By on September 8, 2010

There are no rumors to report here, just a hypnotic video of Mazda working through its new Kodo design language on a compact hatchback concept. As with the Shinari concept, Mazda’s stated goal of becoming “the Japanese Alfa Romeo” is well-evidenced, and though it’s early days yet, the new direction looks promising. But then, anything that looks less like a stimulant-crazed Pokemon than the current Mazda3 would have counted as improvement.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

17 Comments on “Mazda Rethinks The 3...”

  • avatar

    Does anyone else see the Mazda Shinari concept as an Infiniti Essence rip off?

  • avatar

    Anything, anything as long as they get rid of those hideous “smiley” grills. The current “Nagare” design language hit the pinnacle of awful with the soon to be introduced restyled Mazda5. Ugh! Bring on “Kodo”!

  • avatar

    Well, at least they ripped off an attractive design.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    If a leaping leopard is the inspiration for the new Mazda3, then I’d say a housecat taking a dump is the inspiration for the Lexus RX.

  • avatar

    The finally adapted the stupid grin into an integrated grill that looks appropriate.  When will car manufacturers get rid of the retro green, now that is hideous.

  • avatar

    The Japanese have, on the whole, not demonstrated a very high aesthetic sensibility.  Think of the the latest Acura product.  Toyota is set to build a world-class sports car that looks like it was cobbled together from an erector set and then lightly skinned.  God knows what happened to Nissan.  And Mazdas are just plain goofy-looking.
    It’s too bad, really, since Japanese have generally been able to build a decent product- quality wise.  Better if they would out-source their design teams to Italy, or Germany.  BTW, my last statement is offered with some trepidation.  The latest S Class are trending toward bizarre, and American VW appears to have settled for bland in their upcoming (Jetta and US Passat replacement) designs.  Where is the Scirocco when you need it?

    • 0 avatar

      Well… Acuras are designed in California. Many Nissans, including the Sentra, were designed in California before the studio moved to Tennessee. The Mazda3 was mostly designed in Europe and a little bit in the US.
      The Mazda3 is clearly designed for the European market, where lots of cars have big mouths and overly dramatic design features. The previous generation was criticized for being bland there – and it was, compared to everything else they have there. Imagine a land where baleen-whale Peugeots are as common as Accords are here!
      Acuras aren’t sold in Japan. They were designed for Americans, and I think it shows. You can tell they were hoping to do what Cadillac did by being bold and polarizing. Cadillac pulled it off better, but neither are my type… they both bring out the same feelings in me.

  • avatar

    One person’s bold, distinctive and imposing look can easily turn off a lot people in the process.
    Also, such cars tend to look dated within a few years.

  • avatar

    Actually, it’s the Leopards that are the meanest, most evil sneaky bastard cats.
    And that track really could use an electric banjo solo by 1979 Steve Martin with the old ‘fake arrow through the head’ on.

  • avatar

    Is there any kind of an after-market grill you can put on the 3 to replace the big smiley face?

  • avatar

    Hell, I still like the 3′s style. The smile is far more obvious in under 3/4 shots than on the street, and the lines of the car make it look much more expensive than it is. The pics in the video look okay, but I’ll wait to see what the production one looks like.

    • 0 avatar

      I am with you 1000%.

      Not only myself, but both my boys love this newer look. We have the ’05 and it still is simply fun to drive, but we all are looking forward to the day we decide another 3 is in the garage.

      WHY the hell does every car have that damned MACHO mean-ass look!?
      It’s as if everybody has the need to act tough and their car needs to do the walking for them.
      I was looking at the stupid open mouthed Bass look of the Mitsubishi today and I cracked up!
      Puleeeze! Stop pretending to be so damned tough when your just making a punk of yourself.

      Lighten up and enjoy the car…and life!

  • avatar

    Please don’t offer orange as a colour, please don’t offer orange as a colour, plea…

    Otherwise it’s going to look like it belongs on the doorstep on October 31st.

  • avatar

    Mazda 3 gets a Face-Lift Next Year…So the BIG Smile goes…

    Small Car Design is EXTREMELY Difficult with new safety regulation changing every few years, in a small box there is ONLY a few directions any car designer can take, a maker just CAN NOT make a small low car anymore for mass production. The USA will not let them in..
    The LARGER the car is “easier” ,but, even large cars are looking UGLY…too much sheet metal, but again there are size and safety standards that have to be met.

    Mazda Shinari Vid..

  • avatar

    I will say it again. In order to have a transverse mounted engine and front wheel drive which I assume that a new 3 would have, you will have to push the front wheels 8-10 inches back into the car. The design will not look as good without the short front overhang. This is the challenge that the designers have. This drawing is pure fantasy.

  • avatar

    I liked it before the roofline morphed to have a mullet at the rear windshield…is that a really really stubby “cheetah tail” inspiration???

  • avatar

    This new version is hardly enough improvement in the front end design to even care. I wonder how many sales were lost because of this? I count for one.

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

  • Re: Junkyard Find: 1986 Buick Somerset

    CoreyDL - That is truly gauche. “We gave the Somerset a truly distinctive touch by attaching an umbrella pocket to the back of the front seat and then fitting it...
  • Re: Last First-Gen Volvo XC90 Rolls Out Of Torslanda

    Chicago Dude - What exactly are you scared about with the new engines? Volvo has been boosting engines since just about the beginning of time. The...
  • Re: Toyota May Kill V6 Camry

    28-Cars-Later - Because that sort of behavior p*sses off customers, GM has been guilty of such stuff for decades. So say Toyota does this and disenfranchises the 15% or so of the...
  • Re: Toyota May Kill V6 Camry

    bomberpete - The V-6 is a great engine and I doubt the Highlander or Avalon will lose it. Toyota’s strategy is to make the cheapskates pay for the privilege, whether in...
  • Re: Junkyard Find: 1986 Buick Somerset

    ChiefPontiaxe - The C5 Corvette also spells it this way
  • Re: Toyota May Kill V6 Camry

    Astigmatism - @jc130 This wins. EVERYTHING.
  • Re: Junkyard Find: 1986 Buick Somerset

    ChiefPontiaxe - The Regal Somerset Edition started out in 1980, not 1985. My Cousin Stanley had one in two-tone navy and manila (both interior and exterior were...
  • Re: EPA Mandates Real-World Testing For All Automakers

    Land Ark - Well, I certain am not calling for the abolishment of EPA (they don’t refer to themselves as “The”) since Mrs. Land Ark...
  • Re: Toyota May Kill V6 Camry

    jc130 - People are “Fans of the Toyota Camry” in the same way they are fans of stainless steel refrigerators.
  • Re: Toyota May Kill V6 Camry

    Frantz - On of many reasons leases are on the upswing for new cars is consumer concern for all the new technologies out in cars. Turbos have been used on long life vehicles for...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote


  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India