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Mazda3 goes five-star across the range

Five stars: Mazda has ticked the boxes for side and curtain airbags on its base Mazda3 Neo, prompting a five-star safety rating.

Extra airbags lift Mazda3 Neo to five-star class as top small car gets 2010 tweak

28 Apr 2010

MAZDA Australia has made side and curtain airbags standard on the base model of its top-selling small car, the Mazda3, qualifying its one-year-old small hatch and sedan range for a five-star safety clean sweep and bringing it into line with its main rivals.

The additional airbags, which were standard on other Mazda3 variants and optional on the entry-level Neo, are among a number of equipment changes and price cuts that lift the value of Australia’s number-one-selling small car in 2010.

The latest upgrade comes on top of price cuts averaging more than $900 last October, when Mazda said it was pre-empting five per cent tariff reductions on its imported passenger car range.

Although other Mazda3 variants were rated five-star by the Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) on the strength of Euro NCAP tests when the current generation Mazda3 was launched last April, the Neo was given a four-star rating because the side and curtain airbags were a $500 option.

Now, the airbags are fitted to all Neos, along with cruise control and steering wheel-mounted audio controls at no extra cost. Mazda says the extras amount to $1000 of extra value, but the price for the manual version remains at $21,330. Automatic transmission adds $2000.

As well, the Mazda3 Maxx gets fog lamps and a leather-wrapped gear shift knob and steering wheel, as well as a $485 price reduction, to $23,755 for manual.

The Mazda3 Maxx Sport and Mazda3 Diesel now offer dual-zone climate control, on top of a $485 price drop, to $26,360 and $29,230 respectively.

Another $485 price slice has been applied to the 2.5-litre Mazda3 SP25, which exits the showroom at $29,255, plus dealer delivery and statutory charges.

The price cut also applies to the SP25 Luxury, which is an option pack including leather and premium Bose sound system.

After three months this year, the Mazda3 has its nose in front of previous small-car sales leader Toyota Corolla, 10,175 sales to 9308. However, Hyundai’s hard-charging i30 pipped the Mazda3 and Corolla in March, putting the Japanese contenders on notice.

Mazda Australia’s Managing Director Doug Dickson said the Australian consumers had recognised the value of the Mazda3 since it was launched last year.

“Through the addition of new features and reduced prices, we are very pleased to be able to offer a Mazda3 that is now even better value,” he said.

2010 Mazda3 range pricing:
Mazda3 Neo $21,330
Mazda3 Neo (a) $23,330
Mazda3 Maxx $23,755
Mazda3 Maxx (a) $25,755
Mazda3 Maxx Sport $26,360
Mazda3 Maxx Sport (a) $28,360
Mazda3 Diesel $29,230
Mazda3 SP25 $29,255
Mazda3 SP25 (a) $31,255

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