Nobody asked me, but . . .

The 2014 Mazda Mazda3 is the compact car with a difference.  That difference is SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY.  What is SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY?  It’s not just an engine philosophy but rather an overall umbrella of innovations that include new engines and transmissions as well as stronger and lighter body and chassis systems.  These advanced technologies focus on increasing overall vehicle efficiency through lightweight materials and improved design while also increasing responsiveness.

The heart of every Mazda is its engine, and Mazda continues to be an industry leader in how it approaches powertrain technology.  Following in the footstep of the rotary, Mazda’s engine designers have created a unique 4-cylinder piston engine. Is it a gasoline engine or it is a diesel engine?  Answer: It’s both!

And it’s innovation personified.  In 2.0-liter gasoline trim the engine features all-new high-efficiency direct-injection and the world’s highest compression ratio for a mass-produced vehicle at 14:1, which is on par with the world’s highest-performance race cars.  Tuned for the North American market, the Mazda3 features a SKYACTIV-G engine with a 12:1 compression ratio tuned to run on 87-octane regular unleaded gasoline.

The same engine block, when configured as a 2.0-liter diesel, features an unusually low 14:1 compression ratio and a new two-stage turbocharger.  That world’s lowest diesel engine compression ratio and the turbo result in a next-generation diesel that will meet global emissions regulations without expensive NOx after treatments such as urea selective catalytic reduction (SCR) or a Lean NOx Trap (LNT).  Mazda remains the only Asian auto maker committed to bringing modern clean-diesel technology to the United States.  The diesel will be first offered next spring in the Mazda6.

Both SkyActiv engine families—gasoline and diesel—provide increases in horsepower and torque along with significant reductions in weight, engine friction and fuel consumption compared to the engines they replace.

Two additional features, active grille shutters and i-ELOOP, the world’s first capacitor-based regenerative engine braking system to power all of a vehicle’s electrical components, also contribute to real-world gains in fuel economy on Mazda3’s equipped with these technical innovations.

The soul of every Mazda is the tuning that goes into the dynamic response that makes every Mazda ride, steer and handle like those sporting cars born and bred in Bavaria.  It all starts with a rigid structure, and the new Mazda3 unit body/chassis makes extensive use of high and ultra high-strength steels to increase body stiffness by 30 percent. These innovative steels also result in about a 100-pound reduction in weight despite all the new safety features the Mazda3 incorporates.

One of the more innovative of these available safety technologies is Smart City Brake Support (SCBS), which is designed to assist a driver in reducing the extent of front collisions when traveling at speeds between 2 and 19 miles per hour.  If the driver fails to perform an avoidance maneuver, the SCBS system will activate an automatic braking function.  While the system will not eliminate accidents, it will minimize them and reduce the severity of an impact.

Smart City Brake Support is just one of a whole family of safety related technologies offered on the 2014 Mazda3.  These include, Mazda Radar Cruise Control, an Adaptive Front-lighting System, High Beam Control, Blind Spot Monitoring, a Lane Departure Warning System, and Forward Obstruction Warning.

The 2014 Mazda3 is the best-built and most refined compact Mazda has ever produced.  It takes us down a path of a future of highly efficient but still fun-to-drive affordable cars, and is a great choice as the MPG Innovation Vehicle of the Year at under $29,000.”

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