Mazda 3

The new Mazda 3 Sport is now in Malaysia. I apologise for the delay in the launch writeup as I’ve only just managed to get the press kit. Only the sedan models with 1.6 and 2.0 engines have been launched at the moment but I am told the hatchbacks will be introduced later.

This new Mazda 3 does share some underpinings with the previous Mazda 3 sold here but sports a completely new look. At the front you of course have the smiley grille which everyone was commenting on when this model was first unveiled. Even Mazda calls this a “smiley” face grille!

Mazda 3

The side profile looks way more dynamic than the outgoing model, with a shoulderline that rises upwards instead of the flat one on the previous model. The rear end is an evolution of the outgoing car, also looking more sportier and with an obvious family resemblance to the larger Mazda 6 sedan.

The 2.0 litre model is really quite chock full of equipment. You’ve got bi-xenon headlamps (xenon for both main beam and high beam) with auto leveling, rain sensor wipers, power folding mirrors, automatic climate control, LED rear lamps, light sensor for the headlamps, and fog lamps for the exterior. The interior has an in-dash 6 CD changer, a multi-info display featuring exterior air thermometer, trip computer with speed alarm, blue mood lighting, a sliding arm rest, paddle shifters, a black-out meter cluster, leather seats and a leather steering. Both models have ABS, and the 1.6 litre model has dual front airbags while the 2.0 litre model has 6 airbags.

UPDATE: I apologize for the mistake, the Mazda 3 Sport 2.0 has 6 airbags. There are two at the front, two at the A-pillars and another two integrated into the front seats.

Mazda 3

The MID display is one of the most full-featured ones that I’ve seen at this price range and segment. It even has reminder functions for your next service as well as a built-in trip computer and reminder for tyre rotation. The seats are manually adjustable for both models, and the rear bench splits 60:40. The steering wheel is both tilt and telescopically adjustable, and runs on an electric hydraulic system.

In the engine bay, the 1.6 litre base model features a 103 horsepower inline-4 with 144Nm of torque at 4,000rpm. This is mated to a 4-speed auto with a single overdrive. The 2.0 litre model produces 145 horsepower at 6,500rpm and 182Nm of torque at 4,500rpm. This engine is mated to a 5-speed auto with two overdrives, but the first overdrive has a ratio of 0.933 which is very close to 1.000.

Mazda 3

The new Mazda 3 shares the same 2,640mm wheelbase as the outgoing car. It now measures 4,580mm long, 1,75mm wide and 1,470mm tall. The 1.6 litre model has wider treads of 1,535mm at the front and 1,520mm at the rear, while the 2.0 litre model front tread is 1,530mm and 1,515mm for rear tread. The 2.0 has larger wheels naturally, measuring 205/50R17 compared to 195/65R15 for the 1.6 model.

What you lose on the 1.6 model are the CD changer, xenon headlamps, rain sensor wipers, LED tail lamps, power folding mirrors, leather steering and sports seats, trip computer with speed alarm, auto climate control, lamps on the sun visors, and the sliding arm rest.

Mazda 3

The 1.6 model is currently going for RM 111,017.50 OTR with insurance while the 2.0 litre model is going for RM 131,537.90 OTR with insurance. Mazda says these are special introductory prices for the first 100 customers only. In addition, the first 50 of these buyers will receive a maintenance package from Goodyear Tyres and Shell Lubricants.

Look after the jump for more photos of the new Mazda 3.

[zenphotopress number=99 album=317]

[zenphotopress number=99 album=318]