Wednesday, December 16, 2009

2010 Mazda3 Sedan: 35 High-Res Photos and Official Details

Today, Mazda fully revealed the second-generation Mazda3 Sedan at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The new compact sedan that will be followed shortly after by a five-door hatchback variant will go on sale worldwide in early 2009. Even though it is apparent that the new Mazda3 retains a similar shape as the current model, the Japanese automaker refreshed the design by adding styling elements from its latest models and especially from the Mazda6 and the RX-8. The result is a more aggressively styled sedan that won't go by unnoticed.

Inside, the family-resemblance with other Mazda models is also evident with the Japanese firm supporting that the cabin has been further refined in term of quality and materials. Among other features, the Mazda3 sports a three-spoke steering wheel, a deep instrument cluster and a Multi-Information Display system which is positioned high on the center portion of the dashboard providing navigation, audio, and trip computer information.

The North American-spec model will be offered initially with two naturally aspirated, 4-cylinder engines. The entry-level "Mazda3 i" is powered the same 2.0-liter engine as before that develops 148HP at 6500 rpm and 135 lb-ft of torque at 4500 rpm. The more powerful "Mazda3 s" replaces the previous 156HP 2.3-liter unit with the larger 2.5-liter engine from the 2009 Mazda6. It cranks out 167HP at 6000 rpm and 168 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm.

A five-speed manual transmission is standard in the "Mazda3 i",
while the "Mazda3 s" is equipped with a six-speed stick-shift transmission. A five-speed electronically controlled Sport-AT automatic transmission is available in both models - the outgoing Mazda3 2.3 was fitted with a 4-speed auto.

The Japanese automaker said that the "Mazda3 i" with its 2.0-liter engine achieves 25 mpg in city driving with the manual transmission and 24 mpg with the automatic. The highway mileage with the 2.0-liter engine is 33 mpg with either transmission. The "Mazda3 s" is rated at 20 mpg in all conditions (avg). Equipped with the six-speed manual transmission, its city rating is 21 mpg, rising to 22 mpg with the 5-speed automatic. The highway rating is 29 mpg with either transmission.

While Mazda has yet to announce pricing or details on the new 3's equipment levels, the company did not that all versions will be fitted with six airbags and active head restraints as standard.

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