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Mazda Mazda3

BM Series II Mazda3

Mazda logo1 Aug 2016

By ROBBIE WALLIS

The Mazda3 small car range came in for a mid-life upgrade in 2016, but it was difficult to tell by just looking at it.

Visual tweaks were subtle – new grille, fresh foglight bezels, re-positioned grille – while the cabin upgrades were also relatively minor, consisting of a brighter head-up display, new door inserts and an electric park brake on some variants.

The big news was under the skin with Mazda introducing its G-Vectoring Control system, which is designed to reduce sudden movements, making for what Mazda calls, “minimum jerk”, and to simultaneously allow a smoother driving experience while also increasing cabin comfort.

There were also measures to improve noise, vibration and harshness, but there were no changes to the 2.0-litre or 2.5-litre SkyActiv petrol engines.

Mazda ditched the pricey XD Astina diesel variant with the update and it ditched the CD player from all models.

Mazda upped the safety equipment with its Smart City Brake Support-Forward autonomous emergency braking for speeds up to 60km/h becoming standard across the range, while Smart City Brake Support-Reverse, blind-spot monitor and a rear cross-traffic alert were standard on all variants from Maxx and above.

The Mazda3 SP25 GT gained a driver fatigue warning system and traffic sign recognition, while the Astina added lane-keeping assist and adaptive LED headlights.

Mazda models