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Mazda3

JAMES HALFACRE/Mazda

Tech specs

MSRP: $18,000-$30,400 (sedan), $21,300-$31,400 (hatchback).

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder/2.5-litre four-cylinder.

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Transmission/drive: Six-speed automatic or six-speed manual/front and all-wheel (available in March).

Why it matters: Under the hood, the remodelled Mazda3 retains the peppy 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre four-cylinder SkyActiv-G engines from 2018. "We’re not about zero-to-60 [miles an hour],” Ichiro Hirose, Mazda’s manager of powertrain development, told Globe Drive correspondent Mark Richardson. “We want to deliver a oneness between the car and the driver, where the car is like a part of you.”

That melding has evolved from one generation to the next most notably in the sense of “comfortable quietness.” Engineers focused on insulating the cabin from exterior noise, and dampening vibration and harshness. For a compact car, the ride is quiet and smooth.

The space between the 8.8-inch display and driver is increased slightly to ease focus, and the screen does not function by touch, an intentional strategy to remove distraction temptation. Instead, a large dial in the centre console, buttons on the steering wheel, and voice command control the screen.

Richardson reported that the sound system “is one of the best I’ve experienced for the money,” achieved in part by repositioning the speakers. And there’s a premium Bose system in the top-of-the-line GT trim.

Mazda is bringing all-wheel-drive to both the hatchback and compact as a $1,700 option. It will be available in March.

Mazda CX-5 Signature

Introduced in December, this is the upscale version of Mazda’s best-selling compact crossover. It shares a turbocharged engine with the CX-9 SUV and Mazda6 sedan, and adds premium touches including Nappa leather, heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, head-up display and Bose 10-speaker sound system. Mazda has sold more than two million CX-5s worldwide.

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