You get exposed to a lot of cutting-edge technology doing this job.

We get to drive new drivetrain technology all the time as manufacturers are racing to get their emissions down – usually it has to do with electrification or hybridization.

What’s especially rare about the new tech sitting under the bonnet of this unassuming Mazda3 is its sole purpose seems to be extending the life of the combustion engine beyond its previously imagined use-by date.

It does so by blending some of the principles of diesel combustion technology with the latest in computer-controlled fuel-injection methods.

It’s a distinctly different approach to the future from the Japanese brand, so what’s ‘SkyActiv-X’ all about? Will you notice a difference? Does it drive well? And, what else is in the box?

We tested a Mazda3 SkyActiv-X for several days at its Australian launch to answer these questions, and more.

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