2019 Mazda 3 First Drive – A Cohesive Compact?
We travelled to the small and traffic-free city of Los Angeles last week to check out the newly revamped 2019 Mazda 3, the first product launched under the automaker’s equally new premium philosophy. The next-gen compact apparently heralds the introduction of other higher-end models.
So, is this all-important foundational compact car any good? Let’s find out.
(Disclaimer: Mazda flew me from Cincinnati to Los Angeles and put me up in a very nice hotel in West Hollywood. They also provided me with food and drink, a notepad, and a pen.)
Newly Aspirational New Car
The new 3 is a car of firsts for Mazda. It’s the first to feature new KODO design language destined for all other models, the first to offer the innovative Skyactiv-X engine, the first vehicle built on a revised Skyactiv Vehicle Architecture, and the first 3 available with all-wheel drive in North America. The anticipated Skyactiv-X engine joins the 3 lineup sometime soon (no specifics given), paired with a new M Hybrid system for better fuel economy.
Mazda told me flat out there will be no Mazdaspeed 3, as it’s not in line with the company’s new premium image. So there.