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Mazda Mazda3

BM Mazda3

Mazda logo1 Jan 2014

By ROBBIE WALLIS

The start of 2014 saw Mazda release the third iteration of its most successful model, the 3 sedan and hatch.

Mazda offered a wider array of variants than it did with the outgoing BL-series model, with the carryover Neo joined by the better-equipped Maxx and Touring, essentially replacements for the Maxx Sport.

The base-level Neo and Maxx models used the same direct-injected 2.0-litre four-cylinder non-turbo engine as the CX-5 SUV, punching out 114kW and 200Nm and sending power through six-speed manual or automatic transmissions to the front wheels.

Moving up to the SP25 variants saw the 2.0-litre engine replaced by a punchier 138kW and 250Nm 2.5-litre SkyActiv unit that used a claimed 6.0L/100km.

All versions were larger than their predecessors, with both sedan and hatch bodystyles 40mm wider (1795mm) and riding on a 60mm longer wheelbase (2700mm). However, overall length was unchanged at 4460mm for the hatch and 4580mm for the sedan, while the roofline was 15mm lower at 1455mm.

The exterior design took cues from the company’s KODO design language, and resembled in many ways a shrunken Mazda6, at least in sedan form.

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