The 2019 Mazda3 gains AWD, fresh design, and a groundbreaking engine

Mazda unveiled the all-new, fourth generation 2019 Mazda3 during the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. The completely redesigned compact model boasts the latest in the firm’s SkyActiv line of efficiency-boosting technologies plus an eye-catching design.

The 2019 Mazda3 is available as a four-door sedan and as a hatchback, but the two cars look very little alike. Where the sedan hews to Mazda’s established look and feel, the hatchback features a striking rear-end treatment that is likely to be polarizing to hot hatch fans. At the unveiling, Mazda designers emphasized the effort put into creating a fluid look and reflective body surfaces in both designs, but mainly leaned to the hatchback as their example.

Inside, the two versions feature an 8.8-inch floating display screen mounted high on the dashboard like in the current model. A redesigned control dial wheel has been included, as well as a simplified user interface. Mazda’s Active Driving Display head-up display has also been revised for clarity, while a Bose Audio sound system is optional.

Mazda developed a new color called polymetal gray for the hatchback, which appears as a light blue-gray in some lights. Inside, the hatchback is available with burgundy upholstery not offered in the sedan.

The 2019 Mazda3 is offered with a wide range of engine options, including 1.5-liter, 2.0-liter, and 2.5-liter versions of Mazda’s proven SkyActiv-G gasoline engine. Mazda also offers the ground-breaking SkyActiv-X engine, which uses lean combustion and compression ignition technology similar to a diesel engine to improve fuel economy without sacrificing power or reliability. The SkyActiv-X engine is augmented by Mazda’s M hybrid system, which appears in the 3 for the first time. Finally, Mazda boldly offers the new Mazda3 with a 1.8-liter SkyActiv-D diesel engine.

The aforementioned engines shift through either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. And while front-wheel drive comes standard, the 3 holds its own in the snow. Its platform is new, and it incorporates a number of chassis and body improvements. This enabled the niche Japanese automaker to include optional all-wheel-drive for the first time in this model.

Mazda has finally brought its i-Activ predictive all-wheel drive system to the compact segment. The i-Activ system incorporates inputs as disparate as the windshield wiper setting and wheel speed monitors to predict and rectify traction losses before the driver is aware of an issue. Mazda also includes its industry-exclusive G Vectoring Control Plus technology to enhance steering response. G Vectoring Control has been standard in the mid-size Mazda6 sedan and CX-5 crossover for several years. The system minutely reduces engine torque to shift weight to the front wheels when cornering, resulting in more responsive steering.

The new Mazda3 also gains active safety features such as driver monitoring, smart brake support, front cross traffic alerts, and Mazda’s Cruising & Traffic Support system, which assists the driver with steering, accelerator, and brake inputs when driving in heavy traffic.

After basking under the lights at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2019 Mazda3 will reach dealer showrooms early in 2019. Look for a pricing announcement before then.


Formula 1 is putting data in the driver’s seat, and not all racers are happy

After a single weekend of racing, a Formula 1 pit crew typically pulls around 2TB of data from the car. Everything, from tire pressure to the temperature of the track, is recorded and analyzed in the name of boosting performance -- and not…
Product Review

By adding features, tech, and all-wheel drive, Mazda puts the 3 in a class of one

Since its introduction in 2003, Mazda’s compact Mazda3 has been a mainstay of the brand’s driver-oriented strategy. Mazda now plans to move upmarket, and the all-new 2019 Mazda3 offers some clues about how that’s going to work.
Product Review

2019 Volkswagen Jetta offers German refinement and tech at an affordable price

With enough tech to make villains jealous, the Volkswagen Jetta punches above its class as a forward-thinking sedan. Spacious, comfortable, and efficient, the Jetta is a refined offering. German refinement comes with a serious attitude.

FWD vs. RWD vs. AWD: How the wheels that turn change the way you drive

Let's face it, you've likely heard front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive mentioned before in some context or another. But what do these terms mean, especially in terms of performance? We’ve got the answers.

The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe is an exercise in form-over-function design

Porsche expanded its lineup of SUVs with a swoopier evolution of the Cayenne named Cayenne Coupe. Don't let the name fool you: it still has four doors. It stands out with a fastback-like roofline that's lower than the Cayenne's.
Product Review

Chris is the virtual co-pilot phone-obsessives need in their car

Driving while using your phone is dangerous, and often illegal. Meet Chris, the digital assistant for your car that wants to help keep your hands off your phone, and your eyes on the road.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.

Tesla revives its referral program with chances to win a Roadster

Tesla has revived its referral program that ended in February because of cost pressures. This time around the perks aren't quite as diverse, though it does offer regular chances to win a Roadster or Model Y.

Tesla ends scheduled servicing because electric cars need less maintenance

Tesla will longer offer scheduled maintenance plans, switching to an "as needed" model. This reflects the fact that electric cars need less regular maintenance than gasoline or diesel cars.

The go kart-like Mini Cooper will soon add zero emissions to its resume

Mini is in the final stages of developing an electric version of the Cooper. The 2020 Cooper SE will receive powertrain components from the BMW i3, including a 181-horsepower electric motor and battery technology.

Tesla Model 3 vulnerability exposed at Pwn2Own; hackers take home the car

A Tesla Model 3 vulnerability was exposed at the Pwn2Own hacking competition. The hackers, who were able to display a message on the electric vehicle's internet browser, won $35,000 and took home the car.

Is this electric car startup the next Tesla, or will it go the way of Coda?

The electric car startup formerly known as EVelozcity has changed its name to Canoo. It also announced a lineup of four cars including a commuter-friendly model and a lifestyle-oriented car. Its first electric vehicles will begin to appear…

Ford’s born-again Bronco off-roader will soothe your 1990s nostalgia

Ford confirmed it will bring the Bronco back to American showrooms in 2020. We haven't seen the truck yet, but dealers who got a preview of it during a private event say it's a true off-roader aimed directly at the Jeep Wrangler.