(Richmond Hill, ON): Ten years ago, the Mazda3 challenged the concepts of what a compact car should be, and turned the segment on its head. Bringing simple ideas like pleasing style, driving dynamics, and a feature-packed interior down to the compact car now seems like a no-brainer; except nobody else thought it would work, until Mazda did it. With the introduction of the third generation Mazda3 in 2014, the compact car segment once again gets a look at innovation in motion, taking ideas seemingly reserved for more expensive cars and making them available to a new customer.
Now incorporating the full suite of Mazda’s SKYACTIV Technology, the third-generation Mazda3 also features ground-breaking Mazda-engineered technology; i‑ELOOP, the world’s first capacitor-based brake energy regeneration system to power all the vehicle’s electrical systems, along with the front collision-detecting Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) system, are now available in the Mazda3.
Developed solely by Mazda, SKYACTIV Technology is the umbrella term for a host of performance-oriented, fuel-saving engine, transmission, body, and chassis components. First seen in the 2012 Mazda3 compact car, and fully-incorporated into the 2013 CX-5 compact SUV, the redesigned 2015 Mazda3 is the third vehicle in the brand’s lineup to feature the great technology that indeed offers real-world results.
Under the hood is a choice of SKYACTIV-G engines; a 2.0-litre gasoline engine is standard equipment in the GX and GS trims. As seen in the CX-5 GX, the 2.0-litre engine pumps out 155 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque. In the top-spec GT trim, a 2.5-liter gasoline engine produces 184 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 185 lb-ft of torque at 3,250 rpm. Both of these engines operate at a 13:1 race-car-high compression ratio, and offer more power and a more useable torque curve than the engines they replace. Fuel economy is also greatly improved versus the outgoing Mazda3.
The 2015 Mazda3 is available in a choice of seven exterior colours which include Snowflake White Pearl ($200), Soul Red Mica ($300), Aluminum Metallic Mica, Jet Black Mica, Meteor Grey Mica, Deep Crystal Blue Mica, and Titanium Flash Mica. The GX and GS interiors are available only in black cloth, while the GT is available with optional leather in either black or off-white colours.
The 2015 Mazda3 comes equipped with a SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual transmission as standard equipment and offers a Transport Canada-estimated fuel economy rating of 8.0 city/5.8 highway litres per 100 kilometres (L/100km) on the new 5-cycle fuel economy test. When paired with the optional SKYACTIV-Drive automatic, fuel economy improves to 7.9 city/5.7 highway L/100km. Fuel economy for the more powerful 2.5L SKYACTIV-G engine is rated at 9/3 city/6.4 highway when paired with the standard SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual transmission, and falls to 8.4 city/6.1 highway with the optional SKYACTIV-Drive 6-speed automatic. Equipping the Mazda3 GT with i-ELOOP pares down the fuel usage even further to just 8.2 city/5.9 highway.
The base MSRP for the 2015 Mazda3 starts at just $15,995, which is a full $200 less than it was more than 10 years ago when the Mazda3 debuted in 2003. Even with the entry level pricing, this trim is far from a base model, boasting standard Bluetooth and USB connectivity, push button start, and keyless entry, as well as the full suite of SKYACTIV Technologies. Other standard equipment includes 4-wheel disc brakes, body-coloured power exterior mirrors, dual sport exhaust, auto-off headlights, audio and Bluetooth steering wheel controls, and more. The optional Comfort Package ($1,700) brings air conditioning, trip computer, and a tachometer into the GX trim level. The SKYACTIV-Drive 6-speed automatic transmission is available as an option on GX and GS trim levels for $1,300 (requires Comfort Package on GX).
Moving up a step to the GS trim level ($19,795) adds a whole host of additional standard equipment on top of the GX with Comfort Package. The GS trim moves from a 16-inch steel wheel with wheel covers to a handsome 16-inch aluminum wheel design and also adds other exterior touches such as a body-coloured rear spoiler and side mirror turn indicators. The interior receives new features like the new and innovative Mazda Connect infotainment system with 7-inch TFT colour touchscreen display and HMI Commander. A rearview camera is standard on GS, and the image is displayed on the 7-inch TFT screen. Cruise control, 60/40 split folding rear seats, rear seat centre armrest with cup holders, and overhead sunglass holder are also standard equipment on the Mazda3 GS trim level.
Options on the GS trim are the Convenience Package ($550), Moonroof Package ($1,200), and SKYACTIV-Drive 6-speed automatic transmission ($1,300). The Convenience Package adds must-have features like rain-sensing wipers, heated driver and front passenger seats, heated exterior mirrors, leather steering wheel, shift knob and parking brake, and fully automatic (on/off) headlights. The Moonroof Package adds a one-touch power opening moonroof and fog lights.
Starting at $25,995, the GT trim level is the final rung on the ladder, and it’s the one to choose if you’re looking for all the available tech and toys. Even before looking at the optional Luxury Package ($1,500) and Technology Package ($2,500), the Mazda3 GT is loaded with standard features that would make other compact cars envious, starting with one of the most powerful engines available in the compact class; the 2.5L SKYACTIV-G engine pumps out a healthy 184 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque. Rolling stock is upgraded to 18-inch aluminum wheels with P215/45R18 series tires. New bi-xenon headlights with manual leveling and LED DRL lighting signature light the way in front, while LED tail lights create a distinctive look in the rear. The intelligent key system ensures you’ll never have to fumble for your keys to get into the car, or get started. The Mazda Connect system is enhanced with voice-activated navigation, and a 9-speaker BOSE audio system. Finally, the Active Driving Display and dual-zone climate control cap off the long list of standard features and equipment on the Mazda3 GT. Now onto the options, as mentioned earlier.
The Luxury Package adds a touch of upscale class with a 6-way power adjustable driver’s seat, manual driver lumbar support, rich leather upholstery, leather-like side door trim and centre console lid, and auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink.
Moving on to the Technology Package brings a whole new level of safety and security to the compact car class. Safety features include Blind Spot Monitoring System (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), High Beam Control (HBC), Smart City Brake Support (SCBS), and Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFLS) with auto leveling. SiriusXM satellite radio and Mazda’s innovative i-ELOOP regenerative braking system are also included in the Technology Package.
Finally, a SKYACTIV-Drive 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters is available at no extra cost on the Mazda3 GT. For the first time on any Mazda vehicle, a driver selectable Sport Mode is standard on the GT automatic. By pressing the Sport mode button, the Mazda3 GT offers a more direct response in terms of accelerator feel and a heightened sense of linearity. All Mazda3 vehicles equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission feature a manual shift option but the Sport mode feature adjusts the shift mapping – and to a lesser extent the throttle response – to better match more engaging driving conditions, such as twisty roads. The transmission will hold gears longer and will not upshift or downshift as often when driving through turns.
Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) is an added safety component designed to assist a driver in avoiding front collisions when traveling at low speeds between 5 – 30 kilometres per hour. When the imbedded laser sensor detects an obtrusive object and the system calculates there may be a high risk for collision, the brake pedal travel is reduced in order to hasten braking. Should the driver fail to perform an avoidance maneuver, the SCBS system will activate an automatic braking function. While the system will not eliminate accidents, its intent is to minimize them and reduce the severity of a crash.
With its name derived from “Intelligent Energy Loop,” i-ELOOP is the world’s first capacitor-based brake energy regeneration system to provide power all the electrical mechanisms in a vehicle. Compared to systems utilized in hybrid vehicles, i-ELOOP avoids the need for a dedicated electrical motor and battery, making the system more efficient, compact and lighter than traditional systems. Also, capacitors have the ability to charge and discharge rapidly and are resistant to deterioration despite prolonged use.
In real-world driving conditions, which can feature frequent acceleration and braking, i-ELOOP is estimated to improve overall fuel economy depending on road conditions and driving habits.
Standard safety features for all 2015 Mazda3 models include six airbags (front, side and full side-curtain), whiplash-reducing front headrests, power-assisted ventilated front and solid rear disc brakes, anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, daytime running lights, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), a Traction Control System (TCS), hill launch assist, a fold-away brake pedal assembly, a trunk entrapment release system, three-point safety belts for all seating positions, front seatbelt pretensioners with force limiters as well as Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH).
The 2015 Mazda3 is also equipped with Mazda’s Brake Override system. This system always prioritizes the brake pedal over the accelerator pedal, should both be engaged simultaneously, allowing the vehicle to be brought to a safe stop every time. Activation of this system is recorded in the electronic Powertrain Control Module (PCM).
Beginning in 2015, Mazda’s new Unlimited Mileage Warranty becomes the new standard factory warranty on all Mazda vehicles. The basic warranty for Mazda vehicles covers all parts found to be factory defective for 3 years, regardless of the number of kilometers driven. Additional warranties cover Powertrain components for a period of 5 years, unlimited mileage; body sheet metal perforation for 7 years, unlimited mileage; and roadside assistance for 3 years, unlimited mileage.
With the 3-year roadside assistance program, customers can feel secure knowing that wherever they travel throughout North America they can obtain towing, winching, battery boosting, emergency fuel delivery, and tire changing services if needed. They will even get help if locked out of the vehicle. Travel planning services and emergency travel expense reimbursement are included in the roadside assistance program.
About Mazda Canada Inc.
Mazda Canada Inc. is responsible for the sales and marketing, customer service and parts support of Mazda vehicles in Canada. Headquartered in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Mazda Canada has a nationwide network of 165 dealerships. For additional information visit Mazda Canada’s media website at www.media.mazda.ca