The 2021 Mazda3 has been revealed in Japan, with the updated small car packing more power and better driving dynamics in an effort to take the fight to arch rivals like the Toyota Corolla, VW Golf and Hyundai i30.
Officially unveiled by Mazda in Japan, the updated 3 has been overhauled range-wide, with engineers working on the suspension across the board for better driving dynamics and comfort, promising to deliver more of what the brand is calling "the joy of driving".
"By improving the characteristics of coil springs and dampers across all models, the entire suspension moves more smoothly, suppressing vibration transmitted from the road surface to the inside of the vehicle, improving dynamics, performance and riding comfort," the brand says.
But the headline news is reserved for the most expensive - and technologically advanced - model, with Mazda's SkyActiv X mild hybrid powertrain more powerful than ever before.
According to the brand's engineers, a key software update that controls the engine and transmission has seen "the responsiveness and controllability (of the) accelerator operation improved, and high-quality and supple driving emphasised."
In real terms? The software change combined with the suspension overhaul should see the Mazda3 X20 feel more smooth under acceleration, and sportier through bends.
In even bigger news, though, that engine is now also more powerful, with outputs increased from 132kW and 224Nm to a healthier 140kW and 240Nm. While yet to be confirmed, we can presume that power boost will flow to other vehicles equipped with the powertrain. The other engines offered in Australia appear unchanged in this update.
And in good news for existing owners, Mazda in Japan says it is considering offering the software update free of charge to existing SkyActiv X owners.
Mazda in Australia is yet to confirm timing for the updated Mazda 3 in our market.