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Mazda3 Neo gets Bluetooth at no cost

Small change: As well as adding extra features to the base Neo variant (left), Mazda has made some subtle cosmetic tweaks to the flagship MPS (pictured below).

Bluetooth and USB finally made standard on Australia’s most popular car – Mazda3

Mazda logo25 Sep 2012

By MIKE COSTELLO

AUSTRALIA’S top-selling new car – the Mazda3 – has been given a no-cost value boost, with all variants now featuring standard Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

Until now, phone and audio streaming had been an optional extra on the base Neo hatch and sedan (which still retails for $20,330 plus on-road costs), and standard on other variants.

The inclusion brings the ‘3’ up to speed with key rivals like the Hyundai i30, Holden Cruze and Ford Focus, all of which already feature hands-free as standard on even base variants.

The USB input has been added alongside the existing auxiliary jack, and allows playback – via the steering wheel controls or instrument panel – from Apple devices or USB 2.0 memory sticks.

Meanwhile, Mazda has also announced some minor cosmetic changes to the MPS hot hatch, including the addition of contrasting black mica on the mirrors, rear spoiler and rear bumper, plus darker alloy wheels and a new ‘shark fin’ antenna.

The turbocharged MPS – which features a 190kW/380Nm 2.3-litre engine and dashes from zero to 100km/h in 6.1 seconds – retails from $39,490, but is currently being offered for $42,990 driveaway.

Mazda has sold 28,158 units of the ‘3’ in Australia this year, down 2.0 per cent on last year but enough to retain the mantle as the nation’s biggest seller, just ahead of the Toyota HiLux.

Mazda Australia national marketing manager Alastair Doak said the additional features would help the company retain its hefty sales volumes.

“The Mazda3 is Australia’s most popular car and with the introduction of Bluetooth and USB across the entire range, offering even more value to the customer, we expect the appeal to continue,” he said.

“The fact that the latest enhancements come at no extra cost shows that we are intent on giving Mazda buyers more.”

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