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Mazda boosts standard Mazda3 equipment

Power of 3: The Neo and Maxx grades have been renamed to Neo Sport and Maxx Sport respectively to reflect their upgraded equipment levels.

Pricing holds steady as Mazda ups standard equipment in popular Mazda3 small car

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Mazda logo27 Feb 2018

By JUSTIN HILLIARD

MAZDA Australia has sharpened the value of its Mazda3 small car ahead of the fourth-generation model’s arrival next year, with entry-level grades receiving a boost in standard equipment while pricing holds steady.

Specifically, changes affect the Neo, Maxx and Touring grades, with the first two adding the Sport designation to their names to reflect the upgrades, while all variants are available in hatch and sedan body styles.

Mazda’s 7.0-inch MZD Connect infotainment system with rotary knob controls is now standard across the entire Mazda3 range – which now kicks off from $21,490 driveaway for the Neo Sport – and replaces the former entry-level audio head unit.

Furthermore, DAB+ digital radio, a reversing camera and two extra speakers – now six in total – have been added to the Neo Sport.

The step up to the Maxx Sport – which starts from $23,490 – now sees rain-sensing windshield wipers, dusk-sensing halogen headlights, dual-zone climate control and an electric park brake included.

Buyers who purchase the $25,490 Touring will also pick up advanced keyless entry and start.

The flagship SP25, SP25 GT and SP25 Astina grades carry over unchanged, with them continuing to kick off from $25,990, $29,990 and $33,490 respectively.

As per the entire Mazda3 line-up, opting for the six-speed automatic transmission over the standard six-speed manual gearbox adds $2000 to the aforementioned prices.

Neo Sport, Maxx Sport and Touring grades are motivated by a 2.0-litre SkyActiv-G naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 114kW of power at 6000rpm and 200Nm of torque at 4000rpm.

Alternatively, SP25, SP25 GT and SP25 Astina grades are powered by a 2.5-litre unit that develops 138kW at 5700rpm and 250Nm at 3250rpm, with both powertrains sending drive to the front wheels.

Eight paint colours are on offer, including Soul Red Crystal, Machine Grey, Sonic Silver, Eternal Blue, Titanium Flash, Snowflake White Pearl, Jet Black and Deep Crystal Blue.

According to Mazda Australia managing director Vinesh Bhindi, this latest update will improve the Mazda3's desirability by increasing its value proposition.

“The Mazda3 is one of our best performing cars. Its unmatched combination of styling, handling and performance has helped establish its position as a go-to,” he said.

“By improving and adding features as standard across the range, the Mazda3 becomes an even more appealing and desirable package for our customers.”

As previously reported, the next Mazda3 will feature the first mass-production compression-ignition petrol engine, dubbed SkyActiv-X that promises meatier outputs and better efficiency.

Interestingly, the current model's independent multi-link rear suspension will be turfed in favour of a torsion-beam set-up, with refinement and dynamics – not cost – behind the decision.

Mazda3 sales took a hit last year, with 32,690 examples sold to the end of 2017, representing a 9.5 per cent decrease over the 36,107 deliveries made in 2016.

However, this effort was enough to place the model second in last year's sub-$40,000 small-car segment, trailing the Toyota Corolla (37,353 units) but ahead of the Hyundai i30 (28,780), Kia Cerato (18,731), Volkswagen Golf (18,454) and Honda Civic (14,672).

2018 Mazda3 driveaway pricing
Neo Sport$21,490
Neo Sport (a)$23,490
Maxx Sport$23,490
Maxx Sport (a)$25,490
Touring$25,490
Touring (a)$27,490
SP25$25,990
SP25 (a)$27,990
SP25 GT$29,990
SP25 GT (a)$31,990
SP25 Astina$33,490
SP25 Astina (a)$35,490

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