1 Jul 2006
NEW exterior styling, extra equipment, upgraded engines and transmissions and the availability of a stability control system across the entire two-body style, four-grade line-up define the BK Mazda3 Series II.
Besides the availability of electronic stability control, all models come standard with anti-lock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution and emergency brake assist.
Cosmetically, the revised exterior comes courtesy of redesigned front and rear bumpers, new alloy wheel designs and an updated paint colour palette.
Mechanically, the addition of an electronic throttle and the same sequential valve timing (S-VT) system as already offered by the SP23 increases the Neo, Maxx and Maxx Sport’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine’s response and power output - from 104kW to 108kW at the same 6500rpm, and from 181Nm of torque to 182Nm at the same 4500rpm.
The SP23’s 2.3-litre four also benefits from drive-by-wire throttle control, and now comes with two new transmissions: a six-speed manual to replace the current five-speeder and a five-speed Activematic auto with optional paddle-shift semi-manual control to replace the current variant’s four-speed self-shifter, which continues in lesser Mazda3 variants.
Hence, while SP23’s outputs remain 115kW and 203Nm, both the 2.0 and 2.3-litre engines are claimed to offer improved fuel economy. Official ADR 81/01 combined average fuel consumption falls from 8.6L to 8.2L/100km for 2.0-litre manual variants, and from 8.9L to 8.4L/100km for 2.0-litre autos.
Similarly, the 2.3’s claimed consumption figure drops from 9.0L to 8.6L/100km for the manual, and from 9.3L to 8.7L/100km for the auto.
Revised instrumentation and cabin trim complete the changes.
Meanwhile Mazda introduced one of the fastest front-wheel drive cars in the world with its new Mazda3 MPS.
Using a variation of the 2.3-litre twin-cam 16-valve turbocharged four-cylinder MZR direct-injection (DISI) engine, power is rated at 190kW at 5500rpm while the 380Nm torque output tops out at 3000rpm. It runs a compression ratio of 9.5:1.
Drive is channelled to the front wheels only via a six-speed manual gearbox. No automatic gearbox is available.
The Australian ADR 81/01 fuel cycle average is 10L/100km, while the 0-100km/h sprint time takes 6.1 seconds – which makes it the quickest of all current Mazda models.
Aiding this is the engine’s electronic throttle and electronic boost pressure control devices, which Mazda claims minimise turbo lag.
Premium 95 RON unleaded fuel is injected under 115-bar pressure directly into the combustion chamber for a 10 per cent torque increase over a more conventional manifold injection engine.
Mazda’s own figures show that, in third gear, the MPS zips from 50-100km/h in 4.2 seconds.
The body, suspension and brakes have been significantly uprated to accommodate the MPS’s extra performance over the Mazda3’s more sedate 115kW/203Nm 2.3-litre SP23 sibling.
To reduce torque steer and other unruly front-wheel scrabbling, a boost pressure control has been fitted that suppresses sudden torque peaks for smoother delivery, along with a limited-slip differential.
Stopping power is improved over the regular Mazda3 courtesy of large-diameter four-wheel disc brakes.
Further on safety, stability control is standard fitment (and can be switched off).
For 2007 MAZDA Australia has added a diesel engine option to its wildly successful Mazda3 five-door hatch and four-door small-car range. Priced at $30,500 – or $3000 more than the equivalently equipped petrol-powered model – it uses the same MZR-CD 2.0-litre single-cam turbo-diesel four-cylinder unit as found in the Mazda6.
With outputs eclipsing the best that the “affordable” European diesel competition can offer, the MZR-CD delivers 105kW of power at 3500rpm and 360Nm of torque at 2000rpm.
The 0-100km/h sprint takes 9.5 seconds, top speed is around 200km/h and the ADR 81/01 combined fuel-consumption average is 6.0L/100km.
The latter means that the ‘3’ Diesel can travel 1010km on a single tank of fuel.
Both body versions are based on – and look like – the popular sub-sports/luxury Maxx Sport model. However, the Diesel adds electronic stability control and traction control as standard, along with six airbags and ABS with electronic brake-force distribution and emergency brake assist.
In August 2007 Mazda released a turbo-diesel version of its popular Maxx.
Using the 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit found in the larger Mazda 6, the CDR delivers 105kW and 360Nm of power and torque respectively, and is only available with a six-speed manual gearbox.
Both five-door hatchback and four-door sedan Diesel variants are available.