Mazda has pulled the covers off its second-generation Mazda3 with the new sedan and hatch on display at the Motor Show stand.
Like the current Mazda3 the new model will arrive in a choice of sedan and hatch with four models to choose from and a choice of two petrol engines, as well as a clean diesel. A six speed manual comes as standard fitment across the range while a five-speed auto is available on petrol models.
The 2.0 litre petrol engine carries over for Neo, Maxx and Maxx Sport models. The SP25 replaces the SP23 model, and gains a 2.5 litre engine in the process. The MZR-CD 2.2 litre turbodiesel is the same as that fitted to the larger Mazda6.
Both the Maxx Sport sedan and SP25 hatch on display present well with their swoopy 'Nagare' styled bodies. The large lower air-intake and 'friendly' face look far better in the metal than we were expecting. With the bigger wheeled models on show (filling the guards nicely), the new Mazda3 has an impressive and nicely integrated stance.
Mazda's fastidious attention to detail means that, despite a larger and more crash-worthy body, the Mazda3 only gains 40 kg over its predecessor, as well as coming with increased equipment and a long list of safety features. Worth a close look if you're heading to the Show.
The new Mazda3 range will go on sale in Australia from April 2009.