Spieshecker

The all new Mazda3 has been radically changed for the seventh generation model to include a host of driver assistance and safety features. As Mazda’s best-selling world model, now sold in over 120 countries, hopes are riding high, say company insiders that the model will improve on the already 30% of its current sales volumes.

The outgoing sixth generation Mazda3 has delivered Mazda’s renowned driving pleasure to over 12 000 Southern Africa customers,” says Craig Roberts, managing director of Mazda Southern Africa.

“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.”

Despite sharing the Mazda3 name, the next-generation hatch and sedan models have distinct personalities. The design of the hatch is dynamic with the sedan elegant. Mazda’s further-evolved KODO design is skilfully applied to the sedan’s bonnet, cabin and boot and evokes an air of elegance and sense of sleekness.

The body features a horizontal flow that accentuates the look of a wide and low stance, while presenting a distinct calmness. In contrast, the hatch is meant to be sportier and more emotional, featuring aggressive body sides and C-pillars that do away with traditional body lines and adopt constantly shifting reflections. The top-of-the-range Astina hatch features black metallic 18-inch alloy wheels.

The next generationMazda3 adopts Mazda’s improved Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture featuring various dynamic enhancements such as redesigned seats, a returned body structure and an all-new suspension to absorb road vibrations as well as G-Vectoring Control Plus on the 2.0 – all providing a smoother driving experience.

The powertrain line-up comprises the latest Skyactive-G 1.5 litre and 2.0 litre engines. The Skyactive-G 1.5 engine will be available with a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions producing 88kW/152Nm, while the Skyactiv-G 2.0 engine will only be available as a six-speed automatic transmission producing 121kW/213Nm.

The cabin features improved reduction to external noise and the centre console has been redesigned with the shift knob, new commander control and armrest moved forward. 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.

The seven-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 air bags and two USB audio inputs, elevate 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 maximising occupant safety in the new Mazda3 by installing active safety measures to help identify potential risks early on to 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.

The Astina i-Activsense safety features include adaptive LED headlights, rear cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring. Hill launch assist is available on all models along with standard safety features, which include ABS brakes, child restraint anchor points, dynamic stability control, electric brake force distribution, emergency brake assist plus driver, passenger, knee, side and curtain airbags.

The Mazda3 range comes with a three-year unlimited kilometre service plan and three year factory warranty, a three-year roadside assistance and a five-year corrosion warranty.

Prices start from R357 000.