THE POWER OF 3 – Mazda3
Mazda’s next-generation Mazda3 leads the Japanese automaker into a bold new era
The Mazda3 has always been a solid South African favorite, and the famed Japanese automaker is looking to replicate the success of its predecessors with the local introduction of their latest compact car. With over 12,000 units of the previous generation sold locally, Mazda SA is seeking build on that success. After all, the Mazda3 is actually Mazda’s best-selling model in the global sphere anyways.
Mazda-aficionados will easily spot the close resemblance between the new Mazda3 and the stylish Mazda Kai Concept unveiled some time ago. Fair to say that the new 3 adopts a more mature interpretation of Mazda’s Kodo design language than ever before. As with the model it replaces, the new Mazda 3 will be available as either a five-door hatchback or a four-door sedan.
According to Mazda, the seventh-generation Mazda3 is actually the first model in their line-up to benefit from a theme called Mazda Premium, the company’s new product development philosophy which is focused on creating a truly satisfying ownership experience rooted in customer trust, driving pleasure, captivating design, and elevated quality.
At launch, the front-wheel driven Mazda3 will be available with a choice of two naturally-aspirated powertrains – a 1.5-litre four-cylinder, and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder, both employing Mazda’s latest SKY-ACTIV technologies. The 1.5-litre engine will be available with a choice of either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, and will produce a maximum output of 88kw at 6,000rpm and maximum improved torque of 153nm at 4,000rpm, while the 2.0-litre engine will be available exclusively with a six-speed automatic transmission, and produces a maximum output of 121kw at 6,000rpm and maximum torque of 213nm at 4,000rpm.
While the exterior of the hatchback is truly distinctive and sporty, the interior is a minimalist affair albeit far more premium than ever before. The defining features of the exterior are its massive grill up front, tight C-pillar and curvy rear end, which gives it a ‘seductive’ look – something many of its rivals lack. The interior – as mentioned – is minimalistic, something we have seen in cars like the latest MX-5. The spartan dash is dominated by a large infotainment screen, with all the functions laid out horizontally. From an enthusiast’s point-of-view, you are seated in heavily bolstered seats low down, giving a similar feel to the sporty MX-5.
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. A new leather wrapped steering wheel featuring illuminated controls and switches expresses luxurious cues.
Standard features such as the 7-inch TFT reconfigurable gauge cluster display, Bluetooth phone and audio pairing, remote keyless entry, push-button ignition, auto door lock, auto headlights & wipers, electronic parking brake, new knee air bags and two USB audio inputs, elevates the Mazda3 to premium status. Also among the long list of standard features are driver and passenger one touch windows, LED headlamps and headlamp levelling and from the Dynamic model Rear Parking Sensors and Cruise Control.
Mazda dedicated every effort to maximizing occupant safety in the new Mazda3 by installing active safety measures to help identify potential risks early on and reduce any chance of damage or injury. These include the wide adoption of Mazda's advanced safety technologies, as well as i-ACTIVSENSE, which enable the driver to enjoy every outing, on any road condition. i-ACTIVSENSE combines the basic performance aspects of excellent dynamic performance with linear response and clear visibility to support the driver through all the driving processes of cognition, judgment, and operation.
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 System (ABS), Child restraint anchor points (ISOFIX), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), electric Break-force Distribution (EBD), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) as well as Driver, Passenger, Knee, Side and Curtain Airbags. Mazda's commitment to safety was acknowledged with a maximum five-star rating by Euro NCAP earlier this year.
The Mazda3 comes standard with 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.
Mazda3 1.5L Active 6MT Hatch R359 900
Mazda3 1.5L Active 6MT Sedan R357 000
Mazda3 1.5L Dynamic 6MT Hatch R374 200
Mazda3 1.5L Dynamic 6MT Sedan R371 300
Mazda3 1.5L Dynamic 6AT Hatch R387 000
Mazda3 1.5L Dynamic 6AT Sedan R384 100
Mazda3 1.5L Individual 6MT Hatch R421 900
Mazda3 1.5L Individual 6MT Sedan R418 800
Mazda3 1.5L Individual 6AT Hatch R434 700
Mazda3 1.5L Individual 6AT Sedan R431 600
Mazda3 2.0L Astina 6AT Hatch R474 000
Mazda3 2.0L Astina 6AT Sedan R470 800