A few days ago the updated 2017 Mazda 3 has been officially revealed for the Japanese market with quite a few sizable upgrades. The US model is still missing, but Mazda did announce that it will hit the market by the end of the year as a 2017 model. The update doesn’t bring significant changes to the mix.
However, it does come with a much nicer exterior, an improved interior as well as a revised running gear. All of these should make for an overall better experience than before that should keep it at the top of its class.
Redesign – Exterior & Interior
While not official at this point, it seems that the US model of the car will have a few key differences over the Japanese model. For starters, the 2017 Mazda 3 is expected to hit the market with a MazdaSpeed version. On top of that, the US version will likely get more color options as well as slight changes to its equipment groups. All of these are required as most of its competitors already have high-performance versions, and all of them are really easy to customize. This can’t be said about the current Mazda 3 unfortunately, so let’s hope it will change.
Changes & Improvements
By far the largest change for the all-new Mazda 3 is its design which, in our opinion, became a lot better than before. For starters, its entire front end has been replaced. It now has a lot more in common with the CX-3 and CX-9 instead of the 6, and that’s great. The grille has been replaced with their new “Diamond” design with the 3D effect. Also, the side extensions of the grille now reach the inside of the headlights, so it looks a lot better and also more expressive. At the back, the hatchback also received a new set of tail lights and also a slightly different tailgate. The sedan, on the other hand, is pretty much identical.
These rather impressive changes have not been carried over inside the cabin. Unfortunately here the only real differences over the previous models are the new steering wheel and the cup-holders which can be hidden. We do have some good news, though. Even though not official, it seems that the upcoming MazdaSpeed model will get Recaro seats, Alcantara upholstery as well as color-coded seatbelts.
Under the Hood
The Japanese version of the 2017 Mazda 3 is identical in terms of engines to the ongoing model. The US version is expected to follow closely, especially since Mazda doesn’t really have a more special engine. The base model will continue with the older 2 liters inline four while the top end version, at least for the normal trim levels, will get the same 2.5 liters as before. Both of these, despite their size and lack of turbochargers, are among the most efficient in their respective classes. The difference will most likely come with the MazdaSpeed version. This is also likely going to hit Europe as the MPS. In any case, this version of the car should make use of a 2.5 liter turbocharged inline-four petrol engine, the same unit found in the CX-9. However, unlike in the crossover, this should be tweaked for a higher amount of horsepower and less torque.
A hatchback doesn’t really need 340 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm. Instead, Mazda might give the engine around 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. This should be enough to make it as fast as the competition. The interesting part comes next, though. Unlike many of its rivals, the three is expected to get all-wheel drive as standard and a manual transmission. This would be the same recipe as the Focus RS coupled with the 3’s great chassis; the result should be epic!
2017 Mazda 3 Price & Release date
The Japanese model is expected to go on sale in the upcoming weeks while the European car should be revealed quite soon as well. However, one of the most important markets, by far, is the US market. Here the three sold better than pretty much everywhere thanks to its modern design, great engines, and excellent build quality.
Its price is most likely not going to be altered as it fits a specific spot in the market. In the US, the car is still expected to cost starting from $18,000 while a top-end version will be around $25,000.