I’m really looking forward to the reveal of the new Mazda 3, which will happen soon at the Los Angeles Motor Show. November 30 can’t come soon enough.
From the teaser image above, it appears that the new Mazda 3, at least in hatchback form, closely follows the Kai concept, apart from the usual details that are toned down for production, such as the huge wheels.
Above: The Mazda Kai concept, widely believed to be a preview of the production Mazda 3. Note especially the similarities in the C-pillar design between the concept and the production hatchback in the teaser.
One concern I do have about the production Mazda 3 is the apparent regression from a multi-link to a more basic torsion beam rear suspension design. Mazda says this is for greater refinement and NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) suppression, however this reason is frankly bullshit. Competitors such as the VW Golf are lauded for their refinement, yet incorporate multi-link suspension that also improves ride and driving dynamics. As a further example, reviews of the new Ford Focus, which uses a multi-link setup in more expensive trim levels, note a significant difference in steering and handling as compared to the torsion beam suspension. Therefore, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the new Mazda 3 take a step backwards compared to its predecessor in terms of driving dynamics and transition from the class benchmark to merely being average. Heck, even the new Corolla has moved in the opposite direction, in improving from a torsion beam setup to a standard multi-link rear suspension across all variants.