Well, Mazda have certainly dished up what the public wants in spades with the new Mazda3 Hatch. Small car suitable for crowded cities? Tick. Small and reasonably frugal engine? Tick. Snappy modern looks? Tick. Lots of choice when it comes to trim/feature level? Tick yet again.
The first thing that’s worthy of discussion when it comes to the Mazda3 Hatch is definitely the fuel economy. We’re all conscious of the effect that consuming fossil fuels has on the environment and we’re aware of how much it costs, too. Hybrid and electric vehicles are all very well (assuming that your electricity doesn’t ultimately come from fossil fuel-powered generation plants) and having a small engine that’s been designed to please the most Scrooge-like of Scrooges is another important way to cut consumption. The Mazda3 Hatch has been given Mazda’s new SkyActiv treatment. This is technology that goes beyond just having a small engine and uses clever thinking like reducing the friction in the transmission (as well as making the transmission lighter) so less friction is there to sap up the power, whether you prefer a manual or an automatic (the Mazda3 Hatch comes in either). The bodyshell is light so it consumes less power but is still tough. SkyActiv really kicks in, though in the engine, with a unique piston design to deliver the most bang for buck, and a very precise multi-hole fuel electronic direct injection system for the petrol version you’ll find in most variants of the Mazda3 Hatch. Throw in the fuel saving Stop/Start function to cut the engines instead of idling at the lights and you’ve got a very thrifty little beast indeed: the 2.0-litre unit gets a combined fuel economy figure of 5.9 L/100 km in the manual version and 5.8 L/100 km in the auto. In the power department, this reaches its peak at 138 kW when the rev counter reaches 5700 rpm while the torque hit the maximum at 250 Nm at 3250 rpm. In the 2.5-litre petrol variants, the fuel economy drops slightly to 5.9 L/100 km in the manual, while the power and torque ramp up a bit to 114 kW at 6000 rpm and 200 Nm at 4000 rpm respectively.
There’s a lot of choice out there with the Mazda3 Hatch, as there are six basic variants on this nippy little city vehicle. At the bottom rung of the ladder, you have the Neo; at the other end, you have the SP25 Astina. In between, you have the Maxx, the Touring, the SP25 and the SP25 GT. If you’re in a picky mood, you could count the XD Astina as a seventh variant (this one departs from the norm by having a 2.2-litre diesel engine: combined fuel economy figure of 5.0 in the manual, top power of 129 kW at 4500 rpm and top torque of 420 Nm at 2000 rpm). And when it comes to trim and feature packages, the Neo, the Maxx, the Touring, the SP25 and the SP25 GT all have extra safety packs, bringing the grand total of possible variants to a very lucky 13. The Neo, the Maxx and the Touring have the 2.0-litre engine; the SP25s have the 2.5-litre version.
So let’s start at the bottom (the Neo) to see what the Mazda3 Hatch can deliver for any driver. For a start off, it delivers some clean, streamlined looks that are enhanced by a rear spoiler, and body coloured bumpers, door handles and mirrors, finished off with a chrome-tipped exhaust. Style-wise, all variants of the Mazda3 Hatch (not just the Neo) are very curvaceous and borders on being coupés, although the five doors and its close links with its sedan sibling make it a hatchback. Inside the Neo variant of the Mazda3 Hatch, you’ll find a respectable audio system with four speakers, USB input and steering wheel-mounted controls; Bluetooth hands free preparation; air-con; cruise control; one-touch power windows for the driver’s door; push-button stopping and starting; and cloth-trimmed seats all round.
While the bells and whistles on offer in the Mazda3 Hatch Neo are on the rudimentary side (but are still fair enough), the safety hasn’t been skimped on. In the active safety department, it’s been fitted out with dynamic stability control, ABS brakes with EBD and emergency brake assist, and hill launch assist. On the passive safety front, there’s airbags all round (curtain front and rear, and front and side for driver and passenger), seatbelt warning lights and three-point pretensioned load-limited seatbelts in all five seats… and Isofix child seat preparation in the back seat. The safety pack upgrade to the Neo adds in blind spot monitoring, Mazda’s Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Smart City Brake Support and traction control.
At the other end of the spectrum, in the Astina variants of the Mazda3 Hatch, you’ll find a lot more. The headlights get an upgrade to a bi-Xenon adaptive system and similar upgrades can be seen from there on back. You’ll find a 7-inch colour display screen, satellite navigation, nine Bose speakers, dual-zone climate control, leather (steering wheel, handbrake and gearshift knob as well as the seats), heaps more ways to adjust the heated seats and the Active Driving Display. There are also a whole lot more driving safety aids, such as the Forward Obstruction Warning, the High Beam Control, the Lane Departure Warning, a reversing camera and “ordinary” Smart Brake Support on top of all the feature of the Neo’s safety pack.
Sifting one’s way through all the differences among the six or seven main types can take a fair bit of time. For example, the SP25 GT throws in a bit more height compared to its “plain” SP25 brother, plus some other little bits like daytime running lights, power mirrors, LED tail lamps, some extra speakers, plus some other goodies like Active Driving Display. And don’t forget the packs, such as the safety packs for the Neo, Maxx, Tourer, SP25 and SP25 GT, and the sunroof pack for the SP25 GT.
But no matter what you choose, you’re going to get a good little hatchback at the end of it all that’s suitable for the typical city family, couple or single. All in all, the Mazda3 Hatch is bound to be yet another crowd-pleaser from this manufacturer that will inevitably be seen widely on the streets before too long.
Current model series include:
For any more information on the Mazda3 Hatch, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quotes requests out to our national network of Mazda dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!