First Pics: 2014 Mazda3 Sedan
While the intro drive of the 2014 Mazda3 was a hatchback-only affair, the automaker did provide us with the first official images of its equally new but more formal, 4-door sedan iteration. It shares virtually all of the Skyactiv platform architecture and mechanical elements with the 5-door model, but packages them in a body style that the majority of U.S. buyers have historically preferred.
Like its 5-door sibling, the new Mazda3 Sedan fully embraces the automaker's dynamically sophisticated "Kodo" exterior design language and shares the same front end styling and deeper cabin set-back as the hatchback, but resolves its flowing profile into a rear treatment that more closely resembles the new Mazda6. Top trim levels also will come with or offer Mazda's new and improved Human Machine Interface with its distraction-minimizing "heads-up" cockpit design and a far more user-friendly Aha-enhanced voice/touch/Commander controlled infotainment system that can be updated via a Bluetooth connected smartphone. A natural rival to the likes of the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, the Mazda3 sedan hits the showrooms in September alongside the hatchback.
Although the new Sedan also will be available in an entry-level i SV trim configuration, all of the other Mazda3 i and s Sport, Touring and Grand Touring model designations will be shared with the Hatchback as will the 2.0-liter/2.5-liter Skyactiv-G engines and 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions. The i Touring Technology Package includes the new 7.0-inch high-mount color touchscreen, a Commander switch, 9-speaker Bose premium sound system, Navigation, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, HD Radio, dual-zone automatic climate control and a rear-view camera, all of which are standard on the s Grand Touring. The Tech Pack for that top-line offering adds High Beam Control and Lane Departure Warning Systems, class-exclusive Radar Cruise Control & Forward Obstruction Warning and Smart City Brake Support, plus Mazda's innovative i-Eloop (Intelligent Energy Loop) regenerative engine-braking system that helps increase real-world fuel economy by up to five percent.
Pricing for any players in the 2014 Mazda3 lineup won't be released until closer to the car's on-sale date. However, the automaker has stated that the opening number will be under $17,000 (plus destination).
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