The facelifted and upgraded 2017 Mazda Mazda3 which has just gone on sale in Japan and Canada has been unveiled in U.S. trim during a special event at Mazda's California headquarters. Due in showrooms this September, the updated compact sedan and hatch have a number of subtle cosmetic tweaks and new comfort/convenience items as well as Mazda’s new G-Vectoring Control system that we recently reviewed.

Tasteful revamps

The most obvious changes to the 2017 Mazda3 are visible up front with the grille and headlamps redrawn to bring them more in line with the nose of the new CX-3 crossover while the lower fascia features a wider, sleeker look. The rear freshening is more understated, and brings a redesigned soft cap on 5-door models plus a more cleanly integrated valance panel. The latest version of this handsome Mazda compact also will offer optional full LED headlights and taillamps.

Inside, the new Mazda3 gets its own tasteful and functional revamps, starting with a new leather-wrapped steering wheel that can be had with a heated rim and available black or almond leather upholstery. A new electric parking brake frees up additional space in the car’s redesigned center console while its door-panel stow spaces are three times larger than before. The cabin of the 2017 Mazda3 is quieter as well, thanks to tighter body panel gaps, enhanced sound insulation and redesigned weather stripping.

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The biggest functional difference in the 2017 Mazda3 will be the integration of the new G-Vectoring Control system. The first in what Mazda promises will be a series of new SkyActiv-Vehicle Dynamics technologies that further integrate control of the engine, transmission, chassis and body, G-Vectoring Control improves the car’s dynamic stability to deliver a more relaxing but still fully engaging driving experience. On the driver-assist front, this updated Mazda3 will complement its current available i-Activesense safety suite -- which includes Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Smart City Brake Support and Smart Brake Support for highway speeds -- with new Blind Spot Monitoring and Traffic Sign Recognition capabilities as well as a new, full-color Active Driving Display.

Faster product cycles

“Mazda is striving to become an irreplaceable presence in the lives of our customers, to create a special bond with them and to be a ‘one-and-only’ brand they will choose again and again,” said Masamichi Kogai, Mazda North America President and CEO. “To do that, we will continue updating our models with next-generation technologies based on our human-centered development philosophy, without concern for the timing of redesigns.”

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While the home-market version of the 2017 Mazda3 will be available with gasoline, diesel and hybrid powertrain choices as well as an AWD option, U.S. versions of the Mazda 3 will carry over with the existing front-drive configuration and 2.0-liter/155-horsepower or 2.4-liter/184-horse engines that can be paired with a 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions. We’ll know more about the 2017 Mazda3 lineup, including pricing and packaging specifics, closer its actual on-sale date. 

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