First Look: 2012 Mazda3

By John Beltz Snyder

February 18, 2011

The 2012 Mazda3 made its debut at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, and it features a slight facelift, as well as Mazda’s new SkyActiv engine and automatic transmission.

The car’s smiling face features a new bumper, grille, fog bezels, and headlights. The 3 also gets a new rear bumper, as well as new sixteen- and seventeen-inch alloy wheels. 

The SkyActiv engine and transmission are meant to enhance fuel economy in the Mazda3. Mazda has set a goal to achieve 30-percent improved fuel economy (from 2008) by 2015, and this marks an important step. Also in the works are better fuel combustion technology and weight savings to help reach their mark.
The 2012 Mazda3 will go on sale this fall.
Scroll down for more information in the press release, below.
2012 Mazda3 to Offer New SKYACTIV Gasoline Engine and SKYACTIV Automatic Transmission
Refreshed 2012 Mazda3 Goes on Sale in Fall of 2011
(Toronto, ON): The sky’s the limit at Mazda's display at the 2011 Canadian International AutoShow. Making its debut is the 2012 Mazda3, which, in addition to receiving a facelift, will also offer the option of Mazda’s new SKYACTIV-G gasoline engine and SKYACTIV-Drive automatic transmission when it is launched later this fall. This initial application of Mazda’s SKYACTIV engine and transmission technologies – the first time they will be employed in a production vehicle – will realize higher torque at low- and mid-range engine speeds resulting in better drivability with less fuel consumption in everyday driving.
Mazda Motor Corporation has been developing its new technologies under the SKYACTIV concept and they include completely new gasoline and diesel engines, transmissions and vehicle architectures. Mazda’s SKYACTIV technologies will be launched successively beginning with the new gasoline engine and automatic transmission in 2011.
Mazda has stated that its goal is to improve fuel efficiency by 30 percent by 2015 (compared to 2008 levels). This will be accomplished through SKYACTIV technologies, which focus on improving the efficiency of internal combustion core technologies in association with vehicle weight reduction. Then, gradually, electrical devices such as idle-stop, regenerative braking and hybrid systems will be introduced to further improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.
In addition to the new SKYACTIV engine and transmission offerings, the 2012 Mazda3 will receive new front and rear bumpers with a redesigned front grill, fog bezels and front headlamps. New 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels complete the 2012 exterior updates.
Another vehicle making its first appearance in Toronto is the new 2012 Mazda5 multi-activity vehicle. Since its introduction as a 2006 model, the Mazda5 has redefined the concept of compact transportation by offering seating for up to six people in three easily configurable rows, as well as with unique styling and driving dynamics not typical in vehicles of this type. Over 50,000 Mazda5s have been sold since its introduction to Canada and it is the second best selling nameplate in Mazda Canada’s line-up.
The 2012 Mazda5, on sale now across Canada, incorporates motifs from Mazda’s “Nagare” design language which, inspired by the beauty of nature, presents an elegant look not found in any existing vehicle today. Changes run deep under the skin too, as the vehicle is now powered by a 157-horsepower 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and can be paired with either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. Outstanding fuel economy and unexpected driveability are carried over from the previous model, as are the vehicle’s sliding rear doors and flexible seating for up to six people. The 2012 Mazda5 is available in two trim grades with a starting price of $21,795.
Rounding out the Mazda display is the full line-up of 2011 models, including the Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda6, MX-5, RX-8, Tribute, CX-9 and, of special note, the 2011 CX-7, which is now being offered with leather seating, or all-wheel-drive, below the $30,000 price point.