Insecure people usually produce weak and shoddy work; confidence is reassuring and usually produces vibrant and engaging work. Guess which one is more like the 2014 Mazda3?

Cars like the Mazda3 have always had a certain confidence -- they have to. It's not easy being the little guy on the block. Muster a little swagger and people start to believe you're actually a big deal -- The Mazda3 has been doing it for years.

We're finally getting a good look at the updated 2014 Mazda3. When the previous Mazda3 debuted, we were struck by how attractive it was.  Of all small cars available, the Mazda3 has consistently been one of the most attractive and best performing. 

The compact Mazda3 looks to recapture its "King of Small Cars" crown thanks to a slick-looking exterior and an interior that looks more like a German performance car than a fuel-sipping compact.

Look closely at the fresh bodywork and you can see hints of the Mazda2 and maybe even the Subaru Impreza. The thin, pulled back headlights look a little Infiniti-ish too. That's not to say the new Mazda3 looks a lot like other cars; it doesn't. The 2014 looks like its own car and has a confidence other compacts lack.

Inside, the steering wheel looks as if it was lifted straight from a Mazda CX-5, but the dash and center console area look new. Even the gauges project precision and quality.

We totally get that not everyone can warm up to a hatchback, but as hatchbacks go, the new Mazda3 is a good-looking one.

For more on the 2014 Mazda3, check out our video and more photos taken from the live unveiling in New York City.

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Brian Moody heads up the editorial team. An automotive writer and presenter for more than 12 years, he's contributed to such media outlets as CNBC,, Fox Business, Speed TV and The Today Show.

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