Australian pricing and specifications for the all new Mazda3 were released last week. The previous model was a roaring sales success for Mazda, it was the best selling car in the country in January, and one would expect the new 3 to keep Mazda near the top of the charts.
The range at launch is a four-prong lineup consisting of the Neo, Maxx, Maxx Sport and SP25. The hot-hatch hero Mazda3 MPS model will be launched in Australia in the second half of 2009.
Pricing for hatch and sedan models are identical and 6-speed equipped manuals start at $21,990 (Neo); $24,990 (Maxx); $27,690 (Maxx Sport); $30,690 (SP25). A 5-speed Activematic transmission is available for an extra $2060 (Neo and Maxx); $2260 (Maxx Sport and SP25).
Mazda were all too aware of the task at hand when making the new model. Program Manager for New Generation Mazda3, Yoshiyuki Maeda, said, “There was no mistaking the direction we had to take in developing the New Generation Mazda3. We wanted to exceed the expectations of customers all over the world again, just like the original Mazda3 has done.
“To achieve this we wanted to provide drivers with an exhilarating experience that they would sense directly whether they were driving the car, as a passenger or even simply looking at it.”
Which brings me to the exterior looks. After seeing the car at the Melbourne International Motor Show I concluded the car actually looks better in person than in photographs. After going through the images for this piece, I was reminded of this several times. I’ve no doubt the Mazda3 will find many fans of its visual language, however, I’m still to be won over by the somewhat cutesy pie looks. To be fair, it cuts a unique form in its segment, and that is most likely what the customers are looking for.
The Mazda3 is reasonably well specced with Dynamic Stability Control standard across the range, along with other usual acronyms including ABS and EBD, plus more. The press guff tells me that the Mazda3 is more efficient than the old model, but while the fuel consumption and emissions figures from the DOHC four cylinders in the range are respectable enough, they’re nothing too spectacular.
For example, the 6-speed manual 2.0 litre entry level Neo, with 108kW/182Nm, uses 7.9l/100km while emitting CO2 at 187g/km. The 2.5 litre SP25, with 122kW/227Nm, uses 8.6l/100km and emits 204g/km of CO2. Bump all figures up ever so slightly for the Activematic models. In contrast, the recently launched Volkswagen Golf VI, with three different engines available at time of writing, use 6.5l/100km of fuel or less with the highest CO2 emission figure being 150g/km.
A full suite of images and a brief press statement can be viewed after the jump. More detailed specs and pricing can be downloaded in the PDF below:
- Mazda3 pricing & specs (160kb PDF)
The New Generation Dynamic Small Car
The New Generation Mazda3 has been developed to take the outstanding ownership experience defined by its predecessor to new levels of enjoyment, while embodying Mazda’s Sustainable Zoom-Zoom strategy.
The New Generation Mazda3 is the third vehicle in Mazda’s next-generation product line-up (after Mazda2 and Mazda6), and is built to deliver four key values:
- an expressive design with dynamic Mazda design aesthetics
- a sporty, balanced driving experience
- high quality feel
- high levels of environmental performance and safety
In developing the New Generation Mazda3, Program Manager Yoshiyuki Maeda said:
“There was no mistaking the direction we had to take in developing the New Generation Mazda3. We wanted to exceed the expectations of customers all over the world again, just like the original Mazda3 has done.
“To achieve this we wanted to provide drivers with an exhilarating experience that they would sense directly whether they were driving the car, as a passenger or even simply looking at it.
“We began by thoroughly examining what elements and performance levels are necessary, and concluded that we would have to enhance each aspect of the driving quality.”
Building on success
Mazda’s New Generation Mazda3 small car follows in the tyre tracks of a first-generation model that set a new standard for small cars when it was launched in January 2004.
It quickly became Mazda’s best-selling vehicle, and reached the one-million production milestone faster than any previous Mazda model, finding over two million customers globally and winning more than 90 international automotive awards.
From the beginning, the first-generation Mazda3 played a major role in the Australian automotive landscape and was regularly counted among the best-selling cars in the country.
In January 2009 it became the first Mazda model ever to reach #1 on the sales charts – and the first model from a full-import brand in more than a decade. Since its launch in January 2004, the Mazda3 has recorded 161,310 sales in Australia to the end of February 2009.
Of its two distinct body styles, the four-door sedan accounts for about two thirds of all models sold. This is similar to North American figures, and diametrically opposed to the European market.