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.

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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.

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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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