The updated 2024 Mazda 3 has debuted – and it's bad news for manual lovers.
- 2024 Mazda 3 update revealed
- No more manual! Transmission option deleted for the first time in a Mazda small car
- Mild-hybrid variants also axed in condensed range; due here in July
For the first time in the nameplate's 20-year history, the latest Mazda 3 hatch and sedan – due here in July – will be automatic-only, relegating the manual to the history books.
A spokesperson for Mazda Australia said the decision was due to a lack of demand, with 97 per cent of Mazda 3 sales being automatic variants.
Until now, the Mazda 3 bucked the industry norm by offering a manual on every non-electrified grade.
The deletion of the Mazda 3 manual follows the Toyota Corolla, Volkswagen Golf, Kia Cerato and Hyundai i30 Sedan (née Elantra), which have all gone automatic-only in the past two years – leaving the i30 hatch as the only manual option in the segment, for now.
Joining the manual in the automotive graveyard will be the mild-hybrid variants, with Mazda Australia confirming the short-lived G20e Evolve and X20 Astina variants will be axed locally.
The mild-hybrid G20e Evolve was added at the last update in late 2021, while the X20 Astina arrived in mid-2020 after a several-month delay. The current-generation Mazda 3 range was launched in Australia four years ago, in early 2019.
As such, the Mazda 3 lineup will be restricted to the existing 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engines in Australia – both matched to an unchanged six-speed torque-converter automatic transmission.
Available in G20 Pure, Evolve and Touring grades, the 2.0-litre petrol receives cylinder deactivation and minor improvements, with a five per cent reduction to fuel consumption, at 5.8L/100km for the sedan and 5.9L/100km for the hatch.
The condensed Mazda 3 range coincides with a global update revealed today, which is headlined by a larger 10.25-inch Mazda Connect infotainment system on flagship variants, up from 8.8 inches.
Mazda Australia has confirmed the larger screen will be standard on G25 GT and Astina grades – though it'll be added to the optional Vision Technology package for lower variants.
However, either screen size will support wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on the G20 Touring and above, or with the Vision Technology package for the G20 Pure, Evolve and G25 Evolve SP.
Inside, G20 Touring and above gain a wireless phone charger and illuminated USB-C ports, and all variants receive an updated steering wheel with darkened switchgear, new labels for the air-conditioning controls, and slimmer cupholders with the removal of the lid.
External revisions are limited to the addition of the ceramic metallic finish, replacing sonic silver.
The updated 2024 Mazda 3 hatch and sedan will arrive in Australia in July, with local pricing and full details to be announced closer to launch.
Currently, the Mazda 3 is priced from $27,610 before on-road costs for the G20 Pure manual. The automatic requires an extra $1000 on select variants, suggesting a new starting price closer to $30,000 in conjunction with the added technology.
A similar update for the heavily-related CX-30 small SUV is expected to follow before the end of this year.