TodayApril 16, 2022

2012 Mazda Mazda3 with Skyactiv technology on Driving the Nation

There’s a reason Mazda decided to put their new Skyactiv technology on the new 2012 Mazda Mazda3. The Mazda3 model is Mazda’s best-selling vehicle worldwide and accounts for nearly two thirds of all Mazda car sold in the United States.

The new number to remember is 12:1. The compression ratio. The 2012 Mazda3 with SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY achieves a high compression ratio of 12.0:1 and delivers 155 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 148 lb-ft of torque at 4,100 rpm. If you buy the ultraclean PZEV version of this engine sold in California and other states it will produce one less horespower, 154 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. The 2011 Mazda 3 without skyactiv technology got 10:1, or 9.7:1 for the five-door.

Providing 167 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 168 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm, the MZR 2.5-liter engine is available with a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional five-speed electronically-controlled automatic with manual shift control. (The PZEV version of this engine sold in California and other states produces 165 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 167 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm.) The MZR 2.5-liter engine achieves EPA figures of 20 city/28 highway with a manual transmission and 22 city/29 highway with the automatic.

The refreshed exterior look is completed with all-new 16- and 17-inch aluminum alloy wheel designs. The 16-inch wheel (on SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter i models) now features 10 twisted-surface spokes, increased from the current model’s seven-spoke design, and the 17-inch wheel (on MZR 2.5-liter s models) is characterized by enlarged openings between each spoke, creating a look that adds to a lighter yet more dynamic feel.

Mazda’s website says the Fuel economy also gets a boost from the combination of a SKYACTIV engine and transmissions. When equipped with the SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter engine and optional SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic transmission, the 2012 Mazda3 sedan will achieve an EPA rating of 40 mpg on the highway, an approximately 21-percent improvement over the current MZR 2.0-liter engine when equipped with the optional five-speed automatic transmission.

When equipped with the SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission, the sedan has an EPA-rated fuel economy of 27 city/39 highway. The Mazda3 sedan with the MZR 2.0-liter engine has an EPA fuel economy rating of 25 city/33 highway with the standard five-speed manual transmission, and 24 city/33 highway with the optional five-speed automatic transmission.

The end result is a 0.27 Cd for the sedan (SKYACTIV-equipped model only), the 2011 model had a 0.29 Cd. The hatchback version has a 0.29 Cd (SKYACTIV-equipped model only), the 2011 model had a 0.31 Cd.

Specs from Mazda’s website.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.