So, what is it like driving the Mazda 3 with Skyactiv-X under the hood and the revamped Skyactiv architecture in the chassis? We can’t make a full assessment yet as the cars are still in the prototype stage. But the Skyactiv-X engine delivers on its promise. There is plenty of torque in lower revs, similar to how a diesel engine delivers its power. Launch response is a pleasant surprise, too.
I’m able to get up to cruising much quicker than in the current Mazda 3 which was present in automatic- and manual-transmission form for comparison. A makeshift display showed me when the engine transitions between spark plug controlled combustion ignition (SPCCI) and when it is most efficient. And when at the higher revs, the car kept on accelerating and did not seem to run out of breath. This was impressive driving fun, without any penalties. And the engine has a very unique tone as well. Car guys will approve.