Mazda’s latest technological advancement is the SkyActiv-X, a petrol engine that works like a diesel, providing the extra torque at lower revs and being friendlier to the environment.
The Euro-spec version of the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder unit produces 180 PS (177 hp / 132 kW) and 224 Nm (165 lb-ft) of torque. On average, it returns 52.3 mpg UK (43.5 mpg US / 5.4 l/100 km) and emits just 96 grams of CO2 per km in the Mazda3. These numbers were measured in the WLTP cycle and depend on the transmission and wheel size.
Available in the both hatchback and saloon body styles, the SkyActiv-X can be matched to either a six-speed manual or, optionally, a six-speed automatic gearbox.
Mazda will also offer the SkyActiv-X in the States, only in a slightly different tune. Instead of the Euro-spec version’s 16:1 compression, it has a 15:1 rate so that it can function properly with the U.S. market’s lower octane gasoline.
So, how does the Mazda3 feel like in this grade? Like a quiet diesel and more responsive than you’d expect, although with the refinement of a petrol unit, according to CarsGuide, who traveled to Germany to drive it. And the best part is that, aside from the SkyActiv-X badge and larger exhaust tips, it looks the same as the rest of the lineup.