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A powerful statement in design, the all-new Mazda 3 is confident, invigorated and energised in equal measure, while also creating a sense of vitality. Additionally, no detail or consideration has been overlooked in terms of interior quality, and ambience, with a driver-informed cabin taking pride of place. The stunning new Mazda 3 hatchback is now available with the groundbreaking SKYACTIV-X engine. With a performance boost, it’s now even more enjoyable to drive, with added fuel efficiency and environmental performance, without compromise.
The technological highlight of the All-New Mazda3 is the innovative SKYACTIV-X engine: The first commercial gasoline engine with Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI) combines the best of two worlds – the advantages of gasoline and diesel technology in a new and unique engine. It offers powerful torque with outstanding fuel consumption, while low CO2 emission values translate to annual road tax of just €190.
Work of Art;
The new Mazda 3 is one of those cars that stirs every one of your senses, even before you drive, as it strikes you with its powerful, seductive presence and strong, sporty appeal. It is designed to make you feel like you are looking at a work of art – not just a car. The way light plays on it’s flowing lines gives the impression that it is moving, even when standing still. There is no denying that this is a handsome car, with similarity to the striking Alfa Romeo Giulietta in its proportions. It is a design language that works extremely well, and is sure to turn heads everywhere it goes. The cabin of the new Mazda 3 is very impressive, with soft-touch materials in all the important areas, leading to a high standard of finish throughout, while the seats in my test car were supportive and comfortable in equal measure. Importantly, the car benefits from a new infotainment system, and brings the new Mazda 3 right up-to-date in terms of cutting-edge technology.
Six Trim Levels;
There are six trim levels available in the new Mazda 3 Hatchback – GS, GS-Sport, GS-L, GS-L Sport, GT, and range-topping GT Sport, all of which are extremely well specified. Standard equipment across the entire range includes key features, such as LED headlights with high beam control, Mazda radar cruise control, Bluetooth™ with Mazda MZD Connect, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Driver Attention Alert, rear parking sensors, alarm & immobiliser, 8.8” colour centre console display & multimedia commander, 7” TFT digital dashboard, Apple CarPlay™ & Android Auto™, multiple airbags, ISOFIX brackets, auto wipers, engine start/stop button, traffic sign recognition, Ecall with GPS, Smart City Brake Support with pedestrian recognition, and many more quality features.
In total, there are three engines available in the new Mazda 3 – a 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G 120bhp petrol (naturally aspirated, as opposed to the turbo trend) a 1.8-litre SKYACTIV-D 116bhp diesel with a variable geometry turbo, and the new, highly-acclaimed, SKYACTIV-X 180bhp petrol engine. All engines have a mild hybrid system that runs the electrics from brake regeneration, and is a system that works seamlessly in practice. Transmission options include a slick six-speed manual gearbox, or a conventional automatic, with all models coming in front-wheel-drive format.
My test car was a Mazda 3 Hatchback 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-X model in GS-L Sport specification, and was finished in striking ‘Soul Red’ metallic paint for maximum impact. Upgrade features in this trim level include a rear digital camera, auto-dimming outer driver mirror, smart keyless entry, front seat heaters, dual-zone automatic air-conditioning, front parking sensors, and a CD player. Producing 180bhp and 224Nm of torque, the refined petrol engine in my test car is capable of sprinting from 0-100km/h in 8.3-seconds, can achieve a top speed of 216km/h (where permitted), and can consume as little as 5.5-litres of petrol for every 100km’s driven on a combined driving cycle. On the road, the new Mazda 3 proves itself to be a terrific car to drive. The instinctive firmness of the car’s platform ensures that the car can be driven briskly with total confidence, while remaining superbly composed, and retaining excellent ride quality. The six-speed manual gearbox is a pleasure to use, with a short, accurate throw, while the car’s fantastic steering set-up provides great feedback to the driver at all times. Height and telescopic adjustment of the multi-function steering wheel, along with excellent adjustment options on the driver seat ensures that a comfortable driving position is readily available.
In terms of safety, Mazda’s ethos is that avoiding an accident in the first place is always the safest route. With the available i-Activeness suite of safety features, sophisticated safety innovations alert the driver to hazards to help avoid collisions-or lessen their impact. Features such as Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert help improve your visibility and awareness of the road, and are amazingly effective.
The sporty & seductive new Mazda 3 range is priced from just €28,300 (ex-works), with my test car specification priced at €33,120 (ex-works). All Mazda passenger cars come with a 3-year/100,000km warranty, a 3-year paintwork warranty, and a 12-year corrosion warranty for total peace of mind motoring.
1) New SKYACTIV-X Technology
2) Striking Design Language
3) Superior Safety Systems
4) Six Trim Levels
5) Range Priced From €28,320 (ex-works).