THE next generation Mazda3 sedan has arrived in Australia, adding a mature note of elegance to showroom floors alongside its sporty hatchback sibling, with the pair now also scoring a 5-star ANCAP safety rating.
The distinctly different body style shares the much improved underpinnings, advanced features, safety equipment and revised power trains of the hatchback, adding the versatility of a bigger car and a unique trim option to accentuate its refined styling.
Enigmatic in its segment, the elongated form belies the typically compact proportions of a small car, achieved by skillful application of Mazda’s matured Kodo design language.
Designers invoked the principles of beauty by subtraction, using smooth surfaces to unite the bonnet, sides and boot and give the effect of a single, flowing brushstroke from nose to tail.
Front and rear elements are simplified and horizontally oriented, emphasising the sedan’s low, wide stance. This graceful new design also extends to practical gains, with cargo room increased to 444 litres, up from 408 litres on the outgoing model.
In the cabin, the exterior’s simple beauty is matched with streamlined instruments and premium finishes. Pure White leather is uniquely offered for the Mazda3 G25 Astina for the greatest expression of elegance.
Like the hatchback, the cabin is centred on the driver to strengthen the sense of harmony between car and driver, incorporating Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture, which covers a wide range of new technologies that deliver improved ride and handling.
These technologies include a new seat design, new suspension set up, new tyre design and improved damping and insulation in the body and cabin, while there’s also a long list of advanced i-Activsense safety features.
Standard safety kit now also includes smart brake support, lane keep assist, lane departure warnings, traffic sign recognition and forward obstruction warning. The G25 Astina also gets driver monitoring, front cross traffic alert, and cruise and traffic support.
Like the hatchback, the Mazda3 sedan is available with a choice of two power trains; the latest versions of the Skyactiv-G 2.0-litre and Skyactiv-G 2.5-litre petrol engines. Both feature redesigned ports and pistons, improved fuel injection and enhanced performance.
The Skyactiv-G 2.5-litre also benefits from cylinder deactivation to improve fuel economy, and makes gains in power and torque. Power is boosted from 138kW to 139kW and torque is lifted from 250Nm to 252Nm.
The new Mazda3 sedan is offered in six grades, all available with a choice of six-speed Skyactiv-MT manual or a six-speed Skyactiv-Drive automatic transmission. The sedan comes in seven body colours.
These include Soul Red Crystal Metallic, Machine Grey Metallic, Snowflake White Pearl Mica, Sonic Silver Metallic, Deep Crystal Blue Mica, Jet Black Mica and Titanium Flash Mica.
Both variants feature Mazda’s five-year warranty and five-year roadside assistance as standard. Meanwhile, from today, the Mazda6 gets improved technologies and a simpler power train line-up.
Improving its powerful driving feel and dynamic handling, the Mazda6 adopts G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus), an enhanced version of Mazda’s vehicle dynamics control technology, across all grades.
There’s also tyre pressure monitoring, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto across the range, as well as the addition of a second radio antenna for improved reception and clearer sound.
For the range-topping Atenza, the creature comfort list has also been extended with the addition of a heated steering wheel. A simplified power train line-up gives customers the choice between two highly efficient and powerful Skyactiv petrol engines.
Sport and Touring grades are offered with the naturally aspirated Skyactiv-G 2.5-litre petrol engine. Equipped with cylinder deactivation, fuel economy is now 7.0-litres/100km, with 140kW of power and 252Nm of torque.
The higher spec GT and Atenza models come standard with the prodigious Skyactiv-G 2.5T turbocharged petrol engine. The engine’s dynamic pressure turbo system delivers 170kW of power and 420Nm of torque.
Pricing for the upgraded Mazda6 starts at $34,490 plus on-roads. There are eight variants available, with two body types; wagon and sedan.