Mazda, that Maverick of automakers, is at it again. While Ford and GM are slashing sedans from their lineups, the Japanese carmaker is betting big on its Mazda3 enthusiast platform. And this time, it’s offering it in diesel.
The 2019 Mazda3 will be available in five different engine configurations, one being the company’s first diesel mill, a 1.8L diesel powerplant. And with the upcoming demise of the Chevrolet Cruze diesel, it looks like Mazda will be the sole brand that offers diesel compact cars in the US.
Other engine options include 1.5L, 2.0L, 2.5L Skyactiv-G gas mills. Buyers can also choose a 2.0L Skyactiv-X engine, which Mazda says is the first production engine in North America to use spark-controlled compression ignition, meaning it combines gas and diesel combustion traits.
The newly designed Mazda3 was unveiled at the LA Auto Show last week. Just like its predecessors, it will come in sedan and hatchback versions, this time in Mazda’s new Kodo design ethos that emphasizes curves and fluidity, instead of the sharp angles and creases prevalent in today’s car designs.
Beneath the skin, the popular enthusiast platform boasts a new chassis that incorporates more high-strength steel and frame rails for improved safety. There’s also a new safety option called the i-Activesense, which uses an infrared camera to monitor the driver’s face, eyelids, and even the number of blinks for signs of drowsiness or impairment.
There’s no word yet on price, but expect the new diesel-flavored Mazda3 to hit showrooms in early 2019.