Tested: 2012 Mazda3 SKYACTIV-G

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OK, so it doesn't look that bad in the picture, and it's not terrible but that center console plastic could be better.

 

The gauge pod on our SKYACTIV had nice blue accents with white lettering which we found to be more pleasing to the eye than the red of the previous model.

 

Rear seat legroom is still cramped in the new 3 but rumor has it when the full suite of SKYACTIV technology makes it way into the next generation model, lightweight seats with thinner backs will provide more space for rear seat passengers.

Under the hood, the new 2 liter SKYACTIV-G direct injection gasoline engine uses lightweight components, high compression and a highly efficient combustion process to achieve the fuel economy of cars a lot more boring or electrical than the new Mazda3. 

If you're not already up to speed on the tech inside Mazda's new SKYACTIV engines feel free to get there now in our introductions to the gas (SKYACTIV-G) and diesel (SKYACTIV-D) below: 

 

 
READ MORE: SKYACTIV-G (Gasoline Engine) READ MORE: SKYACTIV-D (Diesel Engine)

 

Contrary to what you read in the SKYACTIV-G article, the Mazda3 will not have the 13:1 compression ratio for 2012 because the tuned Tri-Y 4-2-1 manifold can't fit in the engine compartment of the current chassis (pictured below).  That manifold's scavenging ability is critical for clearing hot burnt exhaust gasses out of the cylinder, keeping the combustion chamber cool and preventing detonation–without it, Mazda had to back the compression off to 12:1. 

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