New Mazda3 ups the ante

Selling an average of 375 000 units of a car every year for 16 years is no mean achievement and the boys and girls at Mazda can be justifiably proud of what the Mazda3 has done since its debut in 2003 – now replaced by the seventh generation version.

The Mazda3 accounts for around 30% of the Japanese company’s annual sales volume and, according to Craig Roberts, Managing Director – Mazda Southern Africa: “The Mazda3 is a strategic model that has driven Mazda’s growth from both a brand and business perspective.

“The outgoing 6th generation Mazda3 has delivered Mazda’s renowned driving pleasure to more than 12 000 Southern Africa customers. Our mission is to build on this legacy and deliver a product that will exceed both customer expectations and industry standard with the next-generation Mazda3.

“The next generation of Mazda cars will enhance the value of the car-ownership experience. Through these products, Mazda Southern Africa, together with our dealer partners, aim to further raise Mazda’s brand value and work towards our goal of building ever stronger bonds our customers.”

The new car adopts a matured KODO design language that presents a simple, single form with subtle undulations to bring the styling to life through shifting light and reflections that glide over the body surface.

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Despite sharing the Mazda3 name, the hatch and sedan models have distinct personalities – Mazda referring to the design of the hatch as dynamic, while the sedan is elegant.

Exclusive to the Mazda3 hatch, Polymetal Grey is a newly developed exterior paint option that fuses the hard appearance of metal with a glossy smoothness. Other differences include black roof lining on the hatch derivatives from the Active model. The Astina hatch gets black metallic 18-inch alloy wheels. Sedan derivatives have grey roof lining and on the Astina model, silver metallic 18-inch alloy wheels.

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Inside the cabin is improved reduction to external noise and the centre console has been redesigned with the shift knob, new commander control and armrest moved forward, while the cup holders are repositioned to the front.

The new Mazda3 offers two interior colour options – the recognised black interior or, exclusive to the Mazda3 hatch, is the new optional burgundy red leather seat trim.

The MZD Connect screen has improved system performance, standard Android Auto and Apple Carplay and head-up display.

Mazda3 is the first to introduce an all-new 8,8-inch MAZDA CONNECT infotainment screen supporting MZD Connect, which comes standard on all models. Also standard is an all-new 3-way layout 8-speaker sound system from the Active model and the BOSE 12-speaker layout from the Individual model.

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Standard features include the 7-inch TFT reconfigurable gauge cluster display, Bluetooth phone and audio pairing, remote keyless entry, push-button ignition, auto door lock, auto headlights and wipers, electronic parking brake, new knee crash bags and two USB audio inputs.

New additional features from the Individual model include the frameless auto dimming rear view mirror, full auto air-conditioning and a 10-way power adjustable driver seat with lumbar support. The Astina model additions include rear air vents, a rear view camera, rear combination lamps, daytime running lights and adaptive LED headlamps.

The powertrain line up comprises the latest Skyactiv-G 1,5-litre and 2,0-litre engines and, as an Entry package option, the Active derivative will be available with a 1,5-litre engine in Manual transmission. The Dynamic 1,5-litre engine in both Manual and Automatic transmissions will package the Core offering, while the Individual 1,5-litre in both Manual and Automatic transmissions and Astina 2,0-litre in Automatic will make up the High package offering.

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The Skyactiv-G 1,5-litre engine will be available with a choice of the six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions producing maximum output of 88 kW at 6 000 r/min and maximum improved torque of 153 Nm at 4 000 r/min. The Skyactiv-G 2,0-litre engine will be available in six-speed automatic transmissions producing maximum output of 121 kW at 6 000 r/min and maximum torque of 21 3Nm at 4 000 r/min.

Mazda3 Astina i-ACTIVSENSE safety features include Adaptive LED Headlights (ALH), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM).

Hill Launch Assist (HLA) is available for all models along with standard safety features, which include anti-lock braking, Child restraint anchor points (ISOFIX), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), EBD, Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) as well as driver, passenger, knee, side and curtain crash bags.

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Also standard is a 3-year unlimited kilometre service plan. To provide complete peace of mind motoring, a 3-year factory warranty, a 3-year roadside assistance and a 5-year Corrosion Warranty are also included.

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