Mazda's second-generation 2010 Mazda3 sedan has been unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show, with more power, a more aggressive design and more luxury.

The second-generation Mazda3 has just debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The all-new 2010 model builds on the excellent driving dynamics that helped to make its predecessor Mazda's best-selling vehicle worldwide, and it's got a new look that is more representative of Mazda's global design.

It's definitely sportier and more aggressive-looking. Mazda's distinctive five-point grille and low, sweeping hoodline figure strongly into that design, so the new Mazda3 is instantly recognizable. The wheel-hugging front fender character line that distinguishes the new Mazda6 and Mazda's CX-7 and CX-9 crossover vehicles is also present. Grand Touring models will feature adaptive headlights with self-leveling Bi-xenon lamps. The Mazda3 will be available as a four- or five-door.

Performance has been enhanced as well. The 148-horsepower 16-valve 2.0 liter four cylinder is still the base engine, but Mazda has also borrowed the 2.5 liter MZR four-cylinder from the Mazda6 for the sportier Mazda3 s. The larger four makes 167 horsepower and 168 ft-lb torque, and is hooked up to a six-speed manual transmission. Five-speed automatics are optional with both powerplants. Mazda reports 21/29 fuel economy with the 2.5 liter engine, and 25/33 with the 2.0.
Mazda has wisely left the already excellent handling more or less alone, tweaking it to reduce body roll and remounting the anti-roll bars and lower control arms for improved steering control.

The new interior is still Spartan, but materials have been improved for a richer feel. The 2010 Mazda3 is larger in every dimension. The seats have been redesigned with longer cushions and taller backrests, and are more supportive. The new Mazda3 aims for a cut-above feel, with soft-touch surfaces inside and equipment that seems more appropriate to an Audi than a subcompact. Available equipment includes a pushbutton start and keyless entry system, dual-zone climate control and rain-sensing wipers.

Pricing and on-sale dates have not been announced.

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