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3 cheers: The SP23 now has stability and traction control fitted standard.

Mazda makes ESC standard on SP23 as part of 'sports' makeover for entire 3 range

8 Apr 2008

MAZDA Australia has upgraded its popular 3 small car with additional standard features across the sedan and hatchback range, including electronic stability and traction control on the SP23 and, on the entry-level Neo, equipment claimed to be worth $1600.

The Neo remains priced from $20,990, but now is now known as Neo Sport to reflect the higher – and sportier – standard specification with 15-inch alloy wheels (replacing steel rims), black cloth trim, electric windows/mirrors and an auxiliary outlet for iPod and related hardware.

This sees an end to the “power pack” option, and comes in addition to continuing standard equipment such as dual airbags, ABS brakes, air-conditioning, a six-CD stereo, cruise control and remote central locking.

Safety items including twin front and rear side airbags, and ESC and traction control, remain locked in an optional $1700 safety pack, while automatic transmission continues as a $2000 extra.

There is no longer a standalone Maxx model variant, with Mazda continuing the Maxx Sport line (priced from $25,500) and adding a different metallic twist to the exterior with a new 16-inch alloy wheel pattern and the addition of chrome exterior doorhandles. Inside, SP3-type cloth trim makes an appearance and the centre console is finished in “piano black” gloss.

The Maxx changes are also applicable to the Mazda3 Diesel, which carries almost the same specification and is now priced from $29,500. Diesel continues to come with ESC and traction control as standard, but the Maxx Sport maintains it as a $1000 option. The diesel is still unavailable with automatic transmission, which adds another $2000 on to the Maxx Sport.

As well as ESC and traction control, the $29,600 SP23 picks up chrome doorhandles and, in the cabin, MPS upholstery and piano black finishing on the centre console, instrument panels, steering wheel and power window switchgear. The new specification makes the previous Luxury package redundant. Automatic transmission adds $2260.

The flagship $38,750 Mazda3 MPS gets similar interior upgrades along with a new cloth trim with red highlights.

Finally, the colour palette for the Mazda3 range extends to 12 with the addition of Copper Red, Golden Sand, Metropolitan Grey and Stormy Blue.

“This model freshening makes the Mazda3 Sport range even safer and better value than ever before,” said Mazda Australia managing director Doug Dickson.

2008 Mazda3 pricing:
Neo Sport $20,990
Neo Sport (a) $22,990
Maxx Sport $25,500
Maxx Sport (a) $27,500
Diesel $29,500
SP23 $29,600
SP23 (a) $31,860
MPS $38,750

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