2020 Mazda 3 Skyactiv-G Review | Design, Performance, MPG
2020 Mazda 3 Skyactiv-G Review | Unveiled last November at the show in Los Angeles, the new generation of Mazda 3 is about to step on the European soil. We have been able to gauge the qualities of this new version of the Hiroshima compact in Portugal, in the Lisbon region. Put an end to suspense right away, the 2020 Mazda 3 is more than convincing.
Segment C is currently in full swing. Indeed, after Ford renewed its Focus last year, the order book for the new Toyota Corolla opened in early 2019. And this is just the beginning for this year, since the next generation of the Volkswagen Golf will point its nose in the fall, just like its Iberian cousin Seat Leon. On the side of premium German brands, it also moves with the upcoming or recent arrival of the new Mercedes A-Class, BMW 1 Series and Audi A3. Finally, the current Peugeot 308 and Alfa Romeo Giulietta will also be replaced next year.
It is in this turbulent context that Mazda markets its freshly refreshed “3”. This will, of course, have the task of competing with the stars of the category that are the Volkswagen Golf, Peugeot 308 and Renault Mégane. But it also targets more premium-oriented models. For that, the new Mazda 3 has sharpened its weapons, as we have seen for ourselves.
2020 Mazda 3 Redesign
Mazda has embraced the Kodo philosophy. That is to say the soul of the movement. This philosophy emphasizes the dynamism and purity of the lines, a philosophy already proven in series on the Mazda 6 and on the latest generation of MX5. Thus, the silhouette is slender with a long hood, a very open grille and a rear picked up, borrowing a lot from the concept RX-Vision presented at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2015. Compared to its predecessor, this new version has sharper front lights, while the rest of the bodywork focuses on fluidity.
The personality of this 2020 Mazda 3 comes mainly from its front, poles apart from what we usually see on the segment. With its gaping grille and beveled fires, this new iteration is almost intimidating when you see it in its mirrors. But for the rest of its features, this new model is in fluidity and dynamism. The designers of the brand have carved the body panels to play the best with the effects of light. And the result is convincing, even with the new exclusive “Polymetal Gray”, certainly less eye-catching than the pretty red “Soul Red Crystal”. A small regret, however, with the rear door handles that could have been integrated just behind the rear quarter panels like the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, a solution a time considered but not retained. Anyway, this new Mazda 3 has an assertive personality.
2020 Mazda 3 Interior – Sobriety and good taste inside
The harmonious side of the whole is also found in the cockpit. The presentation is sober and pleasant, with a clean dashboard crossed by an aluminum colored border extending on the storm doors. The driver quickly finds an ideal driving position behind a sporty design three-spoke steering wheel. The Mazda Connect infotainment system with 8.8 inch TFT display can be manipulated via the wheel and buttons located just behind the shifter. The screen is slightly embedded in a dedicated slot in the middle of the dashboard, but this implementation does not interfere with the readability of the whole. As for the instrumentation behind the steering wheel, it is done through a 7 ‘digital screen that can display different information. Small more appreciable, the mirrors outside mirrors tilt slightly to the ground when passing the reverse, facilitating maneuvers.
The front seats provide excellent support, whether fabric (on the entry-level version) or leather. But even more than all these ergonomic considerations, it is the quality of finish which impresses the most in this 2020 Mazda 3. This one is indeed worthy of its most exclusive competitors, with materials as pleasing to the eye as to the touch and adjustments that do not suffer criticism. A report anyway pettiness: on our trial version, only the driver’s seat is electrically adjustable. Another point to note, the lack of brightness in the passenger compartment for the rear passengers because of the shape of the rear windows. The Mazda 3 is not the only criticism of the segment on this point, it is true. Finally, inside the tailgate is a button to lock the doors when the trunk is open: station not to forget the key to inside the car, because this same button does not allow to unlock the doors!
Question motorization, two blocks four cylinders are at the moment available: the 1.8 diesel Skyactiv-D of 116 horses and the 2.0 petrol Skyactiv-G of 122 horses. It is this last engine which we retained for our test. Equipped with a 24v micro-hybridization that recovers energy when the vehicle decelerates, it requires to be in the towers to deliver its full potential. Indeed, the maximum torque of 213 Nm is available at 4,000 rpm while the maximum power is reached at 6,000 rpm. This requires playing with the gearbox, very well staged and extremely pleasant to handle for the 6-speed manual version. Note that we also could try the same engine coupled to the automatic transmission, also 6-speed. But the latter was ultimately disappointing because not responsive, even with the Sport mode activated.
In the end, this petrol engine fits well with the approach taken by Mazda for the design of this new “3”, oriented towards the driver. We would see him with a little more horses! This will be the case at the end of the year when the manufacturer will present a version with a new petrol block of 181 horses and 222 Nm of torque called Skyactiv-X. From this one, we simply know that it will adopt a compression ignition system to combine the sobriety of diesel with the pleasure of driving gasoline. But we will have the opportunity to talk about it when the time comes. Finally, Mazda announces a consumption of 5.1 liters per 100 km in mixed use. A figure that we naturally exceeded of course during our test and that was close to the 6.5 liters in the computer on board not being always tender with the mechanics.
All this is very good, but what is this 2020 Mazda 3 on the road worth? The Japanese manufacturer had inaugurated the 2017 G-Vectoring Control system, acting on the engine torque to stabilize the vehicle under certain conditions. This device is perfected here, now also acting on the brakes to ensure optimal grip and control. In practice, this translates into a very safe road behavior, but somewhere out of step with the dynamism put forward by Mazda for its new compact.
In practice, the 2020 Mazda 3 is stuck to the road and has a safe behavior in all circumstances. Put your eyes at the exit of a curve, turn the steering wheel and the car follows your intention of departure. Not necessarily exhilarating but certainly of great efficiency. An efficiency enhanced by such direct direction as precise, which sometimes regret that the engine does not have a good shot of extra horses history to enjoy the efficiency of a frame to effective calibrations. It will be time to look back on the subject when the release of the Skyactiv-X version mentioned above
With a base price of $27,070, the Mazda 3 is in the high end of the market. Indeed, the Peugeot 308 is displayed for example from $23,644, while the price scale of the Volkswagen Golf starts at $23,195. But here it is: like the majority of Japanese productions, the Mazda 3 embarks in its entry-level version a lot of equipment reserved for superior finishes among European competitors. Thus, from the first level of finish, the Mazda 3 is equipped with the ATH (Head High Display), an audio system with 8 speakers or braking aid with recognition of pedestrians in the city. For an additional price, the Style finish offers, among other things, the 360 ° camera, the reversing radar, and automatic climate control. And the rims, 16 inches on the entry-level, go to 18 inches. Finally, at the top of the table, we find the Sportline and Inspiration finishes. If both incorporate a Bose 12-speaker audio system, the Sportline adopts a sporty atmosphere with chrome rims of the steering wheel and Start button, paddle shifters in automatic transmission version and adaptive LED lights.
In the end, this 2020 Mazda 3 is very attractive with its safe handling, bodywork and interior and its excellent price/equipment. It will seduce those who want to stand out by opting for a compact looking original, with a finish that has nothing to envy to its competitors, even premium. A word to finish on the ecological malus, which remains content: 35 euros for the entry-level manual transmission with its 16-inch wheels (117 grams of CO2 / km) against 45 euros for other levels of finishing (119 g / km) or 90 euros if you opt for the automatic transmission (128 g / km).