Mazda Motor Corp. claims that its 2014 Mazda3 would have best fuel economy in the compact segment when it rolls out the vehicle in the United States in September 2013. The 2014 Mazda3 will be rolled out in the US powered by a 155-hp 2.0-liter or an optional 184-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine from Mazda's Skyactiv powerplant family.
Tim Barnes, Mazda's director of product planning for the U.S. market, did not say the Mazda3's estimated EPA rating but remarked that the vehicle would have "best in class" fuel economy compared with rival models that include the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra and Ford Focus.
This means that the 2014 Mazda3 would have an EPA highway fuel economy rating in the low- to mid-40 mpg range. Mazda's 2.2-liter Skyactiv diesel engine eventually may power the Mazda3 lineup, according to Jim O'Sullivan, chief executive of Mazda North American Operations.
O'Sullivan remarked that the carmaker will make the decision after assessing demand for the diesel-powered Mazda6 mid-sized sedan that will become available this year. The Mazda3 will be offered in Japan with a gasoline-electric powertrain option, making it the carmaker's first full hybrid. Mazda, however, will not sell the Mazda3 hybrid in the US, according to O'Sullivan.
The 2014 Mazda3 features Mazda's Skyactiv platform and powertrain technologies. It is also Mazda's third vehicle to be equipped with a full suite from its Skyactiv portfolio, next to the CX-5 crossover and Mazda6 sedan.
Mazda considers the Mazda3 as crucial to its success in the US, where it has been the brand's best-seller. Mazda posted a 20-percent hike in Mazda3 sales in 2012 to 123,361 units, despite being one of the oldest looks in the compact segment.