2017 Mazda 3

Mazda has released new photos of the revised Mazda 3 compact
sedan /hatchback for the 2017 model year. The 2017 Mazda 3 is
sold as the Axela in native Japan. Many enthusiasts had hoped
the automaker would bring back the Mazdaspeed3 but it seems
that the automaker has no immediate intentions to revive the
nameplate.

The changes on the new models are subtle since the model
underwent a more extensive redesign last year. The automaker is
also set to release the next-gen Mazda 3 next year as a 2018
model. The only significant addition is the G-Vectoring Control
(GVC) device which combines with the SKYACTIV engineering to
improve the vehicle’s control and driving dynamics.

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2017 Mazda 3 Exterior

The only exterior difference between the sedan and the
hatchback is their rear ends; the hatch features a trunk door
while the sedan features a trunk-lid, otherwise they are
identical. Compared to the 2016 models, the exterior of the
Mazda 3 models look almost unchanged.

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At the front, the new subtle changes include a new grille that
features the Mazda emblem inside the grille unlike on the 2016
models where it overlaps the top part of the grille. The new
grille also overlaps the air-dam. Mazda has also revised chrome
inserts of the grille which now terminate at the inner edge of
the headlamps. The grille also features larger horizontal
louvers. The grille is flanked by revised headlights which
feature a new LED strip design and LED DRLs that stretch
towards the air dam. In addition, the new fog lamps look
smaller.

The rear of both the sedan and hatchback is carried over
unchanged except for the larger reflectors and a new character
line that connects each of the reflectors on the corners.

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2017 Mazda 3 Hatchback

2017 Mazda 3 Interior

Unlike the exterior, the interior features significant changes.
The new changes start with new inserts on the door panels and
the dashboard. There is also a new bottom spoke steering wheel
with a shiny finish. The side spokes of the steering wheel
feature a sleeker button layout which is finished off by a
chrome insert on each button panel.

The instrument cluster is largely unchanged except for its
cleaner appearance. The center console has however received a
significant upgrade. There is a retractable lid over the
storage area and cup holders and a larger cubby head of the
gear shifter which was possible since the pop-out tray in the
previous model has been deleted.

HVAC controls feature smaller knobs with a chrome finish.
Enthusiasts will also love the new infotainment screen which
has been revised to look more modern by the elimination of
openings on the sides. The result is a screen that looks as if
it is hovering above the dashboard.

Overall, the cabin of the 2017 Mazda 3 looks very stylish with
features that are well laid out.

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Engine specs and performance

There are no changes under the hood. The Mazda3 will still
derive power from two Skyactiv engines. The base engine is a
2.0 L 4-cylinder unit which powers the ‘i’ trim models. The
engine produces 155 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque.  This
engine returns a combined fuel economy of 33 mpg and can
achieve 41 mpg on highway drives.

The second engine which powers the ‘s’ models is a 2.5 L,
4-cylinder mill rated at 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. This
engine is EPA rated at 29 mpg on combined drives. Power will be
channeled to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual gearbox with
an option for a 6-speed automatic transmission system in both
the sedans and hatchbacks.

In Japan, the model which is sold as Axela will be offered with
an additional 1.5 L, 4-cylinder petrol engine, a 2.2 L,
turbo-diesel as well as a new 1.5 L, turbo-diesel mill. There
are also reports of a hybrid drive-train.

The most exciting change on the drive-train setup is the
addition of the new G-Vectoring Control device which will help
improve control and driving dynamics of the car.

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Price and release date

Mazda is yet to release official prices of the Mazda 3.
However, don’t expect the prices to increase significantly from
the 2016 prices. The current base sedan starts at $18,680
inclusive of destination charges while the hatchback starts at
$19,380 a difference of $700.

The top Mazda 3 Touring hatchback has a price tag of $26,330.
The models will first go on sale in Japan before being
delivered to European and other markets later on.

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Mazda 3 Sedan

Competition

Top rivals of the 2017 Mazda 3 are the new models of Ford
Focus, Honda
Civic  and Volkswagen
Golf .