How Mazda’s Compact Sedan Lineup Has Changed Over the Years

By Product Expert | Posted in Mazda3 on Friday, September 14th, 2018 at 8:40 pm
rear view of red Mazda3

How Long Has the Mazda3 Been In Production? 

As a compact sedan, the Mazda3 is a key part of Mazda’s existing lineup and is the financial entry-point to the thrilling driving experience that Mazda delivers. It has no doubt been a successful model, but how long has it actually been in production? What kind of a history does it have? For many drivers, the answers to those questions are just as important as anything when it comes to choosing the right new car. 

So, let’s answer that question. How long has the Mazda3 been in production? The first generation of the Mazda3 began in 2004, and it replaced another model called the Protegé. Since then, the Mazda3 has seen three generations, with the latest beginning in the 2014 model year. 

[Read more: Compare the 2018 Mazda3 Sedan vs Hatchback] 

History of the Mazda3 

Though that may make the Mazda3 seem relatively young in the automotive world, the model has a deep history spanning several decades, with successors that helped shape the vehicle we see today. It all began with the Mazda GLC in 1977 and from there, the rest was history. But, for those history buffs out there, we’ll walk you through some of the key events that led to the Mazda3’s fame and success in the modern day… 

  • 1977: Mazda GLC (“Great Little Car”) kickstarted Mazda in North America. 
  • 1985: The Mazda 323 succeeds the GLC, upping the horsepower from 53 hp to 132 hp. It is also made available as a hot hatchback. 
  • 1989: Mazda expands the lineup with the Protegé, while retaining the 323 hatchback. 
  • 2001: The thrill of the Protegé is built upon with the MAZDASPEED Protegé, with a turbocharged 170 hp and industry-leading equipment. Only 4,500 were produced. 
  • 2004: The Mazda3 is introduced and a new era of compact sedans is ushered in. 


To learn more about all of your favorite Mazda models, check back here to the Maple Shade Mazda blog in the future.

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