When MAZDA3 launched in Spring 2003, it forced customers to rethink what was possible in a C-segment vehicle, as it offered exhilarating driving performance, emotional styling and high levels of craftsmanship unseen before in this price and size class. The revised model takes these attributes to a new level, offering improved torque characteristics for both engines, exterior styling enhancements and fit-and-finish and interior trim revisions.
Common features for both the 4-Door s sedan (fitted with the 2.3-liter engine) and 5-Door s (on which the 2.3-liter engine is standard) include a body-color front grille and a redesigned front bumper with square fog lamps. The 4-Door s sedan now employs LEDs for the rear combination lamps. In addition, 16- and 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels have been redesigned to both accentuate the aluminum alloy look and convey an image of stability.
Both the 4-Door s sedan and 5-Door s have a more athletic look: the 4-Door promotes a feeling f stability, while the 5-Door is the sportiest model in the MAZDA3 lineup and exudes a youthful personality.
Particular attention was paid to revising interior quality on all models. The 2.0-liter 4-Door i sedan features t wo interior colors: beige and black. Both interior color packages receive newly designed white gauges and a zebra-striped wood-finish dash trim. The 2.3-liter s models with black interior and blackout-type gauges include a decorative insert finished with a hairline treatment in the dash. L eather seating surfaces are available as an option for all s models, and new for 2007 on select exterior colors is a gray cloth interior.
The engine lineup for the MAZDA3 continues to be the MZR 2.0-liter for i models and MZR 2.3-liter on s models, both P-ZEV compliant in California-emission states, Tier 2 Bin 5 in Federal states. All horsepower ratings are now compliant with new SAE measuring standards, with t he 2.0-liter engine producing 148 hp (144 hp in P-ZEV trim) at 6,500 rpm* and maximum torque of 135 lb-ft (132lb-ft in PZEV trim) at 4,500 rpm*. The 2.3-liter engine now produces 156 hp (151hp in P-ZEV trim) of maximum power at 6,500 rpm* and maximum torque of 150 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm (149 lb-ft at 4,500 rpm in P-ZEV trim)*.
Both 2.0- and 2.3-liter engines continue to employ a high-accuracy electronic throttle control, along with sequential valve timing (S‑VT). Optimal adjustment of the engine’s intake valve operation in response to running conditions achieves high charging efficiency. Together with a variable induction system ( VIS), this allows the engine to achieve powerful torque throughout the whole rev range.
A f ive‑speed manual transmission remains standard on all models . Also carrying-over is the availability of Sport AT automatic transmissions for the both the 2.0-liter (four-speed) and 2.3-liter (five-speed) and both have functions that allow the driver to sequentially shift gears up or down.
MAZDA3 ’s body shell has been upgraded by bolstering local rigidity . Front suspension mountings are joined to the fender frame by brackets, and the number 1 tunnel member connecting the transmission tunnel on the body’s underside now extends to the left and right frame side members. These arrangements result in an even stiffer, safer body and even sportier handling and ride control.
The MacPherson strut front suspension has improved damper performance and has been tuned to improve steering response and reduce understeer. The multi‑link rear suspension receives the same performance revisions, ensuring improved rear‑end stability during high‑speed cornering. In addition , the revised bumpers mean superior aerodynamics contribute to better fuel economy , improved high‑speed acceleration and better overall stability.
Both 4-Door sedan and 5-Door have newly added rear armrests with integrated cup holders for rear seat occupants. For the 4-Door sedan, rear cargo space side and end trim have been modified to allow large loads to be loaded with ease. A trunk lid recess on top of the bumper has been added to make it easier to open the trunk lid.
Audio systems have been upgraded with an auxiliary audio input and 12-volt power outlets are now standard for all models, providing the driver or passenger the option of bringing their own portable audio player to enjoy their favorite music in the car.
Unchanged – but still class-leading – four‑wheel disc brakes with ventilated discs in the front and solid discs in the rear form the basis for a comprehensive active safety system . Four-wheel ABS and electronic brakeforce distribution ( EBD ) with brake assist are standard on s models and are optional on i models . Dynamic stability control (DSC) and traction-control are newly available for s models .
Passive safety systems feature a rigid body shell that provides exceptional collision safety. For occupant protection, front dual airbags are standard, and seat-mounted side and roof-mounted curtain airbags are available as well. In addition, impact‑absorbing trim on the steering column minimizes injury to the driver’s knees and a collapsible brake pedal helps reduce the risk of lower leg injury in the event of a frontal collision .
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Mazda North American Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.