New models - Mazda - Bravo
First look: Mazda freshens Bravo
More doors and a family look for Mazda's workhorse
22 Nov 2002
By BRUCE NEWTON
MAZDA has launched its updated Bravo work truck - hot on the heels of its non-identical twin, the Ford Courier.
The changes list for the Bravo reads very similarly to the Ford - unsurprisingly considering the two utilities are built in the same plant in Thailand and are identical under the skin.
The highlight for the Bravo is the introduction of a new model with rear hinged doors. Called the Freestyle, it replaces the old two-door stretched cab design Mazda tagged Cab Plus.
The other bodystyles in the range - single cab chassis, single cab utility and dual cab - continue as before, with all available in two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive.
Freestyle, like the Ford RAS system on Courier, combines the rear-hinged doors with traditional front doors, but without a central B-pillar. Behind the front seats are foldable "jump seats" and extra luggage space.
When the front and rear doors are opened the side openings stretch 1500mm - an increase of 550mm on the door opening width of the Stretch Cab.
Mazda Australia expects the Freestyle Cab model to make up between five and 10 per cent of sales.
The Bravo has also gained exterior styling changes more in tune with Mazda's new styling direction, including the five-point grille and new headlights and tail-lights.
Single cab models get painted front bumpers while the range-topping dual cab SDX has wheel arch extensions, new-look alloy wheels, chrome exterior headlights, larger tyres and an optional two-tone paint scheme.
Inside there are reprofiled seats with firmer padding and thicker seatback bolsters, new-look instruments and new cloth trim.
Mechanical changes include revised suspension, brakes, steering and gearbox while a bigger and - Mazda says - more durable air cleaner is installed in the unchanged 92kW/206Nm 2.6-litre petrol and 86kW/280Nm 2.5-litre turbo-diesel engines.
Pricing now stretches from $19,745 for the petrol-engined cab chassis model - an increase of just $30 - to $42,610 for the SDX dual cab with two-tone paint. The average increase across the range, which is made up of 17 variants, is 2.5 per cent.
Mazda Australia forecasts the Bravo range will contribute more than 4000 sales to its overall total this year and expects around the same numbers next year.
The company expects petrol-powered models to make up about 43 per cent of sales, with the majority of those 2WD variants.
The biggest-selling petrol power model will be the entry level standard cab chassis - expected to make up about 30 per cent of those sales.
With diesel-powered models making up 57 per cent of Bravo sales and with almost all coming with 4WD, sales forecasts show that the single cab chassis model will take the biggest slice of diesel sales with 20 per cent. But the range-topping SDX model is also expected to prove popular with 13 per cent.
The updated Bravo adds another competitive element to the Japanese utility segment. The HiLux and Courier have already been updated while a new Holden Rodeo arrives in the new year and an updated Mitsubishi Triton in March.
Mazda Bravo 2WD DX Std Cab Cab Chassis $19,745
Mazda Bravo 2WD DX Std Cab Cab Chassis auto $21,625
Mazda Bravo 2WD DX Std Cab Pick Up $20,775
Mazda Bravo 2WD DX Freestyle Cab Pick Up $25,860
Mazda Bravo 2WD DX Dual Cab $25,645
Mazda Bravo 2WD DX Dual Cab Auto $27,525
Mazda Bravo 4WD DX Dual Cab $34,525
Mazda Bravo 4WD SDX Dual Cab $38,335
Mazda Bravo 4WD SDX Dual Cab w/2-tone stripe $38,665 Turbo-diesel models
Mazda Bravo 2WD DX Std Cab Chassis $26,085
Mazda Bravo 4WD DX Std Cab Chassis $31,530
Mazda Bravo 4WD DX Freestyle Cab Chassis $37,370
Mazda Bravo 4WD DX Freestyle Cab Pick Up $38,570
Mazda Bravo 4WD DX Dual Cab $38,960
Mazda Bravo 4WD SDX Dual Cab $42,280
Mazda Bravo 4WD SDX Dual Cab w/2-tone stripe $42,610
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