By on June 3, 2013

Mazda-3-2014-cropped. Photo courtesy AutoGuide



The above photo making its way around the internet is supposedly the first uncovered photos of the 2015 Mazda3. Based on prior shots of camo-clad prototypes, it looks like this could be the final design.

In any event, we’re likely to see the new 3 sooner rather than later, as our friends at Mazda tell us that the car is slated to debut in Q4 of this year. While the current Mazda3 uses only the powertrain part of Mazda’s Skyactiv technology, this one gets the full treatment, which means it will be a fair bit lighter than the current car thanks to a new platform. Who knows, maybe we’ll even see a diesel engine as well? At least that awful front end is finally put to rest.


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39 Comments on “Is This The Next Mazda3 Hatchback?...”

  • avatar

    IMO it just became the best looking car in its segment. I also expect due to weight loss that it would get 2-3 more hwy mpgs than the current 40 to lead the class.

  • avatar

    Sure looks better than the current edition. Every time I see one my first thought is that it’s a good thing it drives so well. But, to me, the Five was the apex design in a small wagon. It’s probably just that I don’t get the current design ethos for small cars.

    • 0 avatar

      The big smiley face was a major design fail and a huge step backwards from the 1st generation. Especially when it made white license plates resemble buck teeth.

  • avatar

    I’m not to fancy on the grille, looks much too Volvo-esque
    Small(er) windows are also a turn off, other wise it looks the same from the front.

    I’ve never driven the supercharged or turbo w/e it is version, but the 2010 2.5 is an absolute dog with the 6 speed manual.
    Give it a decent engine without the expense of forced induction and it’d be a pretty sweet kart.

    Now if only my head didn’t scrape the ceiling….

    • 0 avatar

      That was my first reaction as well! I find it very frustrating when station wagons are designed with such aggressive ‘coupe’ styling that the rear seat headroom and cargo space are perhaps even worse than the sedan model.

  • avatar

    I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m finding the Kodo design language is a bit overwrought and cartoonish now that it’s spreading to all models.

    The CX-5 is IMO the best looking example of the language. With the 6, I can’t stop looking at that anteater-like long nose, further exaggerated by a very abrupt hood seam that could have easily been moved to the top edge of the grille, and the over-done front fenders.

    The rear end of the 6 is a jumbled mess, with a strip of deformed chrome that looks like it melted.

    The old 3 was a bit ridiculous looking, but at least it was distinctive. This 3 rendering looks almost exactly like the 6, only with five doors.

    The long hood is disproportionate to the shorter hatchback body, and it looks wider and more bloated (though that could be the distortion of the image).

    Apropos of photos, a lot of new cars that don’t look good in photos end up looking much better in person, so I’ll reserve judgment until I’ve seen this 3 in the wild.

  • avatar

    Looks good to me, I really like the front end treatment.

    I purchased my ’08 Mazda3 GT in late summer ’08 when I saw photos of the second-gen clownface3. I knew they were sweet little cars and didn’t want to wait until the first-gens were all gone.

    After nearly 5 years of ownership there are a couple of concerns I would need Mazda to have addressed with the 3rd gen to put this on my shopping list: 1) road noise – my ’08 is quite loud on all but the most glass-like blacktop, makes listening to music a fatiguing chore. My fear here is that in the pursuit of Skyactiv goodness, sound deadening is not a priority. Even my Conti DWS tires can only help so much. 2) Rear seat legroom – the configuration of the current Mazda3 makes the rear seat a penalty unless the front seats are pushed uncomfortably forward. I’m not sure if there’s much hope for a more livable rear seat with the new platform, but just a little more space would go a long way.

  • avatar

    What 1st gen? Do you really think, this is not a Protege?

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    At the risk of getting lynched, I really like how the current 3 looks, and I am not sure the next one will be a visual improvement since they haven’t fixed the main problem I have with the current one (I think they may have made it worse). The front fenders arc into the doors rather than being integrated into the cut line that extends to the rear of the car. This hasn’t been changed, with the new look, instead, like the 6, they’ve accentuated it.

    Now, I am ready for all of your criticism and constructive abuse for not hating the look of the current 3 (I like a car that leers at me rather than scowls).

  • avatar

    I saw this the other day. It looks very much like the camo and the renderings we’ve seen so far. I think its legit.

    • 0 avatar

      I will actually disagree. It may be a trick of camera angles, but it appears there are some notable differences.

      The badge on the grille matches the 6’s proportions, but we already know it will be smaller to fit the license plate. We’ve already seen the belt line with the dip behind the mirror & rapid rise to the windows’ pointy end. This one doesn’t seem to be the same. The taillights also seem a bit different.

      These pics look better than the camo’d & rendered pics IMO, but I actually think the other supposedly leaked pics are a better match to the real mules.

  • avatar

    I wish they had a wagon/ette version. I think it looks ridiculous without a D-pillar.

  • avatar

    That’s a very good looking car. Mazda’s new design language is quite nice…and I think it will age well.

  • avatar

    It looks really good. I think Mazda has a winner here.

  • avatar

    I’d love to see this car come with a Mazdaspeed ‘lite’ version, with, say, 200 naturally aspirated horsepower?

  • avatar

    I have a secret love for the Mazda 3 hatchback. I had one as a rental car a few months ago and loved it. If you want a quick, good looking runaround car with lots of features, this can’t be beat.

    • 0 avatar

      I have not so secret love for M3 hatch. Unfortunately, when I was buying they didn’t make one with 2L engine. And now, they make it but these here, will come from Mexico. I like to buy cars that are made in Japan. May be, one day, I’ll settle for the used J-made hatch

  • avatar

    It looks legit to me. I think the new Mazda designs are a home run. They will never sell in high numbers…..because it is a Mazda, part of the appeal if you ask me, it is nice to have something you dont see all the time. I am seriously considering the new Mazda6. If you have time you should configure one. The Grand Touring trim comes basically loaded with every option under the sun for $30k. Its not going to shred tires and strike fear into other motorists, but taking the equipment levels, fuel economy and price into consideration, it is really an incredible midsized bargain. I dont think most people really relaize the value Mazda offers, they are too busy blindly buying their Accord and Camry becuase Consumer Reports told them to.

    • 0 avatar

      Something you don’t see all the time? Here in Canada (Victoria, BC to be precise) I see Mazda 3s everywhere. They are veeeery common here.

      I’ve only seen two Mazda 6s on the road though, one white and one dark grey. Where are all the sexy red ones??

  • avatar

    Why don’t they lower the roof a bit more, remove the rear windows, and just be done with it once an for all..

    It’s one of the worst fads in car design to day IMHO..

  • avatar

    Obviously a little more progressed than this render from earlier this year:

    In particular, notice the differences at the tail end – it actually looks shorter in the above pictures than the red car in the link. Unless the above is a render of the new Mazda2?

    • 0 avatar

      There’s a grainy, black & white photo or render that’s been floating around the ‘tubes for months that looks very similar to the photo in this article. I think it’s the real deal, and as dead sexy as an econobox can be if you ask me.

  • avatar

    is it just me or are mazdas looking like Infiniti’s more and more?

    • 0 avatar

      Nah, If anything Infiniti took some of mazda’s cues, especially with that new cuv and the big grille. But this design language has been around for a few years at mazda starting with the Shinari concept which I think goes back to 2010. Either way its a nice step away from the nagare langauge.

  • avatar

    Getting really tired of these rising beltlines, but other than that, it looks good. Wish it had a little more to distinguish itself from the Mazda6 though; that front clip is like a carbon copy.

  • avatar

    The really important question…does MPS get to make a 3rd-gen Mazdaspeed3 our of this? Or (if it gets greenlighted at all) will they use the sedan body this time?

    • 0 avatar

      And if we do get a Mazdaspeed version, what powerplant will they use in it? I haven’t heard anything about development of a turbocharged Skyactiv engine.

      My guess is that there will be a Mazdaspeed version, and they’ll just carry over the engine from the current Speed3. It’s not like they can add much more power anyway on the FWD layout. If they just make it lighter, it could be good, and there is plenty to chop from the current Speed3. I mean come on, 3300 lbs? That’s 400 lbs more than a standard Mazda3 hatch. Where’s all that weight coming from?

  • avatar

    Let’s hope it’s just a poor pic, the hood looks like it occupies almost 1/2 the length of the car.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes because Mazda are so stupid that they forget that it needs to fit people in!
      The current 3 is fairly spacious for the class. The 6 and CX5 are class competitive, so no reason other than blind hatred for the brand to think this is a fail.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    If it is, it’s gorgeous. Let’s just hope they’ve made the rear seats a bit more accommodating than those of the outgoing model.

  • avatar

    Slightly less ugly than the clown-faced current model, but still rather ugly in that special Mazda way.

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