• Mazda3 offers entirely new styling inside and out
  • New 2.5-liter engine makes 184 horsepower
  • New features include active driving display, radar cruise control

Mazda recently revealed the newly redesigned 2014 Mazda3 hatchback. The new model boasts entirely new styling inside and out, as well as a long list of new equipment.

The most obvious updates come to the compact car's exterior. The model's sculpted lines now incorporate the brand's KODO design philosophy, and it's lowered for a sportier stance. But possibly the most striking new feature is the hatchback's steeply raked rear end -- a major departure from today's look.

The Mazda3 is also updated on the inside. While its basic interior still retains the same clean design as today's model, Mazda says dimensions have been stretched in nearly every respect for improved passenger room. The brand also says the model's A-pillars were pushed back to allow for better visibility.

Under its skin, the latest Mazda3 boasts some exciting, cutting-edge technology. One new feature is Mazda's latest infotainment system, which now features Aha radio. Mounted high on the dashboard, the system is positioned so drivers don't have to take their eyes off the road to see it.

The same is true of Mazda's Active Driving Display, which makes its debut in the 2014 Mazda3. It uses a clear pop-up panel that displays essential vehicle information, such as speed and navigation directions, directly in the driver's line of sight.

There is also a long list of newly added safety technology. Such items include blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and even adaptive cruise control.

In the US, Mazda will offer the new Mazda3 with two engine choices. One is the same 2.0-liter SKYACTIV 4-cylinder that's available now. That engine will make 155 horsepower, up slightly from today's model. Fuel economy is unknown, though the current Mazda3 returns up to 28 miles per gallon city and 40 mpg highway with the same engine.

Mazda will also offer a new engine. Dubbed SKYACTIV-G, the new 2.5-liter motor is the same one that propels the 2014 Mazda CX-5 and Mazda6. In the Mazda3, it will make 184 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque, which places the compact car near the top of its class. It's a big upgrade over today's 167-hp 2.5-liter engine.

Mazda says the all-new Mazda3 should reach dealers in September. Pricing -- and more information about the popular Mazda3 sedan -- should be out in the next few weeks.

What it means to you: If you plan to shop for a compact car this year, consider adding the all-new Mazda3 to your list.

Learn more about the 2014 Mazda3

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Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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