Updates include G-Vectoring Control and a heated steering wheel.

The 2017 Mazda3 and Mazda6 receive several big upgrades for the new model year, including some styling tweaks and changes to reduce wind noise. The restyled 3 was already shown in Japan earlier this year, but now we have full details on exactly what’s new on the U.S.-spec version.

For the 2017 Mazda3, exterior changes begin with a new front fascia and grille design that are meant to emphasize the car’s width. The Mazda logo and license-plate bracket sit lower than before to give a sense of a low center of gravity, and there are new LED headlights and chrome bezels for the foglights. A new rear bumper also provides a “composed sense of stability and high quality,” Mazda says; the sedan’s rear is unchanged. The new Mazda3 also receives a new design for its optional 18-inch wheels, plus two new colors. Eternal Blue Mica simply replaces Blue Reflex Mica in the color scheme, while Machine Gray Metallic (first introduced for the CX-9) is a high-quality, premium color option. Changes to the outside of the 2017 Mazda6 are limited to the addition of Machine Gray Metallic.

2017 Mazda3
2017 Mazda3
2017 Mazda6
2017 Mazda6


Both the 3 and the 6 receive a new steering wheel that trickles down from the larger CX-9 crossover. It has a smaller center section and, Mazda claims, has been designed for better ergonomics to make it easier and more comfortable to grip. The control layout has also been simplified from the complex three-level button arrangement on the outgoing Mazda3 and Mazda6. Better still, the steering wheel can now be heated, keeping fingers toasty in winter.

2017 Mazda3 interior design changes include a switch to an electric parking brake, plus enlarged front door pockets that are now 15.7 inches long – spacious enough for one-liter water bottles or ice scrapers, according to Mazda. In the Mazda6, heated rear seats become available.

2017 Mazda3
2017 Mazda3

Both cars have an enhanced version of the Active Driving Display head-up display, which is no in color so it can display warnings in yellow or red, and has a brighter output. The LCD displays at the side of the cars’ instrument clusters have also been made brighter, and there’s a new, more legible font for the analog instruments.

Mechanical changes to the 2017 Mazda3 and Mazda6 begin with the addition of G-Vectoring Control, new engine-management software meant to help improve smoothness when cornering. When we tried the system earlier this year, it helped us make fewer steering corrections through turns. “This could make people's time behind the wheel invisibly better,” we said. “Driver fatigue could be reduced, passengers would feel more comfortable, and minimizing cognitive load is a win for safety.” Redesigned dampers are supposed to improve ride-and-handling, too, and the electric power steering has been retuned.

Mazda has also improved the door seals and other insulation in both cars to reduce noise, vibration, and harshness over rough roads, and to quell wind noise at speed. In fact, Mazda says the 3 is 3 decibels quieter than before at 25 miles per hour. The Mazda6 Grand Touring also gets an acoustically insulated windshield. 

Though Mazda hasn’t detailed exact engine choices for the 2017 models, we expect them to continue mostly unchanged: 2.0- and 2.5-liter inline-four engines in the Mazda3, and a 2.5-liter inline-four in the 6. But Mazda says it has reprogrammed the cars’ throttle mapping “to make response more linear.”

Active-safety technology has also been improved. A new camera for the pre-collision braking system now works better and at greater speeds. A new Traffic Sign Recognition camera can warn if the driver is exceeding the speed limit, and also will warn of No Entry and Stop signs.

Source: Mazda

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