The well-rounded Mazda 3 compact is being freshened up for 2017. The Mazda3 has been bestowed with our newest innovation: SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS with G-Vectoring Control.
The interior matches the exterior in terms of expressiveness and purpose beginning with the driver-oriented cockpit. Interior revisions are a bit more noteworthy, with the 3 adopting a steering wheel and electric parking brake that frees up center-console storage space, and some nicer trim for the door panels. Pedals are symmetrically laid out to the left and right of the driver’s center-line for further precision and comfort.
A heated steering wheel is a new option, while upholstery upgrades include nicer fabric for the standard cloth interior, new espresso-colored accents for the optional black leather interior, and parchment-colored leather replacing the previous almond shade.
The reshaped grille and headlights present a slightly more aggressive face to the world, and LED headlights are newly available on higher-trim models. A new rear bumper appears a bit cleaner and crisper than old one. The 18-inch wheels available on the 3’s s trim also are slightly different, although the 16-inch wheels and hubcaps on lower-spec i versions remain the same.
Each chiseled feature serves a purpose, as both sedan and five-door models achieve a best-in-class coefficient of drag (Cd) at 0.255 and 0.28, respectively, when equipped with active grille shutters and i-ELOOP, a capacitor-based regenerative engine braking system to power all of a vehicle’s electrical components.
All Mazda3 vehicles equipped with a SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic transmission feature a manual shift option but the Sport mode feature adjusts the shift mapping – and to a lesser extent the throttle response – to better match more spirited driving conditions, such as challenging twisty roads.
The 2017 Mazda 3’s two engine choices remain a 155-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder on 3 i models and a 184-hp 2.5-liter inline-four on 3 s models. The most significant addition is Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control, a new steering system that reduces torque when entering a corner to increase the responsiveness of the steering rack.
A suite of active-safety features remains on the options list: Forward-Collision Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane-Keeping Assist, High Beam Control, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Smart City Brake Support and Advanced Blind-Spot Monitoring. A new camera is now part of the package, which Mazda says expands the speed range at which pedestrians can be detected for the automated emergency-braking system.Cars equipped with the i-Activsense package can now also recognize road signs.