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NEXT-GENERATION MAZDA3 LEADING MAZDA INTO A NEW ERA
21 Oct 2019
Julian Lurie edited by Liam Mothilall
Mazda3 is part of a long line of groundbreaking Mazda vehicles that have helped make it the best-selling Mazda in the world. Available in over 120 countries around the world, the Mazda3 has sold over 6 million units since its debut in 2003 and accounts for more than 30% of the company's annual sales volume.
The 7th generation Mazda3 sets a new milestone as the first production model to lead Mazda into a bold new era. Blending beautiful design and exhilarating driving dynamics, Mazda3 was developed to inspire and create an emotional bond, and deep engagement with its customers. The Mazda3 is a strategic model that has driven Mazda's growth from both a brand and a business perspective. The outgoing 6th generation Mazda3 has delivered Mazda's renowned driving pleasure to over 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 standards 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, aims to further raise Mazda's brand value and work towards our goal of building ever stronger bonds our customers." Comments Craig Roberts, Managing Director - Mazda Southern Africa.
The Next-Generation Mazda3 adopts a matured KODO design language that embodies the essence of Japanese aesthetics. While the overall design presents a simple, single form, subtle undulations bring the styling to life through shifting light and reflections that glide over the body surface. The result is a richer and more powerful expression of vitality than seen in previous KODO models. Despite sharing the Mazda3 name, the hatch and sedan models have distinct personalities; the design of the hatch is dynamic, while the sedan elegant.
Mazda's further-evolved KODO design is skillfully applied to the sedan's hood, 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 calmness that appeals to a sophisticated audience. 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 hatch design is topped with a roofline that suggests speed and helps express a powerful presence. 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, to create an entirely new expression of style. Other differences include; black roof lining on the hatch derivatives from the Active model, the Astina hatch gets black metallic 18" alloy wheels and Sedan derivatives have grey roof lining and on the Astina model, silver metallic 18" alloy wheels.
Mazda's design ethos continues with an all-new interior and cockpit environment that delivers a perfect fit and connectedness while driving. Inside the cabin, the new Mazda3 driver will experience an improved reduction to external noise and the elegant minimalistic cabin offers reduced visual noise. The vehicle's uncluttered cockpit has controls and switches with a consistent and unified feel that provides the driver with intuitive operation of the cabin. The center console has been redesigned with the shift knob, new commander control and armrest moved forward, while the cupholders are repositioned to the front. The new Mazda3 offers two interior colour options. First is the recognized black interior colour that emanates strength and sophistication. Then, exclusive to the Mazda3 hatch is the new optional burgundy red leather seat trim, which offers a deep, vivid appearance that heightens the emotion of the exterior design. The clear view of the driver facing the MZD Connect screen with improved system performance, standard Android Auto and Apple Carplay and head-up display help keep the driver focused on the road; while the adjustable upright driver seating position with a low center of gravity lends a re-assuring sense of confidence when driving.
Mazda3 is the first to introduce an all-new 8.8-inch MAZDA CONNECTTM 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 airbags 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 leveling, and from the Dynamic model Rear Parking Sensors and Cruise Control. New additional features from the Individual model include; the frameless auto-dimming rearview 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 rearview camera, rear combination lamps, daytime running lights and adaptive LED headlamps.
Mazda's human-centric philosophy, Jinbai-Ittai, looks at the driver and vehicle as one. Mazda has dramatically enhanced the car's fundamental driving attributes such that accelerating, turning and braking feel completely natural. Based on the concept of recreating a natural state for humans in the car, all components, from the seats and body through to the suspension and tyres, are designed to work together organically.
The new generation Mazda3 adopts Mazda's improved Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture. Various vehicle dynamics enhancements such as redesigned seats, a retuned body structure, and an all-new suspension to absorb road vibrations as well as G-Vectoring Control Plus on the 2.0L, all providing a smoother and more enjoyable driving experience.
The powertrain lineup comprises the latest Skyactiv-G 1.5L and 2.0L engines, each of which provides responsive speed control in any driving situation. As an Entry package option, the Active derivative is available with a 1.5L engine in Manual transmission. The Dynamic 1.5L engine in both Manual and Automatic transmissions will package the Core offering, while the Individual 1.5L in both Manual and Automatic transmissions and Astina 2.0L in Automatic will make up the High package offering. The Skyactiv-G 1.5L engine will be available with a choice of the six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions producing a maximum output of 88 kW at 6,000rpm and maximum improved torque of 153 Nm at 4,000rpm. The Skyactiv-G 2.0L engine comes with six-speed automatic transmissions producing a maximum output of 121 kW at 6,000 rpm and maximum torque of 213 Nm at 4,000 rpm.
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. The 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. The 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.
There are 12 new models in the new Mazda3 line up of which six are sedans (three autos and three manuals) and six are hatches (also with three autos and three manuals.) Prices range from R357 000 for the Mazda3 1.5 Active 6-speed manual sedan to R474 000 for the Mazda3 2.0 Astina Hatch 6-speed auto. The 7th generation Mazda3 range is backed up by a 3-year unlimited kilometer 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.