A new form of elegance based on Japanese aesthetics.

Introduced in 2010 and making its production model debut with the launch of the CX-5 and the Mazda6 in 2012, Mazda’s Kodo—Soul of Motion design has been a key driving force in enhancing the brand’s global value.

Mazda now takes Kodo to higher levels of depth and sophistication as it enters a new stage that raises car design to the level of fine art.

The goal of this new evolution of Kodo design is to express a new form of elegance inspired by Japanese aesthetics. The first cars to embody Mazda’s new design language were the RX-Vision concept shown at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show and the Vision Coupe concept exhibited at the 2017 show.

In the exterior design of both models, finely honed elements creating clean, beautiful designs combine with a delicate play of light and reflections to realise elegant and sophisticated styling with a natural, dynamic feel.

The all new Mazda3 is the first production model to adopt this evolved version of Kodo design. While featuring a simple ‘single motion’ overall form, the way that light and shadows shift and reflections move over the body creates a highly vital and dramatic impression that goes beyond previous iterations of the design language.


Another goal in styling the all new Mazda3 range was to give each model its own distinctive design personality: the hatchback with its own more emotive design, and the sedan offering more elegant, prestigious proportions.


Exterior design

In designing the hatchback and saloon versions of the new Mazda3, the development team took a fresh look at their respective values and personalities and then worked to maximize the unique appeal of each.

The powerful and seductive look of the Hatchback has lasting visual appeal that evokes a sense of excitement.

In contrast, the clean, sleek and sophisticated beauty of the Sedan speaks of maturity and refinement. The result is two body types with personalities so distinct one might even think they were completely different models.

  • The design concept for the hatchback focused on creating a powerful form that conveys a fresh approach to hatchback styling. When viewed from the rear, the cabin and body come together to appear as a single solid mass. This unique form creates a powerful presence and an expression of seductive and lasting appeal.
  • The design concept for the saloon is ‘sleek and elegant’. While conforming to traditional sedan styling by bringing together the bonnet, cabin and boot as three distinct elements, the development team aimed to enrich the styling of these elements and achieve a new level of beauty that befits a Mazda saloon. The result is a refined, mature expression of elegance.
  • A new lamp design is one more element key to the further evolution of Kodo design. In keeping with the ‘less is more’ aesthetic, all unnecessary elements are shaved away to leave only the essence of a light fixture. The development team felt that limiting the design to the minimum necessary elements – the light source, lens and base – would create a clean and beautiful look. The new, round design creates an expression of depth and has a dynamic presence that accentuates the new Mazda3’s physique and fore-aft axis, while distinguishing the Mazda brand.