Mazda Looking to Build on Success of Mazda3

On Wednesday, Mazda unveiled its 2014 Mazda3 in an empty warehouse space in the New York City’s trendy Chelsea neighborhood.  The 2014 model will be the second vehicle to be manufactured using what Mazda calls its “Kodo” approach to design.  Kodo is Japanese for “soul of motion” and the approach has been warmly welcomed by U.S. consumers since it was introduced in the form of the 2013 Mazda6.

Mazda has pulled off the translation of Kodo’s strong lines from the larger Mazda6 to the smaller Mazda3 flawlessly. The 2014 Mazda3 has also been given an all-new, upscale interior which the automaker feels will further increase the car’s appeal.

To minimize driver distraction, Mazda has given the Mazda3 a new human-machine interface system which it says allows motorists to “maintain proper posture, concentrate on the road and drive more safely, even while handling larger amounts of information.”

In addition to a dash-mounted touch screen, a new “heads up” instrument display, mounted near the windshield, allows drivers to monitor a variety of information without having to take their eyes too far off the road.  The display completely retracts form sight when the vehicle is turned off.

Mazda North America president and CEO Jim O’Sullivan says the Mazda3’s redesign “shows just how much attention to detail and care we put into this important vehicle.”

Mazda chose to unveil the hatchback version on Wednesday and said it will put the sedan model on display in the coming weeks. The hatchback will begin arriving on dealer lots in September and the company plans to move production from Japan to its Mexico facilities sometime next year.

With worldwide sales of 3.8 million units, the Mazda3 sedan and hatchback have been the automaker’s best-selling vehicles since their introduction in 2003. The compact Mazda3 has outsold the mid-sized Mazda6 by a margin of three-to-one.

The 2014 Mazda3 will feature the automaker’s 155 horsepower Skyactiv-G 2.0-liter engine. An optional 184 horsepower 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G engine will also be available.

No pricing or fuel economy estimates have been announced but the company says the new Mazda3 will be competitive with other cars in the segment.  The 2013 Mazda3 hatchback has a base sticker price of around $21,000 and delivers a combined city/highway fuel economy of around 32 mpg.

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