The best seller in Mazda’s Australian line-up, the Mazda3 small hatch and sedan range has come in for a mid-life nip and tuck, bringing new technology both inside and out, including Mazda’s new G-Vectoring Control chassis technology.
Mazda has kept the range the same as before, with the Neo, Maxx, and Touring variants powered by a 114kW/200Nm 2.0 litre petrol engine, and the SP25, SP25 GT and SP25 Astina utilising a 138kW/250Nm 2.5 litre petrol engine.
All variants in the Mazda3 range retain a choice of six-speed manual, or six-speed automatic transmission.
On the outside the Mazda3 range wears a new front bumper, featuring a reprofiled grille surround which flows into revamped headlights, with LED headlights for the GT and Astina.
Safety technology has been updated with Smart City Brake Support standard across the range, while Maxx variants and above pick up SCBS Reverse, Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
Also new to the Mazda3, Driver Attention Alert and Lane-Keep Assist, both of which which were introduced on the Mazda6 and CX-5 ranges last year.
The 16-inch alloy wheel design of the Neo, Maxx, and Touring stays the same, but the 18-inch wheels of the SP25 range have redesigned, with a new dark gloss finish reserved for the top-shelf Astina.
On the inside Mazda has updated the MZD-Connect system on Maxx and above with DAB+ digital radio now standard on those models, a new screen surround gives a more integrated appearance, and the steering wheel from the CX-9 has been fitted.
GT and Astina come fitted with a colour Active Driving Display (or head-up dispaly) unit, which also shows information from Mazda’s new Traffic Sign Recognition System which recognises speed signs and offers prompts if the speed limit is exceeded.
Under the skin Mazda has added G-Vectoring Control, a system designed to improve the 3’s already sharp handling while reducing driver strain, (for a full rundown of how the system works click here) as well as making small adjustments to the suspension and steering to compliment G-Vactiring Control.
Standard equipment on the entry level Neo includes cloth seat trim, height adjustable driver’s seat, cruise control, air conditioning, four-speaker audio with Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel audio controls, push-button ignition, trip computer, six airbags, smart city brake support, and rear park sensors.
The Maxx adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear knob, 7.0-inch colour touchscreen display with rotary controller, six-speaker audio, digital radio, internet radio app connectivity, satellite navigation, auto dimming rear view mirrors, reverse camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and smart city brake support – reverse.
Moving up to the Touring brings automatic headlights and wipers, leather seat trim, driver’s lumbar adjustment, dual zone climate control, and an electronic park brake.
The more power SP25 reverts back to cloth seat trim, but does get keyless entry, auto lights and wipers, dual zone climate, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a bootlip spoiler for sedan models.
With more of a premium feel, the SP25 GT features leather seat trim, nine-speaker Bose audio, LED headlights, tail lights, and running lights, colour head-up display, heated power adjustable front seats, traffic sign recognition, and driver attention alert.
The range-topping SP25 Astina goes further with radar cruise control, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, forward obstruction warning, additional driver’s seat power adjustment and two-position memory, and a powered sunroof.
Both hatch and sedan variants are priced the same. Prices exclude on-road costs
Neo manual – $20,490
Neo automatic – $22,490
Maxx manual – $22,890
Maxx automatic – $24,890
Touring manual – $25,290
Touring automatic – $27,290
SP25 manual – $25,690
SP25 automatic – $27,690
SP25 GT manual – $29,990
SP25 GT automatic – $31,990
SP25 Astina manual – $33,490
SP25 Astina automatic – $35,490