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Mazda3 will take some replacing

 
Created on 04/04/2019 @ 15:11
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Pictured above is the outgoing Mazda3 

Test Drive by Graham Breeze

Mazda has just announced the pricing and specification for the all-new Mazda3 hatchback which will be revealed next month but the outgoing model will take some beating.

Available to order in the UK now, the new Mazda3 is the first of the Japanese firm’s next-generation vehicles reflecting the very latest in Mazda’s engineering, design and manufacturing.

Offered initially with either a 122ps 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G petrol or 116ps Skyactiv-D diesel engine, the UK model line-up sees a choice of five trim levels: SE-L, SE-L Lux, Sport Lux, GT Sport and GT Sport Tech. Mazda’s innovative Skyactiv-X Spark Controlled Compression Ignition engine and the Saloon model will join the range later in the year.

Specified with a level of standard equipment never seen before on a Mazda hatchback, the All-New Mazda3 features high-end technology such as a windscreen projecting colour head-up display with Traffic Sign Recognition, Mazda Radar Cruise Control and LED headlights across the range.

Every model in the line-up also features navigation, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and an advanced eight speaker audio system.

We’ve been taking a slightly nostalgic look at the outgoing Mazda3 which has been an outstanding performer for the company and will undoubtedly prove a very popular second hand buy once the new model hits the road. There are also likely to be some bargain-buy opportunities left in a few showrooms.

Global production of the Mazda3 hit five million by the end of 2016 and that signalled an update in October 2017 with the hatchback and fastback ranges getting a new cabin, G-Vectoring control and SKY Active vehicle dynamics.

Sales continued to grow. But Mazda has never been a company ready to display complacency and believe the new Mazda3 will take sales to a new level.

We tested the outgoing 2.0litre, 165ps Sport Nav model which currently has a standard on-the-road price of £23,195, though metallic paint and a leather upgrade saw that rise to £23,745.

Additional equipment on the Sport Nav range included 18inch alloys, LED headlights with automatic levelling, LED daytime running lights, an adaptive front lighting system, a reversing camera and front and rear parking sensors.

It’s hard to believe Mazda will be able to improve on the cabin which came with a colour active driving display, traffic sign recognition, a digital speedometer keyless entry and a Premium Bose surround sound system.

The SKY Active four-cylinder 16-valve 2.0litre engine was powered by a six-sped manual gearbox and was claimed to produce 48.7mpg on the combined cycle with 0-62mph in an impressive 8.2 seconds with a top speed of 130mph.

On the road Mazda3 is already an impressive drive with solid handling and very little road noise – even with the bigger 18 inch wheels. Drive quality will need to continue when the new model arrives if sales are to be gained from main hatchback rivals Ford Focus and VW Golf – a pretty tough call.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe when a manufacturer claims to be improving a model. We’ll be testing the new Mazda3 next month – and we can’t wait.


Pictured above is the new Mazda3 - launching next month

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