Proving that Americans are in love with neither 5-door hatches nor diesel engines, Mazda chose the Bologna Auto Show (Motor Show di Bologna
for those of you fluent in Italian) to introduce the cheeky five-door hatchback version of its new Mazda3
. The vehicle is powered by, among other engine choices, 1.6-liter and 2.2-liter turbodiesel four cylinders.
On the heels of the L.A. Auto Show intro for the four-door sedan version of Mazda's second-gen Mazda3
, the European-market car offers all the benefits of a versatile hatch design and reaps the rewards of its fuel-sipping diesels that meet stringent European Stage5 emissions regs. Gasoline offerings start with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder (which we don't get) and rise to the 2.0-liter four shared with the U.S. base Mazda3
. Europeans won't get the 2.5-liter gasoline four we get in the U.S., but they probably won't miss it as the 2.2-liter turbodiesel should kill it in torque production.
After yesterday's debut of Porsche's Panamera liftback
with its heinous heinie, it's nice to see this perky, aggressive little Mazda3
restore our faith in the aesthetics of the hatch. It's just a pity we don't get the fuel-miser 1.6-liter gasoline and both turbodiesels for the U.S. market, as they would probably resonate with cash-strapped Americans at present.--Colin Mathews
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