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Car reviews - Mazda - Mazda3 - sedan/hatch range

Overview

The facelifted Mazda3 gets improved driving refinement and class-leading economy

Mazda logo28 Sep 2011

MAZDA has opened a window to its future with the addition of SkyActiv powertrain technology in a new variant of the freshly facelifted Mazda3.

Boasting fuel economy of 6.1L/100km, the 2.0-litre direct-injected Mazda3 SP20 SkyActiv tops its class as a fuel miser, at least among the petrol breed.

A more refined driving experience is a bonus in the new range, in which most models carry over the previous generation petrol and diesel engines.

Mazda has added a little spice to the mix by chopping prices and adding value, such as alloy wheels as standard on the entry-level Neo that now awaits customer pleasure in the showroom with a $1000-cheaper $20,330 price tag.

The SP20 SkyActiv sits mid-range, aimed at small hatch buyers who care about how much they spend at the pump – and how much CO2 they pump into the atmosphere – but do the fuel-saving measures squelch the cheeky Mazda3’s driving appeal?
Model release date: 1 September 2011 to 1 December 2013

Previous model

Mazda3 BL Series I

Released: April 2009
Ended: September 2011
Family Tree: Mazda3

THE second-generation Mazda3 did not mess with the formula that helped the first-gen BK model to new levels of sales excellence for Mazda in Australia.

Revised drivetrains, better safety – including electronic stability control for all models – more convenience features, improved driving dynamics and greater refinement were all part of BL-series Mazda3 picture.

The 2.5-litre SP25 replaced the SP23 of the previous range, while the flagship turbocharged MPS arrived a few months after the 2.0-litre petrol cooking models in 2009, followed in 2010 by the first Mazda3 diesel.

Slightly bigger than the first generation, the BL was again offered in sedan and five-door hatch body styles, all built on Ford’s C1 small-car architecture.

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