Mazda3 Facts: Sharp and sultry

The Mazda3 is one of the best and fastest-selling Mazda vehicles. Need we say more? Clearly, Mazda has struck a chord with the market when they introduced the Mazda3, a compact that can make heads turn. It’s a car that challenged leaders in its segment and is looking to challenge others in upper price brackets.   

Without further adieu, here are some facts about the Mazda3 that you may not have known about. 

Mazda 323

Prior to the numerical nomenclature that Mazda lifted from the Europeans, the Japanese brand’s compact was the Familia, otherwise known as the Protegé, or the 323. These offerings from Mazda weren’t actually Mazdas. They were Fords. 

Years before the “Zoom-zoom” or “Jinba Ittai” tagline was created, Ford and Mazda had a partnership with each other. The predecessor to the Mazda3, the 323/Familia/Protegé was a rebadged Ford sedan. Of course, this all changed when Mazda decided that it wanted to break away from the partnership. There is still a Ford in the Mazda lineup though, but that’s a remnant of a different era. 

2003 Mazda3

This model is a relatively new name in Mazda’s lineup, but the nameplate has been going strong since 2003 when the first generation was launched. This generation was different from the model that preceded it. At the time, it was unlike anything else in the market. It had design cues that arguably pushed the convention of how a compact car should be. 

It still shared the C1 platform that was co-developed by Mazda, Ford, and Volvo. This platform was used for two generations until Mazda sent the compact model back into the development lab for an in-house chassis. 

Mazda3 2012

Contrary to popular belief, the SkyActiv engines, which were commonly found in the third generation Mazda3s, were first seen in the second-generation model in 2012. Much like the SkyActiv-X engine, the SkyActiv-G was just as hyped as the X. The general idea remained the same, an engine that is both efficient and powerful – something that Mazda couldn’t have done without extensive testing and development. 

2020 Mazda3 Sedan

The Mazda3 as we know it is called an Axela in Japan and China, but was dropped because of the new global naming structure of Mazda. This means that any fourth-generation Mazda3 is solely known as the Mazda3 everywhere in the world. 

2020 Mazda3 Sportback

Well, this is quite misleading. Mazda doesn’t want to refer to the fourth generation’s five-door variant as a hatchback anymore. Many people will be quick to brand it as a hatch, but the Mazda-way is to call it a Sportback

While many are confused by the move, it’s a common trope carried out by manufacturers to differentiate their products from other similar offerings in the market. In Mazda’s defense, the five-door does look radical in its redesign, but is it enough to warrant a bodystyle name change? Either way, the Mazda3 is a long-time favorite, when had as either a sedan or hatch – I mean, Sportback. 

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