Last month we cited a CIMB research report which revealed a slew of details on upcoming Mazda models for Malaysia. Now a source from Bermaz has told us that the locally-assembled (CKD) Mazda 3 is indeed heading towards a March launch, and guess what – we can expect the curvaceous hatchback too!

According to the earlier report, Bermaz has already test-assembled eight units of the Mazda 3 at the Kulim, Kedah plant, and as a result of local assembly, the C-segmenter is expected to cost under RM100k for the mid-spec variant and under RM120k for the high-spec, considerably undercutting the RM139k asked for the current CBU sedan, which is in Mid Spec trim.

The 2.0 litre SkyActiv-G petrol engine and six-speed auto are expected to carry over (rumoured plans for the sub-RM90k 1.5 litre model are said to be shelved so as not to eat into Mazda 2 sales), but what about specs and equipment?

mazda3-driven-australia 098

Will toys like the central rev counter-digital speedo instrument layout, head-up display, dual-zone air-con and cruise control feature on the high-spec variant, and will the mid-spec lose anything in CKD translation?

The hatchback should be interesting – differentiating it from the sedan, apart from the obvious, is a black rear diffuser-like element, out of which poke twin tailpipes. The hatch is 120 mm shorter than the sedan, but shares the same cabin dimensions. The boot holds 308 litres compared to the sedan’s 408.

In Japan and Australia, the hatch and sedan are priced the same, pretty much spec-for-spec – like how it is with our Mazda 2 hatch and sedan. Could the same happen with our CKD Mazda 3?

Malaysian-spec Mazda 3 Sedan (CBU)