Mazda 3 reveals sharper look - and steeper price
The Mazda 3 is moving upmarket, arriving in April this year with a sharp new look and a steeper starting price.
First revealed at the Los Angeles motor show last year, the popular sedan and hatchback have adopted a racier aesthetic both inside and out, and with it a $24,990 base sticker before on-road costs.
That’s $4500 more than the current entry-level model, a jump mirroring that of the Toyota Corolla released in August last year.
With its more premium outlook, the least expensive Mazda 3 is now $2000 pricier than the base Toyota Corolla and a whopping $5000 more than the cheapest Hyundai i30, although it matches the entry-level Volkswagen Golf dollar-for-dollar.
To justify the price jump, Mazda is touting the car’s improved cabin refinement, smoother ride and longer list of standard safety equipment.
Even the base model, now called the G20 Pure, has autonomous-emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, and forward-collision alert.
On lower-grade cars, a $1500 package also adds a surround-view camera, LED headlights, forward cross-traffic alert and reverse autonomous-emergency braking.
Beyond safety, every Mazda 3 buyer will get an 8.8-inch infotainment system sitting atop its shapely new dashboard, along with a 7.0-inch display in place of conventional dials, for a more high-tech feeling than you get in the current car.
Jumping to the G20 Evolve adds $2000 to the base price and brings bigger alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, leather trim for the steering wheel and gear knob, and paddle shifters behind the wheel on automatic variants.
The most expensive G20 is the Touring, priced from $28,990 before on-road costs. It gets a proximity key, storage for your sunglasses, black power-adjustable leather seats and backlit vanity mirrors.
Where the G20 is powered by a 2.0L four-cylinder petrol engine offering 114kW and 200Nm, moving up to the G25 bumps displacement to 2.5L, power to 139kW, and torque to 252Nm.
The cheapest car with the bigger engine is the G25 Evolve, which adds power-operated seats and keyless entry to the interior spec of the lesser-engined Evolve for $29,490 before on-road costs.
Jumping to the G25 GT gets you heated front seats, power folding mirrors, a premium Bose sound system, leather-trimmed seats and a heated steering wheel. It’s priced from $33,490 before on-road costs.
The range tops out at $36,990 before on-road costs, with the G25 Astina. It gets the $1500 safety pack mentioned earlier as standard, along with a choice of white, burgundy or black leather seats and a sunroof.
Adding an automatic transmission to any of the models listed adds $1000 to the list price. Mazda is expecting 90 per cent of sales to be automatic, for what it’s worth.
As for the rest of it? Well, Mazda has tried to make the hatchback look just like a concept car, with an aggressively swoopy roofline.
It eats into rear headroom and boot space, but Mazda says the majority of customers drive with only one passenger on board, so that’s largely irrelevant regardless.
Although still sharp, the sedan has a more conventional profile and design.
The new Mazda 3 will be in showrooms during April or May this year.
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