Latest Mazda3 Gets Premium and ‘Connected’

CAR connectivity is the current trend and to ignore it and spare the costs might not work out well in the long run. Mazda obviously sees the wisdom of featuring connectivity in its range of vehicles and the latest Mazda3 in Malaysia comes well ‘connected’ in this respect, apart from other significant highlights.

One of them is being the first seventh generation model to adopt the latest evolvement of the KODO design and new generation of Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture that Mazda says is paired with ‘exciting driving dynamics’. Another significant milestone as pointed by Dato Sri Ben Yeoh, Executive Chairman of Bermaz Auto Berhad (the Mazad distributor here) during the vehicle launch is the higher level of refinement that he likens to that in a Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Along with the connectivity factor in the all-new 8.8-inch Mazda Connect Infotainment display, Mazda had channelled a fair bit of the development strategy in the new Mazda3 interior. This is approached on a ‘less is more’ concept that Mazda says would deliver a ‘simpler, more beautiful design that helps drivers experience a perfect fit and connectedness while driving’.

This has seen to a cockpit with a symmetrical layout and horizontal orientation that pares down all unnecessary elements. The central console is redesigned with a shift knob and new commander control; the armrests are moved forward and the cupholders repositioned to the front.

Matching the new ambience is the audio experience that Mazda says is the most significant change that couldn’t be seen. The advanced three-way layout on the standard eight-speaker sound system came early in the development process so that each speaker could be located in ideal locations. The woofers, which are often placed in the car doors, were moved to the front dashboard cowl.

Mazda says this allowed its engineers to reduce unwanted sound vibration such as items rattling in the door pockets without sacrificing any base output. The other speakers were positioned to transmit sound directly towards the occupant’s ears instead of the sound being reflected off the car’s windows or body panels.

To complement this premium aspect of motoring, Mazda also focused on reducing the noise, vibration and harshness in the new Mazda3 by identifying the sound characteristics that directly impact the cabin occupants. These included improvements such as the sound-absorbing functionality added to the headliner and floor mats, and applying a new ‘two-wall’ insulation structure that leaves a space between the body and carpeting on the floor.

With such premium goals, it might not be too farfetched to link the new Mazda3 interior to that of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class albeit at a far lower vehicle price. Nevertheless, those efforts have led to a higher price for the latest Mazda3, added by the fact that it is available as an imported (CBU – complete built-up) car for now. As to whether it would join the ranks of the locally assembled (CKD – complete knock down) range in the local Mazda model portfolio, this would be determined by the demand here.

The greater current preference for MPVs (multipurpose vehicles) and SUVs (sport utility vehicles) or Crossovers might have a hand in deciding that. It wouldn’t be cost effective to assemble vehicles in low volumes and the new Mazda3 might remain an import model for the immediate foreseeable future.

As it were, the prices are pretty attractive given the import status (the Mazda3 is brought in from Japan) with prices starting from RM139,620 on the road without insurance for the 1.5 models (sedan and liftback). The 2.0-litre sedan model comes at RM150,059 while the High Plus variants (sedan and liftback) are priced at RM160,059.

The respective engine packs a good punch; the Skyactiv-G 1.5-litre (1496cc) engine delivers 86.7kW (118hp) at 6000rpm and 153Nm at 4000rpm, and the Skyactiv-G 2.0-litre (1998cc) engine gives more at 119kW (162hp) at 6000rpm and 213Nm at 4000rpm. Both displacement variants come with Skyactiv Drive six-speed automatic with manual shift mode.

For those who would like to enjoy the new luxury in the latest Mazda3, a persuasive factor could arise in the strikingly fresh looks that toe a ‘single motion’ in its overall form. Mazda believes the new design approach has embodied the respective model – sedan and liftback – with different personalities.

That for the sedan features a ‘sleek and elegant’ profile that should appeal to the young family man while the ‘condensed and emotional’ aura of the liftback should gel with the young man about town. For the latter, the powerful C-pillars combine well with the elegantly tapered front to project a sporty stance.

Whatever your choice might be, the new Mazda3 looks certain to gain a higher level of respect it would command with its premium evolvement from the preceding model. Mazda sees this as the new direction for its range of cars and with the latest version of the Mazda3, it’s off to a very promising start.

Price list link here.
2019 ALL-NEW MAZDA3 - Price List-Pen M'sia.pdf
2019 ALL-NEW MAZDA3 - Price List-East M'sia.pdf

Specification link here.