redesigned rear bumper.
The 2017 Mazda3 is available in eight colours including the new machine grey mica, first seen on the Mazda MX-5 RF at the New York motor show earlier this year. A second new colour to make its debut is eternal blue mica, while sonic silver metallic is offered for the first time on the Mazda3.
SE and SE-L Nav trim cars are shod with 16-inch alloy wheels, while Sport Nav models are fitted with new, high-sheen finish 18-inch alloys.
Inside, the 2017 Mazda3’s cabin hosts a number of updates such as better quality switch panels and door handle bezels, plus a newly designed trim insert on the dashboard. A major change is the adoption of an electric parking brake which frees up space on the centre console, while another is a new leather steering wheel meant to enhance feel and style and, if combined with leather seats, is heated.
The 2017 Mazda3 goes on sales in the UK on October 1st and offers a choice of two SkyActiv-D diesel engines (a 103bhp 1.5-litre or a 148bhp 2.2-litre), alongside a 2.0-litre SkyActiv-G petrol unit available in two states of tune: 118bhp and 163bhp. Both engines are carried over from the outgoing model and both now feature Mazda’s own ‘transient control’, which delivers a petrol-like feel through a more positive throttle response which reduces turbo lag and boosts torque.
Across the 2017 Mazda3 range, overall refinement is improved with added noise suppression material in the roof, doors, dashboard and transmission tunnel area. Better door seals and additional vibration damping materials between the rear cross-members also improve cabin comfort.
Technical revisions to the MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension focus on delivering improved ride comfort, reduced vibration and enhanced, pin-sharp handling.
The new Mazda3 also introduces G-Vectoring Control, the first of Mazda’s SkyActiv-Vehicle Dynamics technologies. It varies engine torque to optimize wheel load to subtly provide more precise handling and improved comfort. Other tech include the adoption of a full-colour display on the head–up display system, while for the first time the Mazda3 is offered with adaptive LED headlights.
The 2017 Mazda3 is priced from £17,595 to £24,195.
UK sales commence October 1st.