Author – Jason “The Bok” – Date – 14 July 2015
Having recently been afforded the opportunity of driving Mazda’s exciting Kodo designed Mazda 2 1.5 DE Hazumi, I was extremely excited to get behind the wheel of the all new Mazda 3.
What’s immediately apparent with the new Mazda 3 is it’s striking body language, and this in keeping with the Mazda 2 ; 6 and CX-5 models. This stylistic and bold approach to design is known by Mazda as its Kodo design language, and makes this vehicle absolutely shine. I am a massive fan of the way in which the Mazda 3 offers a sensible family hatch that fits into the C-segment, while still remaining an eye-catching sporty tourer.
With its sharp angles and pointing edges, this vehicle beautifully embodies an image of being active. The Kodo design is also continued into its bold tail lights, and gives the Mazda 3 a big presence when on the road. Sitting on its 18″ Alloys further enhances the Mazda’s sporting characteristics.
In its third generation, the Mazda 3 has also managed to keep-up with its sporting dynamics that we have all come to love from its predecessors. With its spot on driver position, and fully adjustable seat and controls, it also makes for a very comfortable cabin, and one with enough bells and whistles to make anyone feel like a kid again.
With its its 7″ touch, and control wheel MZD display, the new Mazda 3 has enough tech to make the nerd in all of us cringe. The Mazda 3 2.0L Astina which I drove featured:
– Two USB thumb drive slots in which all media can be accessed
– Front loading CD slot
– Memory card slot
– Auxiliary cable port
– Access to satellite radio services such as Pandora, Stitcher and Aha
– Full Voice guided navigation with POI
– Steering wheel controlled vehicle voice commands, audio controls and cruise control features
– Land departure warning, Auto-dimming rear view mirror and even reversing camera with trajectory lines
All the media and entertainment gently oozed at through the vehicles Bose audio system. As a place to be seated, in this segment of vehicle, it really doesn’t get much better than this. Driving the Mazda 3, you also get a sense that everything has been very well thought-out, and that special care and attention to detail has been placed to ensure that the vehicle meets the highest possible standards of its closest European counterparts.
With good overall structural rigidity and great driving dynamics, thanks to what Mazda terms its Skyactive technology, elements of the vehicles engine, steering, suspension and body structure are all taken into account to ensure an overall firm, yet comfortable ride. The vehicle which I have been driving bares the name Astina, a name with great heritage especially for those of you, who recall the Mazda 323. The 2.0L Astina model with its 4 cylinder motor pushes out 121kw of power at 6000 r/min and 210 N.m of torque at 4000 r/min, it also is able to do the 0-100 Km/h sprint in a respectable 8.2 seconds. All of this with the combined consumption figure averaging 6.2 L/100 Km.
Overall the interior cabin, boot space and driver aids of the Mazda 3 puts this vehicle at the top of its game in the highly competitive group in which it finds itself, and makes it a very worthwhile option to consider when deciding on a comfortable city sprinter or long-distance family commuter.
It is upon night fall, and journeys end, that I am able to best sum up the new Mazda 3, with its bold, unique and attractive good looks, it stands-out very well from the crowd, this coupled with its great driving dynamics, fuel efficiency, comfortable and well loaded interior and luggage space make this car one which I would truly consider spending my own money on, when in the market for a family hatch or sedan. With its overall price ranging from R232,900 to R330,800 for the range topper, the all new Mazda 3 is a simply unbeatable package.
Check out my exciting video review: