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Next generation Mazda 3 small car to launch in LA

By Tim Robson, 23 Oct 2018 Car News

Next generation Mazda 3 small car to launch in LA

An all-new version of one of Australia’s favourite cars, the Mazda 3 small hatchback, will be revealed at the LA Auto Show next month… and it’ll look incredible

Mazda is set to pull the covers off the latest version of its best-selling small hatch, the Mazda3, at the LA Motor Show in late November.

And it’s not just a facelift, either; the Mazda3 – which battles with best-selling small hatches like the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai i30 - will feature new engines, improved safety and infotainment spec (hello Apple CarPlay and Android Auto!) and a bold new look.

Read next: Small cars: a quick guide

The company previewed the 3 via a small teaser video this week… which revealed very little other than a silhouette of a five-door hatchback.

However, we already know that the Mazda3 will still be based on the current car’s underpinnings, which debuted in 2014.

The looks, however, are a different story. A preview of the new 3 showed its handsome face at last October’s Tokyo Show, disguised as the Mazda Kai concept.

Insiders suggest that while the production car will lose the concept car bits – like the huge wheels and miniaturised wing mirrors - the more mature, less fussy visage will remain largely intact.

The 2019 Mazda3 will also debut the Japanese company’s trick new petrol engine, which basically blends the best of diesel and petrol engines to reduce its fuel consumption and pollution emissions.

Dubbed SkyActiv X, the all-new engine uses a combination of ultra-high compression ignition (a la diesels), regular spark plugs and supercharging to slash both pollution and fuel usage. As well, it’s designed to use low-octane – and cheaper - 91RON fuel.

Read next: Mazda3 range review

Based on a four-cylinder block, it will be built in a variety of sizes; WhichCar expects a 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre to feature on the Mazda3’s spec sheets.

Internally, expect the five-seat, five-door Mazda3 to continue with its tablet-style multimedia system design up front, only this time it’s bound to equip the car with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto straight out of the box.

The rear seats may be a bit more compromised for headroom, though, given the swooping roofline of the Kai concept.

Safety-wise, the Mazda3 will no doubt benefit from upgraded driver aid systems, including city-spec AEB across the line, and a deeper roll-out of more advanced technology like rear cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control.

The Mazda3 will be revealed on November 28.