Mazda and other Japanese cars had for generations been favourite family cars in South Africa until the hatchbacks arrived to change the game.
The new Mazda3, however, returns with sexy and yet neat looks, and a hugely admirable performance to boot. It also come with a stylish sedan derivative, which is set to carry the family car association to a higher level and far into the future.
The popularity of the Mazda 3 in South Africa is seen with its 30% contribution to all annual sales of the Mazda vehicles, and the picture is similarly pleasing globally after this latest release sold millions of units in more than 120 countries.
So what makes the Mazda3 tick, as the brand’s best-selling product in SA and elsewhere? Well, the numbers clearly confirm the love but the 7th generation Mazda 3 has more.
Firstly, Mazda SA managing director Craig Roberts explained the car thus at its launch: “The Mazda3 is a strategic model that has driven Mazda’s growth from both a brand and business perspective. The outgoing 6th generation Mazda3 has delivered Mazda’s renowned driving pleasure to over 12,000 Southern Africa customers. Our mission is to build on this legacy and deliver a product that will exceed both customer expectations and industry standard with the next–generation Mazda3. The next generation of Mazda cars will enhance the value of the car-ownership experience. Through these products, Mazda Southern Africa, together with our dealer partners, aim to further raise Mazda’s brand value and work towards our goal of building ever stronger bonds our customers.”
The new Mazda 3 comes with three sets of categories: Active, Individual, Dynamic and Astina. And each has category has sedan and hatch models. While Active (tw models), Individual (two) and Dynamic (four) models are all driven by 1.5-litre engines, the two models of top of the range Astina have a 2-litre engine.
The good thing is that the Mazda3 is comfort all the way, despite your pocket. Take entry level specs of Active models for example, from driver height adjustable seat to 6-speed manual transmission, you are in the pound seats already. There are notable smart features as well, which include i-stop, a smart technology that saves fuel by switching off the engine when the car stops; auto on and off LED headlamps; rain-sensing wipers; smart keyless push-button engine start; and tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel and 16-inch silver metallic alloy wheels for maximum driving pleasure.
The standards such as the ABS break system, Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) are of a higher technology to ensure heightened safety in driving. For comfort and more driving pleasure, the standards include a multi-function steering wheel with controls and an 8.8-Inch display screen. The screen comes with Commander Dial, Apple Carplay & Android Auto, USB connectivity ports and Bluetooth hands-free system, with the audio enhanced by an eight-speaker sound system.
The Dynamic models add cruise control, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, rear parking sensors and leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob.
The Individual models come with mindblowing top-ups like smart advanced keyless entry,
dual-zone climate control air-conditioning, 10-way power-adjustable driver seat and 18-inch alloy wheels. The sound is bigger and crisp, thanks to 12-speaker BOSE sound system with a subwoofer.
The Astina on the other hand add enhanced visibility features, such as daytime running lamps (DRL), rear combination lamps (RCL), blind spot monitoring (BSM) and many more, as the billboard for a big event would hail!
1.5 Active 6MT : R359 900
1.5 Dynamic 6MT : R374 200
1.5 Dynamic 6AT : R387 000
1.5 Individual 6MT : R421 900
1.5 Individual 6AT : R434 700
2.0 Astina 6AT : R474 000
1.5 Active 6MT : R357 000
1.5 Dynamic 6MT : R371 300
1.5 Dynamic 6AT : R384 100
1.5 Individual 6MT : R418 800
1.5 Individual 6AT : R431 600
2.0 Astina 6AT : R470 800
The 7th generation Mazda3 range comes standard with a 3-year unlimited kilometre service plan. There’s also a 3-year factory warranty, 3-year roadside assistance and a 5-year corrosion warranty are also included.