VIDEO: How the Mazda Familia evolved into the Mazda 3

Here’s an interesting little video about the evolution of the Mazda Familia, now known as the Mazda 3. In it Mazda chassis engineer and former editor-in-chief of Sport Compact Car Dave Coleman describes the link between the Mazda GLC and the 2018 Mazda 3 hatchback. It started with the 1977 GLC, originally named the Familia in Japan and built on the first-gen RX-7 chassis.

The video is intended for the Japanese market, and so it’s notable that it includes cars like the North America-only Mazdaspeed Protege. However, the video also includes spins in cars like the rally homologated 323 GTX and newer Mazda 3 models. It might be a humble hatchback but as we’ve noted, the Familia is not without its competition pedigree.

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6 Responses to VIDEO: How the Mazda Familia evolved into the Mazda 3

  1. speedie said:

    My wife’s father bought her a GLC when she was in college as a commuter car and she loved it. She got hit at an intersection when the car was barely a year old which destroyed the car but she walked away without even a scratch. When we went looking for our first new car as a married couple we decided on a 2010 Mazda3 GT 5-door. It is pearl white with the leather package and boy was it hard to find one with a 6-speed manual. It now has 112K miles on it and is going strong. When my son got his license we helped him buy a used 2004 Mazda3 5-door which then went to my daughter as her first car when my son bought a used 2007 Mazda3 GT 5-door (we do love our hatchbacks!). To round out our Mazda collection I bought a 2010 RX-8 R3 three years ago. We have owned many cars over the years including BMWs (three 2002s & a 325iX), Volvos, (240 GL & V70R) and Toyotas (82 Celica and 85 Supra), I can honestly say that the Mazdas offer some of the best driving experience for the money and they have all been extremely dependable with just basic maintenance and wear items. My only complaint is that they are prone to rust from our wonderful New England winter salt (even our 2010 has some).

  2. Mike in Long Beach said:

    Neat video. After wrecking my Subaru in college, my wife and I splurged on a GLC in the first year it was available. It was, for us, a Great Little Car. We eventually traded it in on a first generation 626 which was an excellent family sedan.

  3. Kurt said:

    Of course the Familia name goes much further back then the 323/GLC… some 14 years actually. I suppose if we are comparing apples with apples ~40 years of ‘evolution’ and the fact each model referenced was available in a hatch back makes for a more succinct narrative for the consumer.

  4. Bob said:

    In 1989, I bought a 1981 GLC wagon. 100,000 mile one-owner car in museum condition and pampered every mile. Yup, those old guys really took care of them. One of the most fun cars I ever owned, right up until it met it’s fate while in the hands of my girlfriend.

  5. r100guy said:

    The GLC was the second generation Familia that was sold in the U.S. It really started with the original Familias back in 1971 with the R100, 1200 and B1200 pickup trio. The 2003 Protege was the last of the Familia “family” sold in the U.S. The Mazda 3 is an Axela which, in my opinion, is of a different lineage. So why wouldn’t Mazda feature one of the first Familias? Total scarcity. Mazda USA should make a effort to acquire some of the very early cars (R100, RX2 and RX3) for their heritage collection, then they could make some really interesting videos!

  6. Christopher Pearce said:

    I had a 1978 323 1.4SP three door after I passed my driving test in 1988. It was the UK equivalent of the GLC and was great fun but required a lot of work to combat the rust. Since then I have owned a 323f ZXi V6, two generations of Mazda3 and have a 2001 RX7.

    There is something about Mazda cars that appeals to me, but I am not sure what. I am now considering a CX5 for family transport duties. As the old advert said, You will be amazed at a Mazda!

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