Mazda has officially started production of the facelifted 2012 Mazda3 (Mazda Axela in Japan). The 2012 Mazda3 gets a revised front fascia that tones down the smiling grin that no one really likes. The rear end also gets updated with revised taillights.
The biggest and most important update lies under the hood of the 2012 Mazda3. Mazda has given the 2012 Mazda3 a version of its new SkyActiv-G engine, which in the Mazda3 is a 2.0L with 155 horsepower and 148 lb-ft. of torque. The best part about the new engine is that it gets up to 40 mpg, which is a nice improvement over the 33 mpg that the current 2.0L gets. The new SkyActiv engine can be mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed SkyActiv automatic transmission.
The 2012 Mazda3 should reach U.S. showrooms by October.