We drive the range-topping Mazda 3 Astina
30%, that is how much sales volume Mazda claims the Mazda3 accounts for – so, it’s an important car for the brand. The 6th generation was a nice car, comfortable, sporty and reliable – everything that South Africa wants in a car, and that is why 120 000 of them were delivered to customers in South Africa. Now though, comes the new, 7th generation and based on the success of its predecessor, it has very big shoes to fill and customers to please.
The interpretation of Mazda’s design philosophy Kodo: Soul of Motion has been toned down a bit on the Mazda 3, Gone are the strong character lines and edges, which are now replaced by flowing, smooth and flush surfaces. The front is dominated by the one-piece grille that has a characterised by a chrome piece running underneath, from one headlight to the other,Very minimalistic with a strong presence.
Radical does not even begin to explain the rear of the new car, it features a sloping rear glass window, taillights that look like they were designed by Ferrari and is completed by twin tailpipes, one on each bottom side of the rear bumper.
The Mazda3 does not only impress with a good looking exterior, but the interior is also as impressive, if not better. It feels premium and well built, and that is what sets it apart from many of its competitors. The centre console now features a new gear knob, new control display controller and repositioned cup-holders.
That premium feel is enhanced by the leather-wrapped steering wheel with illuminated buttons and a standard 7-inch screen in the instrument cluster. The MZD Connect control display, which is now an 8.8-inch display across all models has been upgraded as well – it now features, as standard, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a head-up display system.
Mazda brings the new 3 with four trim levels: Active, Dynamic, Individual and Astina. The Active trim brings with it features such as 16-inch rims, black cloth trim for the seats, and a head-up display and LED headlights. To add on to that, the Dynamic trim gives you features such as cruise control, rear park distance control sensors and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Then comes the Individual trim, which brings about automatic folding mirrors, 18-inch rims, leather seats and 10-way electrically adjustable driver seat. Last but not least, we have the Astina trim – this adds LED di-ACTIVSENSE system
The Mazda 3 , Dynamic and Individual models get the entry-level 1.5-litre engine producing 88kW and 153Nm – which can be can be mated to either a manual or automatic transmission, While the range topping Astina gets the a 2.0 litre, producing 121kW and 213Nm. on the road the 2,0 liter engine provides ample power the 6-speed automic gearbox isn’t responsive and
From launch, there will be two engines on offer, both using the latest Mazda’s SkyActive-G technology. The entry-level 1.5-litre engine produces 88kW and 153Nm – this engine can be mated to either a manual or automatic transmission. The second engine is a 2.0 litre, producing 121kW and 213Nm, and this engine is only available with an automatic transmission, on the road, it i
In an effort to maximise passenger safety, Mazda offers the new Mazda 3 with a host of safety systems – these are a couple under what Mazda calls i-ACTIVSENSE. On the Astina trim level, the i-ACTIVSENSE system includes features such as Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Blind spot monitoring and the adaptive LED lights.
The Mazda 3 is priced as follows:
Mazda3 1.5L Active 6MT 5-Dr R369 100
Mazda3 1.5L Dynamic 6MT 5-Dr R383 600
Mazda3 1.5L Dynamic 6AT 5-Dr R396 600
Mazda3 1.5L Individual 6MT 5-Dr R432 000
Mazda3 1.5l Individual 6AT 5-Dr R445 000
Mazda3 2.0L Astina 6AT 5-Dr R485 000
It in a segment dominated by icons such as the VW Golf and new entrants in the form of the Toyota Corolla Hatch, the Mazda 3 perform.