NEW MAZDA3 IS SURE TO LEAVE YOU BEAMING
A COMMON utterance from people who got into the Mazda3 XD Astina, top of the new Mazda3 range, was that ‘it’s like a BMW’.
The sleek diesel hatch sells for $39,290 for the six-speed manual, two grand more for the six-speed auto driven.
That might sound a lot for a Mazda3 but when you drill down into what you get, the price is something of a bargain.
None of its direct competitors comes within a bull’s roar of the XD’s torque, rated at a monumental 420Nm from the 2.2-litre Skyactiv diesel donk. Some get close: the new Peugeot 308 GT has 400Nm but costs more. Ford Focus Titanium diesel is nowhere near, nor is the VW Golf diesel.
But power and torque are not really the issue here, it’s the overall drive feel, features, technology and the look that counts more for buyers.
And in this regard, the Mazda3 XD delivers in spades.
It has as standard all the driver assist features optionally available across most of the new Mazda3 line-up, all the luxury kit offered, a high tech connectivity system and ‘wow’ features like the head-up display, paddle shift, heated exterior mirrors and even what Mazda calls i-Eloop, regenerative braking that works in concert with engine stop/start to achieve fuel economy rated at 5.0 litres/100km for the manual, 5.2 for the auto.
As the flagship Mazda3, the XD has a long list of goodies including driver assist/safety systems like blind spot warning, auto headlights and wipers, lane departure warning, forward obstruction warning, smart city brake, reverse camera, rear cross traffic alert, radar cruise control and other handy features.
On top of that you get leather, Bose audio, a comprehensive infotainment system operated by a commander central control dial, large centrally-mounted info screen, dual zone climate control, GPS, sunroof, bi xenon headlights with cornering lights, single centre speedo/tacho dial, keyless entry and button start.
It is a surprisingly sporty car for a diesel, offering strong off-the-mark acceleration.
It’s a good size inside and the boot is a decent size too.
Something to consider if you can’t run to a Merc C-Class, BMW 320d or Audi A4 TDi. The XD is better value, has more performance and as much or more standard kit.
The top of the range Mazda3 XD.
Anthony Martin on his way to fourth place at the Lucas Oil oval raceway.