Crowning the company's centenary celebrations this year, the Mazda3 has won the 2020 World Car Design of the Year award, one of the special categories of the World Car Awards (WCA). The Mazda3 is the second Mazda to be named World Car Design of the Year, following the Mazda MX-5 in 2016.
Introduced in 2010, Mazda's unique Kodo design philosophy and its ability to breathe vitality into a car has been the driving force behind the multiple award-winning styling of the current Mazda range. Launched in 2019, the Mazda3 was the first vehicle to showcase the latest developments in the company's ground-breaking Kodo design language - a more mature rendition targeting greater styling prestige through the elegance and rigor of a minimalist, less-is-more aesthetic inspired by the purest traditions of Japanese art and the beauty of space between objects.
Only through hundreds of hours of painstaking clay sculpting and painting work has it been possible to hone the Mazda3's unique design that creates subtle undulations of light and shadows gliding over the car’s smooth body, giving birth to a natural and powerful expression of vitality. Creating such controlled vitality - a form both beautiful and simple - requires immense degrees of time, discipline and craftsmanship. Yet it is fundamental to the uniquely Japanese elegance of Mazda's next-generation design vision, in which the ownership experience is further enriched by the presentation of the car as art.
Mazda has enjoyed many successes at the World Car Awards which is an annual contest adjudicated on by an 86-member jury of automotive journalists from 25 countries. The Mazda2 won overall in 2008, and in 2016 the current-generation MX-5 was the first car ever to win both the World Car of the Year award and a second category - the World Car Design of the Year award.
In the UK, the Mazda3 range features 27 models across the combined hatchback and saloon line-up. Available in five trim levels – SE-L, SE-L Lux, Sport Lux, GT Sport and GT Sport Tech - the Mazda3 features Mazda’s characteristic generous standard equipment across the entire range, and is offered in the UK with a choice of two petrol engines, both of which feature the 24v Mazda M Hybrid mild-hybrid system.
The 122ps 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G engine features cylinder-deactivation and is exclusively matched to front-wheel drive with a choice of automatic or manual transmission across all five trim levels on the hatchback model. Likewise, the ground-breaking Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI) Skyactiv-X petrol engine is also offered across all grades with a choice of transmission. Additionally, for the first time since the Mazda 323 AWD, Mazda offers an all-wheel drive car in this sector with the GT Sport Tech Skyactiv-X hatch available with Mazda’s latest advanced i-Activ all-wheel drive system.
The Mazda3 Saloon is matched exclusively to the Skyactiv-X engine with front-wheel drive and offers a stylish compact premium saloon alternative to established premium brands. Featuring a generous standard equipment tally across the whole range, every Mazda3 features a colour windscreen projecting head-up display, radar cruise control and LED headlights to name just a few of the high-grade items found on every model.
Commenting on the Mazda3’s World Car Design of the Year Award, Mazda UK Managing Director, Jeremy Thomson, said: “it’s fantastic that the Mazda3 has won such an acclaimed global design award and it’s testament to the work of Mazda’s designers that the Mazda3 can win acclaim for its styling against super tough opposition from across every sector in the industry. In the Mazda3 we simply have one of the best-looking family cars in the world, and this award cements that achievement.”