Mazda has confirmed that a turbodiesel variant will be added to the 3 lineup from September 1, seven months after the arrival of petrol versions of the new third-generation model.
Both first and second-generation 3s were also available in turbodiesel guise, but the new model will be the first to be offered with an automatic transmission.
A six-speed manual will also be available alongside the six-speed auto, and both will use the same 129kW/420Nm 2.2-litre Skyactiv-D engine found in the larger CX-5 and 6 lineups.
Given the improved power-weight ratio of the lighter 3, Mazda is touting the new diesel as a “new and compelling alternative in small car performance.”
The new engine makes 9kW less but 170Nm more than the existing petrol 2.5 litre SP25 models, and promises a similar performance edge to the equivalent 6 diesels.
The new 3 diesel will also use the efficiency-boosting i-Eloop brake regeneration system from the 6, and Mazda promises combined fuel consumption as low as 5.0L/100km – down from the 5.7L/100km and 6.0L/100km best figures for the 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre petrol models.
The 3 diesel will be hatch-only, and branded “XD Astina” to form a new flagship above the $36,190 (manual) and $38,190 (auto) 3 SP25 Astina models.
Mazda is yet to confirm local pricing, but figure on a similar premium to the 6 diesels. At around $39-41,000, this will push the XD Astina well into hot hatch territory, and will compete with the $39,790 Skoda Octavia 135TDI Liftback for performance-flavoured diesel hatch supremacy.
The Mazda3 XD Astina will be visually distinguished from the existing SP25 Astina hatch by Skactiv-D badging and unique red trim for its chrome grille.