By Colin Bird on June 25, 2012
For the 2013 model year, the most important changes coming to the Mazda3 includes greater availability of the company's new SkyActiv powertrain as well as more standard comfort features.
The 2013 Mazda3 is available in i SV, i Sport, i Touring, i Grand Touring, s Touring and s Grand Touring trims.
The i Sport trim — available as a sedan only — gets a SkyActiv powertrain standard for 2013, replacing the 148-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The 155-hp, 2.0-liter SkyActiv four-cylinder engine with direct injection, adds 10% more passing-lane torque than the normal 2.0-liter four-cylinder and is available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy comes in at an impressive 28/40 mpg city/highway for the sedan model with an automatic transmission.
While pricing information isn't available, the i Sport was $1,855 less expensive than the most affordable SkyActiv trim (an i Touring sedan) available in 2012.
Other changes to the i Sport make it more competitive with the segment and don't force shoppers to move up to a Touring trim. For 2013, it adds the multi-information display seen on the rest of the lineup and a USB port as standard equipment. The higher trim levels also receive a USB port standard, which is an odd feature for Mazda not to have.
Air conditioning is now standard on all models; formerly air conditioning was unavailable on the base i SV trim. A passive entry keyless system, push-button start and automatic climate control are now standard on the i Touring and i Grand Touring trims (formerly the options were unavailable). Blind spot monitoring is now standard on the i Grand Touring and s Grand Touring trims and available on the i Touring.
The s Grand Touring now gets rain-sensing windshield wipers, self-leveling bi-xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights and an alarm system standard.
A firm launch date for the 2013 Mazda3 wasn't made available, though Mazda spokeswoman Beverly Braga said it will go on sale later in 2012.