This Is the Next Mazda 3… 's Silhouette

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
this is the next mazda 3 s silhouette

The 2019 Mazda 3 will be previewed by a concept at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show on October 24th. Realistic enough to represent an accurate vision of what the fourth-generation Mazda 3 will look like, but not so faithful to a production model that’s entirely realistic, the concept will potentially be more noteworthy due to the Skyactiv-X engine under the hood.

Skyactiv-X, long rumored, was announced more formally in August. A supercharged four-cylinder with sparkless compression ignition should result in substantially more torque and reductions in fuel consumption of more than 20 percent. That could make the next Mazda 3 a 43-mpg car on the EPA combined scale.

As far as the design, Mazda isn’t promising a revolution with the aptly titled Next-Generation Product Concept. In fact, what little Mazda is saying on the subject is tied largely to the high-tech powertrain.

It is, after all, difficult to imagine the current-generation of the Mazda 3 is struggling in the U.S. marketplace because of its exterior design. Like it or not, it’s surely not as divisive as the design of, say, the Honda Civic, currently America’s best-selling car. Cars that stir up great loathing in the minds of TTAC’s commentariat aren’t immune to popularity, as the general public doesn’t necessarily buy cars based purely on exterior styling. Otherwise we’d all be driving Jaguar XK-E coupes and Lancia Fulvias.

But could the Mazda 3, seemingly overnight, become a compact car that offers far superior power and fuel economy? With an attractive body? And “human-centered design philosophy for optimal functionality,” whatever that is? And if all of that did quickly become true, could the Mazda 3’s steady decline on America’s passenger car sales charts be quickly turned around?

Through the first three-quarters of 2017, the Mazda 3 has reported a 19-percent year-over-year U.S. sales decline in a compact category that’s down just 4 percent. That places the Mazda tenth in the category with fewer than 6,700 monthly sales. The 3’s share of the compact market now stands at 3.9 percent, a far cry from the 6.1 percent slice of the pie the Mazda 3 enjoyed in 2012. Sales of the Mazda 3 have fallen 37 percent since 2012. 3 sales are on track this year to fall to a 13-year low.

On a more design-led front, the Next-Generation Product Concept that previews the next Mazda 3 will be accompanied in Tokyo by the “Next-Generation Design Vision.” Mazda claims that car will result “in a more profound expression of the globally-acclaimed KODO design language Mazda debuted on the Mazda CX-5 in 2012.”

[Images: Mazda]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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  • Conundrum Conundrum on Oct 10, 2017

    I'm really beginning to wonder about this place. If Cain is an expert, I'm an iguana lizard. How many times does this place have to be told that the new SkyActiv-X engine DOES USE spark plugs? I mean, come on. Read Car and Driver's description of the engine, and their drive of a prototype. Been out for over a month online. But no, nobody here can get that news through their thick heads. It's called an SPCCI engine, SPARK PLUG CONTROLLED COMPRESSION IGNITION. The truth about cars written by people without much of a clue. Next we'll have Cain telling us the new Audi A8 reminds him of the Dodge Dart.

  • Rengaw Rengaw on Oct 10, 2017

    My experience has been that Mazda dealerships have been sub-par and few and far between. Mazda, from what I have read, plans to make an effort to improve their dealerships. Unless a consumer follows car reviews, such as TTAC, Car and Driver, Motorweek, Consumer Reports, and others, they are usually not exposed to Mazda’s virtues and go with other more prominent brands they see locally. I think Mazda has made tremendous strides in building quality attractive vehicles since their split from Ford, but can’t get the presentation to consumers right. Subaru has figured out how to create brand identity with a strong image of what a Subaru owner is. Mazda tried Zoom Zoom but dropped that. I am rooting for Mazda as their vehicles and innovation deserve a healthier more active spot in the market place.

  • Bd2 Other way around.Giorgetto Giugiaro penned the Pony Coupe during the early 1970s and later used its wedge shape as the basis for the M1 and then the DMC-12.The 3G Supra was just one of many Japanese coupes to adopt the wedge shape (actually was one of the later ones).The Mitsubishi Starion, Nissan 300ZX, etc.
  • Tassos I also want one of the idiots who support the ban to explain to me how it will work.Suppose sometime (2035 or later) you cannot buy a new ICE vehicle in the UK.Q1: Will this lead to a ICE fleet resembling that of CUBA, with 100 year old '56 Chevys eventually? (in that case, just calculate the horrible extra pollution due to keeping 100 year old cars on the road)Q2: Will people be able to buy PARTS for their old cars FOREVER?Q3: Will people be allowed to jump across the Channel and buy a nice ICE in France, Germany (who makes the best cars anyway), or any place else that still sells them, and then use it in the UK?
  • Tassos Bans are ridiculous and undemocratic and smell of Middle Ages and the Inquisition. Even 2035 is hardly any better than 2030.The ALMIGHTY CONSUMER should decide, not... CARB, preferably WITHOUT the Government messing with the playing field.And if the usual clueless idiots read this and offer the tired "But Government subsidizes the oil industry too", will they EVER learn that those MINISCULE (compared to the TRILLIONS of $ size of this industry) subsidies were designed to help the SMALL Oil producers defend themselves against the "Big Oil" multinationals. Ask ANY major Oil co CEO and he will gladly tell you that you can take those tiny subsidies and shove them.
  • Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)
  • AMcA Phoenix. Awful. The roads are huge and wide, with dedicated lanes for turning, always. Requires no attention to what you're doing. The roads are idiot proofed, so all the idiots drive - they have no choice, because everything is so spread out.