Up­grade heads Mazda fight

Corolla beware, Mazda plans a come­back with value up­grades, writes NEIL McDON­ALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

WITH the Toy­ota Corolla storm­ing up the sales charts, Mazda has sharp­ened its value pen across its small-car range in an ef­fort to stay in the game.

The Mazda3 sedan and hatch gain value up­grades worth $1600 across the range and elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol is now stan­dard on the SP23.

The Maxx has ef­fec­tively been dropped. The range now con­sists of the Neo Sport, Maxx Sport, Diesel, SP23 and MPS mod­els.

Pric­ing for the 2.0-litre tur­bod­iesel has been cut $1000 to $29,500 and the tur­bocharged MPS trimmed $1240 to $38,750.

All mod­els have mi­nor cos­metic changes de­signed to keep the car fresh be­fore the next-gen­er­a­tion ar­rives next year.

The en­try Neo Sport re­tains its $20,990 start­ing price but gains 15-inch al­loys, elec­tric win­dows and mir­rors, and an AUX jack for iPod com­pat­i­bil­ity.

The car’s in­te­rior trim has been up­graded. The Neo Sport re­tains a com­pre­hen­sive list of stan­dard kit, in­clud­ing dual front airbags, air­con­di­tion­ing, a six-disc CD player, cruise con­trol, re­mote cen­tral lock- ing, driver’s seat height adjustment and a height and reach-ad­justable steer­ing wheel.

The $25,500 Maxx Sport car­ries over its six airbags and now gets chrome outer door han­dles and re­designed 16-inch al­loys. The in­te­rior cloth trim takes some in­spi­ra­tion from the SP23.

The Neo Sport and Maxx Sport 2.0-litre four cylin­der car­ries over, de­vel­op­ing 108kW at 6500 revs and 182Nm at 4500 revs. It mates to a five-speed man­ual or op­tional four­speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

The Diesel sedan and hatch have the same im­prove­ments and high level of spec­i­fi­ca­tion as the Maxx Sport.

Pric­ing for the 2.3-litre SP23 re­mains at $29,600, but it gets chrome outer door han­dles and elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol with a trac­tion con­trol sys­tem, pre­vi­ously pack­aged into the SP23 Lux­ury.

Inside, the SP23 gets the same trim as the MPS. The cen­tre con­sole and other in­te­rior high­lights are fin­ished in pi­ano black.

The tur­bocharged Mazda3 MPS gets sim­i­lar in­te­rior up­grades and a new cloth trim with red high­lights.

So far this year Toy­ota has sold 12,002 Corol­las, com­pared with Mazda’s 8779 Maz­da3s.

Price pleaser: the Mazda3 MPS gets in­te­rior up­grades and its price has been cut by more than $1200.

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