|The Mazda3 has recently reached a production milestone of 3 million units in just seven years and ten months since production of the first-generation model commenced. Mazda’s fastest-selling variant in its passenger car range has over 560,000 customers in the European continent alone, with approximately 80,000 of European owners driving the current generation introduced in 2009. The three-millionth Mazda3 is a Japanese-specification five-door hatchback with MZR-2.0L engine, i-stop and a Crystal White Pearl Mica exterior (above). Mazda3 is produced at three Mazda facilities globallly: the Hofu Plant in Yamaguchi, Japan; the Changan Ford Mazda Automobile (CFMA) plant in Nanjing, China; and AutoAlliance Thailand (AAT). The variant is sold in approximately 90 countries|
The newest generation Mazda3 was an instant hit not only among its the European enthusiasts but across the globe. The Mazda3’s exterior design scores high regards thanks to its sleek, dynamic, sporty and aggressive demeanor. In either the four-door sedan or five-door hatchback, the Mazda3 covers a chassis with a relatively long wheelbase, at 2,640 mm. Short front and rear overhangs underscore the compact’s character. With large wheels, and a front and rear track of 1,530 and 1,515 mm respectively (with 17-inch or 16-inch tyres), the wheel wells are almost completely filled out. At the front, its strikingly designed large grille is horizontally articulated and flanked by two body openings placed at the edges of the vehicle, giving the front a sports car semblance.
The chassis, aided by the lightweight body shell, is reinforced by enhanced crossmember towers at the front axle, strengthened body joints and multi-link rear suspension. This combination provides high torsional stiffness, while ensuring driving agility, and a balanced and predictable handling and road hold.
In Malaysia, Bermaz Motor, the official distributor of Mazda vehicles, offers two engine variants in Completely Knock-down (CKD) versions. Available in 1.6 litre 4-speed activematic and 2.0 litre 5-speed activematic & direct mode, the two variants promise plenty of fun-to-drive derivatives. The 1.6l produces 103hp at 6000 rpm, while the 2.0l gives 145 at 6500 rpm.
Interior of the base grade Mazda3 consists of a long list of standard equipment. Power adjustable side mirrors are standard, as is telescopic and vertical steering wheel adjustment. The base grade audio system comes with a CD player (6-disc changer for 2.0l) with MP3 capability and an AUX jack for hooking up MP3 devices. For the 2.0l, steering paddle shifters, auto cruise control, leather wrap gear knob & steering wheel, dual-zone air condition, bi-xenon headlights, auto wipers with rain sensor and side and curtain airbags are added to the package. Up to five passengers are pampered on the inside by above-average roominess (for a compact car) and a long list of comfort features. Also typical for the Mazda brand is the interior’s high quality feel with carefully crafted materials. The driver area is designed like a pilot’s cockpit centred on the driver with intuitive human-machine interface (HMI) functionality. All controls are grouped according to their function.
Safety equipment are paramount on all Mazda variants and the Mazda3 happens to be fitted with a more than adequate list of passive and active safety equipments. Standard active safety equipment enlisted are; dynamic stability control (DSC), traction control system (TCS), ABS and brake assist. Depending on range and markets, emergency stop signal (ESS) is available as a standard feature, as are adaptive front lighting system (AFS) with bi-xenon headlamps and the rear vehicle monitoring system (RVM).
The Mazda3 is among the safest vehicles in the compact segment and was awarded five stars on Euro NCAP crash testing in November 2009. Among its pertinent passive safety are; a triple-H body architecture, sophisticated front and rear deformation zones, high-tensile steels in the pillars and side sills, active head restraints with whiplash-prevention on the front seats (2.0l and above), two front airbags, two side airbags (integrated curtain airbags for 2.0l variant), seat belts with double pretensioners (driver´s seat only), degressive load-limiter retractors and energy-absorbing foam in the front bumper beam for pedestrian protection.
The Mazda3 Sport CKD 1.6l and 2.0l are available in two derivatives; the 1.6 Sedan GL and 1.6 Hatchback GL is priced at 95,000 and 100,000 on-the-road with insurance, while the 2.0 Sedan GL and 2.0 Hatchback GLS retail for RM 115,000 o and RM120,000 n-the-road with insurance respectively. Test drive a Mazda3 at your nearest Bermaz Showoom now!