Mazda Philippines, under Berjaya Auto Philippines, has just launched the next generation, 2014 Mazda3, renewing their charge in the market with SkyActiv vehicles such as the CX-5 and the Mazda6. This will be the third generation of the Mazda3; the first one was launched locally in 2004 while the second generation was launched in 2012. In Japan, the Mazda3 is known as the Axela.

The next generation Mazda3 promises more of the great technology, design and driver involvement that the brand is known for. The 2014 Mazda3 was developed with the full application of Kodo designs, SkyActiv technologies and i-ActivSense.

The 2014 Mazda3 rides on a 2700mm wheelbase. The sedan version measures 4580mm long, 1795mm wide and 1455mm tall. The hatchback version is slightly shorter at 4460mm. The design of the car is the latest interpretation of Mazda's Kodo Soul of Motion design theme as seen in the CX-5.

Mazda developed the 3rd generation Mazda3 with Jinba-Ittai (roughly translated: driver and car as one) at its core. The Mazda3 to be sold in the Philippines will get the full suite of SkyActiv tech such as the highly efficient SkyActiv engines in 1.5 and 2.0 liter displacements and the SkyActiv transmission for improved efficiency and power as well as the SkyActiv body for improved rigidity and driving agility.

Given the design around the principles of SkyActiv, the Mazda3 sedan has a 0.26 drag coefficient while the hatch gets a 0.28 Cd. The Mazda3 also gets a new, sophisticated Human Machine Interface (HMI) multimedia system that is designed with the highest priority placed on driving safety.

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The SkyActiv-G engines in the Mazda3 feature the latest in Mazda's engine technologies, featuring high compression ratios for improved combustion and 4-2-1 exhaust systems. This, on top of the variable valve timing and other engine tech enables the 1.5 liter engine to make 110 horsepower while the 2.0 liter makes 153 horsepower.

The interior of the 2014 Mazda3

“We have built a sport compact that will build strong and special ties with the customer,” said Masaya Kodama for the Mazda3 program.

Mazda's technology has been at the forefront of their global initiative, garnering them numerous national car awards, including the Mazda6 at the recently concluded Car of the Year Philippines.

Mazda is still keeping mum about the price until the completion of our first stage of the drive tonight, but when we get the prices, we'll update this right away. Both sedan and hatchback versions are available.