We travelled to the small and traffic-free city of Los Angeles last week to check out the newly revamped 2019 Mazda 3, the first product launched under the automaker’s equally new premium philosophy. The next-gen compact apparently heralds the introduction of other higher-end models. (Disclaimer: Mazda flew me from Cincinnati to Los Angeles and put me up in a very nice hotel in West Hollywood. They also provided me with food and drink, a notepad, and a pen.) The new 3 is a car of firsts for Mazda. It’s the first to feature new KODO design language destined for all other models, the first to offer the innovative Skyactiv-X engine, the first vehicle built on a revised Skyactiv Vehicle Architecture, and the first 3 available with all-wheel drive in North America. The anticipated Skyactiv-X engine joins the 3 lineup sometime soon (no specifics given), paired with a new M Hybrid system for better fuel economy. Mazda told me flat out there will be no Mazdaspeed 3, as it’s not in line with the company’s new premium image. So there. As all test cars provided were Premium-trim, front-drive automatics in sedan guise, there’ll be a subsequent test event in a few months’ time — this on...