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Mazda3 First Drive 2019: Drive uphill

Crossovers are the rage these days, but Mazda has abandoned the notion that passenger cars will still be relevant to a large number of buyers in 2019. The company has sold over six million copies of the Mazda3 since 2003, a model that traditionally announces the latest interpretation of Mazda's design language and technology.

This is still true today for the completely new machine of the fourth generation. In addition to the required improvements in terms of technology, safety and efficiency, the new Mazda3 demonstrates the brand's new, people-centered development philosophy. As Ichiro Hirose, managing director of the company, announces, a breach suffered by Mazda's engineers in a football game during development has put a new focus on ergonomics. "[A car] should not be like a roller coaster ride," says Hirose. "It should feel like a tool you've been using for years – familiar, comfortable and easy to use."

At the same time, the latest Mazda3 shows a clear attempt to improve the model's sense of luxury inside and out. and deliver a more convincing value contribution via the outbound vehicle; A multi-faceted approach, making significant changes from the audio system design to the body structure bonding methods.

To find out if Mazda was successful in this effort, we went to Hollywood in California to get a closer look at the new compact disk and tested it at every turn in the urban expansion of LA as well as on the winding asphalt meandering through the Angeles National Forest.

Even at first glance, it is clear that the new Mazda3 has a much higher quality experience than the vehicle it replaces. While the outgoing model looked reasonably good, the fourth-generation Mazda3 is a real eye-catcher – especially in the hatchback version. The latest interpretation of Mazda's "Kodo" design language gives the table a new sense of sophistication, lifting the character lines of the past for a sculptural form. And the car wears it well.

This sense of maturity continues in the cabin, which benefits from a number of changes aimed at better ergonomics and a higher premium atmosphere. The new infotainment system and the 8.8-inch central display determine many of these design improvements. Further down the dashboard and towards the driver, the new system is not equipped with the touchscreen functionality of its predecessor. Instead, the central console's rotary knobs and hard keys are used as primary user input. As a result, these controls are now larger and more accessible, the latter essentially due to the repositioning of the cup holders moving in front of the armrest behind the shift lever. Mazda says the change means less distraction for the driver, even though the company has admitted that the learning curve is higher.

Mazda says its new infotainment system distracts less, though the company rates the learning curve higher.

Upgraded Tech tends to make the cabin feel first-rate, but in most cases it's the little things that really convey a compelling sense of luxury. For this purpose, Mazda has weakened the details, simplified the overall design and upgraded the materials and switchgear. On the ergonomic front, the steering wheel offers additional telescoping of 0.8 inches. A lower cushion angle on the seat improves the driving position. Even the audio system has significant improvements. Both the base model and the optional Bose system benefit from strategically positioned speakers that are dispersed throughout the cabin, minimizing the vibration of the control panel while achieving greater fidelity.

To increase accuracy, the development efforts contribute to noise reduction, vibration and hardness throughout the vehicle. That starts with the rear suspension, which changes from the multi-link configuration of the original model to a new torsion bar setup – a change that allowed engineers to increase lateral stiffness by 78 percent while improving overall ride quality, Mazda says. New bushing-like lanyards in the body structure also help dampen road noise, further lowering the soundboard.

  2019 Mazda3
  2019 Mazda3
  2019 Mazda3
  2019 Mazda3

All US Built in 2019, the Mazda3 is equipped with a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder Skyactiv naturally aspirated engine, the 186 PS and an equal number of torque supplies. The single engine works (for now) in addition to a six-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual transmission (Yay!). The front wheels are powered by default, while the 3 receives its first four-wheel drive system. Mazda's decision to transfer the power of the 3 to all four wheels places them in a segment of limited space and hopefully will help move crossover riders to something agile that is equally capable of bad weather.

On the Road, Ergonomics and Ergonomics NVH improvement efforts are indeed palpable. Despite the slackness of your author, we have created a comfortable seating position for a longer stint behind the wheel, keeping all the relevant controls within reach. At high speeds, the muted road noise will strike a vehicle at a much higher price, though the six-speed automatic feels a bit old-fashioned in a world of eight-, nine- and ten-gear boxes.

Navigating The mania that prevails in Hollywood in the midst of traffic can be a stressful experience in just about any vehicle, but the new Mazda3 brought a noticeable sense of calm in the process. The audio system provided a pleasant glockenspiel for blind spot warnings and not for a shrill sound, while the revised suspension absorbed the imperfections of the Sunset Blvd with little protest.

  2019 Mazda3
  2019 Mazda3

Mazda also added a new system to monitor the driver's attention. With an infrared camera and LEDs, the system analyzes the facial features and head position, triggers an alarm when the driver feels that the driver has fallen asleep, or issues a warning message when the driver detects that the driver's eyes are not on the road are directed. We did not raise an alarm behind the wheel during our time, but it's easy to see how they could become a true lifesaver.

Although the enhancements to the new Mazda3 are largely geared towards a serene driving experience, Mazda Make sure you give even a hint of "zoom zoom." While it's not exactly the Mazda's natural environment, the car does not necessarily feel its element.

Mazda gave just a hint of "zoom zoom".

Locking the transmission to manual mode and controlling the shifts through the steering wheel-mounted paddles allowed us to use the sweet spot in the power range instead of repeatedly asking for downshifts to wake up the engine. The bumps in the middle of the bend tended to bother the suspension so that they were somewhat shut down by some of the uglier sections. However, if you dedicate yourself to driving quality before the absolute power, the Mazda3 remains composed so that things stay interesting lively pace.

The new Mazda3 is not only an encouraging sign for the model but also for the brand in general. Although the fourth generation is evolutionary rather than revolutionary, efforts to improve presentation and driving experience are tangible and worthwhile, and it is expected that these improvements will be made in other Mazda products in the near future. For those who have not yet jumped on the crossover train, the Mazda3 offers a compelling reason to stay on course.

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