The Mazda3 is by far Mazda’s biggest seller. So, it makes sense that it would be the car to bring their new SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY to market. SKYACTIV is Mazda’s name for their new total-vehicle approach to making cars more fuel efficient without the use of hybrid powertrains.
While this total-vehicle approach leaves no stones unturned, the biggest fuel economy gains are still realized in the engine compartment, and the Mazda3 sports a new SCYACTIV-G 155-horsepower 2-liter I4 engine that gets 28-Miles-Per-Gallon City and 40-Highway, as well as new SKYACTIV 6-speed transmissions, both manual and automatic. A SKYACTIV-D diesel engine will arrive next year.
A big part of SKYACTIV is also keeping the Zoom-Zoom fully intact and reducing weight will certainly help that, as will a stiffer chassis, but we’ll have to wait for later Mazda models to get the full SKYACTIV effect, as this Mazda3 is just a refresh, not an all-new car. But, it does feature some styling tweaks, such as new wheels and front fascia, and all SKYACTIV models will include blue headlight rings, engine cover, and badging.
And despite all of the upgrades the Mazda3 will actually be cheaper than the current model when it goes on sale this winter, starting at just over $15,000. Unfortunately, the SKYACTIV power train is not part of the base package, and will require upgrading to a Touring model costing over $18,000. So, even without hybrids, better fuel economy at Mazda comes with a premium price.
Engine: SCYACTIV-G 2-liter I4 engine
EPA: 28 mpg city/ 40 mpg highway
Price: Starting just over $15,000