The new Mazda 3 Sedan is pricy but is it worth it?


The C-Segment sedan market in Malaysia is now more competitive than ever with consumers demanding for even more style and tech. Both attributes are what defines the all-new Mazda 3 Sedan.

With Mazda’s global move of going upmarket as well as our unfavourable duties and tax structure on fully imported cars (Mazda 3 will be CBU Japan), prices have shot up considerably compared to the outgoing model. With a price range of RM139,620 to RM160,059, many would go “I can buy a CX-5 for that money”. But what exactly are you getting from the fourth-generation Mazda 3?

QUICK FACTS

Name

Mazda 3 1.5L SkyActiv-G Sedan

Mazda 3 2.0L SkyActiv-G High Sedan

Mazda 3 2.0L SkyActiv-G High Plus Sedan

Engine

1,496cc; naturally aspirated 4-cylinder

1,998cc; naturally aspirated 4-cylinder

Transmission

6-speed automatic

Max Power

118 hp @ 6,000 rpm

162 hp @ 6,000 rpm

Max Torque

153 Nm @ 4,000 rpm

213 Nm @ 4,000 rpm

Price (OTR without insurance)

RM139,620

RM150,059

RM160,059

Although the Mazda 3 is offered in both Sedan and Hatchback body styles, the two are styled with a unique flavour. The Mazda 3 Hatchback is an emotive object being based off the Mazda Kai Concept while the Sedan features a more executive look that takes after the Mazda 6.

Differentiating cues on the two cars, other than the body style, include the lower intakes on the front bumper, grille design and finish (sedan in chrome, hatchback in dark chrome), chrome window lining position (sedan upper half, hatchback lower half) and rear door fixtures.

LED headlamps and taillamps are standard across the range but the LED signature illumination is reserved for the High Plus variant while lower range models settle for halogen units. The entry-level 1.5 model settles for manual door lock and 16-inch alloys wrapped in 205/60 profile rubbers while the High Plus gets the Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry system (available on High) and upsized 18-inch alloy wrapped in 215/45 profile tyres.

Mazda has evolved the cabin architecture further to give a greater sense of Jinba Ittai (horse & rider as one) to the driver. In plain English, it means a more driver-focused cabin. The driver’s area now has a single-seater vibe with the air vents and driver dashboard encapsulating the instrument cluster and steering wheel.

The MZD Connect infotainment system has an entirely new, vibrant and more intuitive interface with a larger display screen that measures 8.8-inches. To minimise driver distractions, the infotainment screen is no longer touch sensitive and has been moved further away from the driver to improve outward visibility. The display is also now angled towards the driver as opposed to a straight layout from before.

Standard equipment on the new Mazda 3 is generous and extensive. All variants get the new instrument cluster with a 7.0-inch coloured multi-info display at the centre flanked with analogue dials on either side, coloured heads-up display, 8.8-inch MZD Connect infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 8 speakers, push start button, auto-dimming rearview mirror and carpeted floor mats.

On the 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre High variant, the seats are finished in fabric (manual adjustment) and the multifunctional steering wheel does not come with paddle shifters. You’d also get a manual climate control toggle.

Stepping up to the High Plus variant and the cabin is noticeably more premium, furnished with leather seats, 10-way powered driver’s seat with memory function, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear air vents (High variant included) and a powered sunroof.

Engine options are an interesting topic on the new Mazda 3 with the entry-level variant powered by the 1.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder SkyActiv-G petrol engine pushing out the same figures on the Mazda 2, 118 hp and 153 Nm of torque. The 2.0-litre also naturally aspirated four-pot SkyActiv-G option is carried over from before, developing 162 hp and 213 Nm.

One strong criticism from netizens is the use of torsion beam at the rear axle as opposed to a multi-link setup of its predecessor. Naturally, torsion beam doesn’t sound too convincing to buyers especially at this price point, but Mazda has assured that with the improved SkyActive chassis architecture and advancements in torsion beam technology, this is the ideal set up for what the consumers and engineers are chasing after.

On the safety front, all variants come with 7 airbags, Dynamic Stability Control, G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC+), speed sensing auto lock (finally!), electronic parking brake with auto hold and Hill Launch Assist.

The High Plus variant is the first Japanese C-segment sedan to come with the full suite of Advanced Driving Assistance System, Mazda’s i-Activsense. It bundles Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Smart Brake Support, Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Driver Attention Assist, Adaptive Front Lighting System and High Beam Control.

Six colour options will be available for the Mazda 3 Sedan – Soul Red Crystal, Machine Grey, Jet Black, Deep Crystal Blue, Sonic Silver and Snowflake White Pearl. Every purchase comes with a 5-Years Unlimited Mileage Warranty and 5-Years Free Scheduled Service.


IMAGE GALLERY

All-New Mazda 3 Sedan Launched in Malaysia


Adrian Chia

Adrian Chia

He believes that the perfect remedy to Monday blues is a mixture of 4 wheels, clear roads and a pinch of twisty tarmac. A hot hatch is the icing on the cake.
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