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ALL-NEW 2014 MAZDA3 NAMED 'CAR OF THE YEAR' BY AUTOGUIDE.COM

- Redesigned Compact Car Bests Four Top Finalists, Including 2014 Mazda6 -

Dec 9, 2013

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- All-new from the ground up, the 2014 Mazda3 was today named "Car of the Year" by the editors of AutoGuide.com.  One of five finalists, which also included the new 2014 Mazda6 midsize sedan, the Mazda3 compact car is the second vehicle to earn this distinction.  This redesigned, third-generation 2014 model features not only the Mazda-developed SKYACTIV®[1] TECHNOLOGY and emotive character lines of the KODO "Soul of Motion" design language but also all-new Mazda systems such as i-ACTIVSENSE, a suite of active-safety pre-crash detection systems, and MAZDA CONNECT™, a next-generation driving-focused in-vehicle connectivity system that also features an innovative Active Driving Display.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131205/MM28870LOGO)

"We truly put our best foot forward with the all-new 2014 Mazda3, not only to be competitive within its class but to be the vehicle that consumers have asked for," said Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO).  "Never one to shy away from dynamic handling, this all-new Mazda3 also is value-minded, safety-oriented and technology-driven.  Our best-selling vehicle worldwide should feature the best of what Mazda has to offer as well as give hints as to what's to come not just for the model lineup but for the brand as a whole."

The five finalists for the AutoGuide.com Car of the Year Award were chosen from among all-new cars introduced this year as the stand-outs in their respective segments.  The five segments are Compact Car, Mid-Size Sedan, Full-Size Sedan, Compact Luxury and Mid-Size Luxury.  This is the second year the award has been presented.

"Combining attractive styling inside and out, with impressive features in versatile packaging, the 2014 Mazda3 is also efficient and fun to drive," said Colum Wood, editorial director, AutoGuide.com.  "It's not that the Mazda3 is a great compact car; it's simply a great car, period."

Available in two body styles, pricing for the 2014 starts at $16,945[2] MSRP for four-door models and $18,945 MSRP for the five-door.  With a choice of two engines, the standard SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter gasoline engine produces 155 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 150 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm, and can be paired with either the SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual or SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic.  Offering one of the best fuel economy numbers in its class, four-door models achieve an EPA-estimated 41 highway mpg while five-doors are rated at 40 highway mpg, regardless of transmission choice.

The larger SKYACTIV-G 2.5L engine offers 184 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 185 lb-ft of torque at 3,250 rpm and currently is only available with the automatic transmission.  However, the six-speed manual has been confirmed to be added as a transmission selection at a later date.   Four-door models equipped with the 2.5L are EPA-estimated at 39 highway mpg while five-doors are EPA-rated at up to 38 highway mpg, when equipped with i-ELOOP.  i-ELOOP, available on Mazda3 for the first time and a segment-exclusive Mazda option, is a capacitor-based regenerative engine braking system aimed at improving fuel economy, particularly during stop-and-go traffic. 

About AutoGuide.com
AutoGuide.com, a Verticalscope property, is a new car shopping consumer resource site and the flagship of the AutoGuide forum network comprising over 400 vehicle and manufacturer enthusiast sites.  According to independent audience measurement agency, comScore Media Metrix, the AutoGuide.com network ranks first in monthly audience size among all automotive resource websites.

About Mazda North American Operations
Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers.  Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City. 

[1] SKYACTIV is a registered trademark of Mazda Motor Corporation (MC).

[2]  Starting price is manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) for lowest trim level. MSRP does not include $795 destination charge (Alaska $840), title, taxes, license, options and dealer charges. Actual prices set by dealer and may vary.

SOURCE Mazda North American Operations

For further information: Beverly Braga, Mazda North American Operations, (949) 727-6751, or Eric Booth, Mazda North American Operations, (949) 727-6144

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