JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – Just arrived in South African auto showrooms is the seventh generation of the Mazda3 whose ”shape” is dictated not so much by the sheet metal but by clever paintwork and light reflections.
There are two versions – hatchbank and sedan, and The Corner told you about them back in November 2018.
Craig Roberts, MD of Mazda SA, told the Corner in a media release:”The car is strategic in that it has driven Mazda’s growth as a brand. The outgoing 6th generation Mazda3 reached more than 12 000 sales in SA so our mission now is to build on that.
”This iteration will enhance Mazda in southern Africa, raising the brand’s value and working towards our goal of building ever-stronger bonds with buyers.”
The overall design, the automaker says, undulations to bring the styling to life through shifting light and reflections that glide over the body surface (see image above).
CALM AND APPEALING
Despite sharing the Mazda3 badge, however, the hatch and sedan are said to have distinct personalities – the hatch ”dynamic”, the sedan ”elegant”.
The bodies, Mazda says, feature a horizontal flow that accentuates a wide and low stance, while presenting a calmness that appeals to a sophisticated audience. The hatch is meant to be sportier and ”more emotional”, featuring C-pillars that do away with traditional body lines and adopt constantly shifting reflections.
Some models will be running on 18” alloy rim/tyre combinations.
The cabins are said to be quieter and ”minimalistic”, uncluttered with controls and switches having”a consistent and unified feel that provide the driver with intuitive operation of the cabin”.
There are two interior colour options: a recognised black on the sedan, optional burgundy red leather upholster is available. There’s a full list of specs at the end of this feature.
The new 3 also has redesigned seats, a re-tuned body structure. Punted engines are the latest Skyactiv-G 1.5 and 2.0 engines. As an entry package option, the Active derivative will be available with a 1.5 engine in manual transmission. The Dynamic 1.5 with either manual or auto The Astina 2.0 auto will have the full package.
Mazda3 Astina i-Activsense crash mitigation features include adaptive diode headlights, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitors. gradient start assistance, anti-lick brakes, child-seat anchors, and stability control.
Mazda has the maximum five-star crash mitigation rating from Euro NCAP.
The cars will be delivered with a three-year but unlimited distance service plan, a three-year factory warranty, three years of roadside assistance, and a five-year anti-rust-through warranty
MODEL RANGE, PRICES, AND FEATURES
Mazda3 1.5 Active manual hatch – R359 900 | Sedan – R357 000
Mazda3 1.5 Dynamic manual – Hatch R374 200 | Sedan R371,300
Auto 1.5 Hatch – R387 000 | Sedan R384 100
Mazda3 Ind 1.5 manual – Hatch R421 900 | Sedan R241 ,800
Auto 1.5 Hatch R434 700 | Sedan R431 600
Mazda3 2.0 Astina auto – Hatch R474 000 | Sedan R470 800