Mazda has stated that their goal is to achieve what they call “Mazda Premium.” According to their press release, “that means gaining customers’ trust and becoming an essential part of their lives by pursuing and forever refining the distinctive driving pleasure that is unique to the Mazda brand.” The new Mazda 3 is proof positive of just how serious they are about achieving that goal.
The Mazda 3 was unveiled at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, where both the sedan and hatchback versions garnered a lot of attention. Where many car makers are cutting back, Mazda has opted to keep things at a premium. “Because we’re targeting a more premium space,” said Julien Montousse, director of design for Mazda North American Operations, “we also had to change our design discipline to be more sophisticated.” Part of that was achieved by eliminating shoulders from the car—its sides are smooth and thus more reactive to light.
Mazda also drew inspiration from Samurai armor to design the front grille. They even went to the extent of using a 3D scan to capture the movements of their master painter in their shop so that they could program their robots to duplicate his painting.
Mazda has invested a great deal of time, effort, and money into creating a duet of cars that will redefine what premium means—and that investment shows.