Facelifted 2017 Mazda3 Gets Torque Vectoring, Barely Updated Styling

The Japanese compact model gains a modest facelift for the 2017 model year

Available as a five-door hatchback and four-door sedan, the updated vehicle went on sale on July 14 in Japan, where it is marketed as the Mazda Axela.

Changes over the current model consist of mild styling updates and the addition of new technologies. Key among the updates is the world debut of G-Vectoring Control (GVC), a system that varies engine torque to optimize the load on each wheel, thus improving the handling as well as the ride quality.

Another new technical feature is the high-precision boost control fitted to diesel-powered versions of the Mazda3, with the new technology said to enhance acceleration response. Diesel models also get a system responsible for knock reduction. Called Natural Sound Frequency Control, the new technology allegedly dampens the vibrations that cause knocking in three critical frequency ranges. In addition, the Natural Sound Smoother related technology has been extended to all models.

Other equipment updates include the enhanced Active Driving Display featuring a higher definition full-color display, improved steering wheel ergonomics, as well as new safety features such as Advanced Smart City Brake Support (Advanced SCBS) and Adaptive LED Headlights.

Just like the refresh of the CX-5 and Mazda6, the updated Mazda3 features very discreet styling updates, with the most important being the slightly revised grille and headlights.

The facelifted 2017 Mazda3 will arrive in Europe and North America later this year with the same powertrains. In Europe, the compact Japanese model will be available with three SKYACTIV-G gasoline engines: an 100 PS (99 hp) 1.5-liter unit and two 2.0-liter units with 120 PS (118 hp) and 165 PS (163 hp). Diesel fans have two options: a 1.5-liter unit with 105 PS (104 hp) and a 2.2-liter engine with 150 PS (148 hp).

In the U.S., the 2017 Mazda3 is expected to continue with the same 155 hp 2.0-liter gasoline engine.

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