Detroit motor show 2009 - Mazda 3

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  • All the car launches from Detroit
  • New Mercedes E-Class and Jaguar XFR
  • Toyota Prius, too
First Mazda launched its new 3 saloon at the Los Angeles motor show, then it launched the hatch at the Bologna motor show… and now they’re both back, together for the first time and being shown to an appreciative American audience.

The Ford Focus-sized car is around 15 kilos lighter than its predecessor, with CO2 emissions cut by up to 13g/km.

This is despite it being slightly bigger, more luxurious and more sophisticated than the outgoing car.

Technical add-ons include the option of blind-spot monitoring for the first time in any mid-sized family hatch, and swivelling bi-xenon front lamps.

Mazda also claims a smoother, quieter ride, reduced noise levels and sharper handling.

The car will go on sale in the UK this spring with reworked 104bhp 1.6-litre and 148bhp 2.0-litre petrol engines, a revised 108bhp 1.6-litre diesel and two versions of Mazda's new 2.2-litre diesel: one delivering 148bhp and the other 183bhp.

The biggest improvement is the 1.6 petrol emitting 149g/km instead of 162, while the 1.6 diesel's figure is down from 125g/km to 119 g/km.

The four-door saloon is primarily for America, the Far East and Russia - but it will be sold in the UK.

Mazda says it follows the philosophy of its other recent introductions. It is larger but lighter and more fuel-efficient and adopts Japanese-influenced styling with a sporty twist rather than trying to ape European rivals.

The European engine line-up will include 1.6, 2.0 and 2.5-litre petrols and 1.6 and 2.2-litre diesels. Three- and five-door versions are due for simultaneous launch.

On sale
Hatchback and saloon versions go on sale in the UK next spring, and prices aren't expected to rise over the current car's.

Oh, and the merry-go-round hasn’t stopped yet: a three-door version of the hatch is expected to be shown at this year’s Geneva motor show in March.

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