Upgrade heads Mazda fight
Corolla beware, Mazda plans a comeback with value upgrades, writes NEIL McDONALD
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.