A crisper design, SkyActiv-X tech and AWD highlight the changes this time around.
Mazda has redesigned the Mazda3 from the ground up, giving it a head-turning design, available all-wheel drive, and the first application of its SkyActiv-X technology.
The fourth-generation Mazda3 sedan and hatchback borrow styling cues from the stunning Kai concept introduced at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, but designers took the hatchback in a bolder direction by giving it an unusually steep sloping roof line. It’s clearly one of the most, if not the most, striking vehicles in a compact car segment that includes the much more utilitarian-looking Volkswagen Golf and Subaru Impreza.
Despite adopting a familiar design, the interior is cleaner and more elegant than before. An 8.8-inch screen on top of the dashboard for the infotainment system and can be controlled via a controller dial located just behind the gear selector.
The 2020 Mazda3 can be had with a choice of of a 1.5-, 2.0-, or 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engines, as well as a 1.8-liter turbodiesel engine. The standout powerplant has to be novel SkyActiv-X engine, which uses compression-ignition technology normally found in a diesel engine to burn gasoline and deliver superior fuel economy without sacrificing output.
Earlier report claimed there will also be a mild hybrid powertrain; if true, we suspect it will be launched later in the 3’s product life cycle.
Front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission are standard, while all-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission are optional. That’s right, for the first time ever, the Mazda3 can be had with all-wheel drive!
The list of driving aids has grown and includes front cross traffic alert, a driver awareness monitor, and traffic jam assist with a steering assist function.
The 2020 Mazda3 made its world debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show and goes on sale in early 2019. Are you happy with how it turned out?
China’s Ora R1 Electric Car Is Cheaper Than Every New Car In America
Not only does the R1 not only undercut the price of every electric car in North America, but it’s also cheaper than any new car in the region, bar none.
Ora, an electric car-only brand created by Chinese automaker Great Wall, has released a cute little hatchback that, with a bargain basement starting price of less than $10,000 and class-competitive driving range, will definitely get some attention if sold in the United States or Canada.
Designers chose to go with a soft, friendly design that has a strong resemblance to the Smart Forfour, especially the side profile.
The same could be said about the simple, clean and surprisingly attractive interior, with its round gauges, three-spoke steering wheel, and tablet-like screen for the infotainment system.
According to GasGoo, the entry-level version of the Ora R1 has up to 192 miles (309 km) of range — comparable to a base Nissan Leaf — while the most expensive variant can travel 217 miles (349 km) before the battery is drained.
The Ora R1 is currently on sale in China, with the base model starting at about $8,700 after government incentives are factored in. The longer-range variant is priced at roughly $11,000.
It’s not known if the R1 will be sold in North America, Europe or elsewhere around the world, but Great Wall wants to expand the Ora brand outside of China. Would you consider buying one?
Fiat Is Developing New 500e Electric Car
The electric Italian supermini is getting a second lease on life.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has confirmed that it’s working on a new 500e, one built on a dedicated small Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) platform that that will provide better all-around performance.
The Fiat 500e is arguably the cutest electric vehicle market on the market, but it was built to comply with U.S. fleet fuel economy standards and not necessarily to sell en masse. Things will likely be different with the second generation model. stated:
“Mirafiori will represent the first installation of a full BEV platform applied on the new Fiat 500, capable of scaling to other applications worldwide,” stated FCA CEO Mike Manley. “Additional investments across our Jeep, Alfa Romeo, and Fiat brands will realize the benefits of existing plant capacity as well as scale and sourcing efficiencies from a common vehicle architecture, and Plug-in Hybrid Electric propulsion (PHEV) system, while preserving traits unique to the brands.”
Not much else is known about the next Fiat 500e, but it’s likely to remain a cute electric vehicle. What are you hoping to see?
All-New, 2020 Kia Soul Arrives With More Funk, Fun And Tech
Kia’s segment-defying compact hatchback gets a bit more soulful.
The funky Kia Soul has returned for round three with a more interesting styling, a roomier interior, and fancier tech.
Kia decided to keep everything that buyers loved about the Soul, particularly its boxy, space-maximizing proportions, so the Soul’s deign updates are fairly conservative compared to the previous model. However, a larger, more aggressive grille flanked by slimmer headlights, C-pillars shaped like airplane wings, and new wraparound boomerang-shaped taillights give it a more modern look.
The interior, on the other hand, has been thoroughly redesigned, complete with a 10.25-inch touchscreen and an available 8-inch head-up display and a 640-watt Harman Kardon audio system. The infotainment system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 1.2-inch longer wheelbase means slightly more cargo capacity for hauling things.
The 2020 Soul is also available with a long list of safety tech that includes Forward Collision Avoidance, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Changing Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Blind-spot Collision Warning, Rear Cross Collision Warning, and Smart Cruise Control.
Buyers will have the choice of several engines, include a base 2.0L four-cylinder with 147-hp and 132 lb-ft. of torque that’s mated to a six-speed manual or Kia’s new Intelligent Variable Transmission, and for those looking for more power, a 1.6L turbocharged four-cylinder rated at 201-hp and 195 lb-ft., paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
If you really want to get funky, the zero-emissions Soul EV is motivated by a 201-hp electric motor and a 64 kWh battery pack.
The 2020 Kia Soul premiers several new trim levels, including the sporty GT-Line, rugged X-Line and EX Designer Collection with a two-tone roof. North American sales begin in the first half of 2019.