Mazda 3: why it’s this year’s most important new car

Our new issue is out now, with an in-depth review of Mazda’s all-important hatch, plus much more

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WE GET it. Using the cover of our new issue (on sale today) to claim that the all-new Mazda 3 is this year’s most important car is a bold move. Let us explain.

Few cars hold as much relevance to Aussie car buyers as the Mazda 3. It’s often Australia’s most popular passenger car on the monthly sales charts, and those sales have a far greater skew towards private buyers than rivals like the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai i30.

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And it seems age is no barrier for the Mazda 3. The current-gen car is continuing to light up the sales charts, despite the all-new model’s imminent arrival.

So it ticks the relevance box, but it’s how the new Mazda 3 promises to advance the popular small-car category than sees it justify our claim. Core to that is the way it goes, stops and steers but there’s also its ground-breaking SkyActiv-X engine which arrives Down Under later this year.

As our cover line states: “It’s sexy, clever and affordable, and the best bit is yet to come.”

But it’s not all about the new Mazda 3 in our latest issue, which includes an investigation into how Ford Australia is shaping the future of the pick-up ute.

With the Blue Oval and VW linking arms for their next-gen dual cabs, the team of Australian engineers at Broadmeadows is being tasked with keeping both brands at the top of a highly competitive segment.

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For motorsport tragics, we have the five Formula 1 storylines to keep an eye on this year, while Porsche has divulged some juicy secrets regarding the next-gen GT3 engine.

Speaking of Porsches, we sent Stephen Corby to Europe to drive the next-gen 911. All-new Porsche 911s don’t come around that often, and the 992 is one of the most significant sports cars to be released this year. No pressure, then.

Fans of Stuttgart’s greatest hits will be flipping straight to the Overrun section of the magazine, which has four pages dedicated to Hanger Banger 2, the coolest Porsche event you’ve never heard of. Trust us, you’ll want to treat your eyes to this visual feast.

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View the entire Mazda Range

Also in Overrun, Andy Enright gets his nerd on with this month’s Modern Classic, the Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R. Even the most hardcore Godzilla fanatics will learn a thing or two!

Our experienced road testing team has been hard at work, with first drives of everything from the Suzuki Jimny to the updated Mercedes-AMG C63 S.

Hot hatches are all the rage at the moment, but what if you don’t want to immolate your wallet for one of these hi-po heroes? Enter the ‘warm’ hatch. We compare four of the best in the Ford Focus ST-Line, Hyundai i30 N-Line, Toyota Corolla ZR, and Kia Cerato GT to see if they can provide both thrills and practicality.

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DJR Team Penske also opened their doors to Wheels and gave Bruce Newton an exclusive look into the development of its much-hyped Ford Mustang supercar, which will make its debut this weekend in Adelaide. We stripped off the panels while they weren’t watching to get up close with the first two-door to compete in modern Supercars history.

All that, plus much more, is in our latest issue, on sale now.

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