Mazda adds more tech to 3
All that is missing from a raft of driver assist technologies in the facelifted Mazda3 is an autonomous driving button, but driver attention alert (DAA) will help monitor fatigue levels
MAZDA has introduced the newlook Mazda3 model range, including the Astina Plus model, (shown) all with the latest in vehicle motion control technology available in the Mazda stable.
Top on the list of this tech is G-Vectoring Control (GVC), which is only available on the two-litre models and controls engine torque for improved handling around corners.
The G-Vectoring Control was born of Mazda’s human-centred development philosophy and the novel idea of using the engine to enhance chassis performance. It is the world’s first control system to vary engine torque in response to steering inputs in order to provide integrated control of lateral and longitudinal acceleration forces and optimise the vertical load on each wheel for smooth and efficient vehicle motion.
Available as a sedan or a hatchback, the new Astina Plus model also has Smart City Brake Support (SCBS), Adaptive LED Headlights (ALH), Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Driver Attention Alert (DAA) and Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM), which is also available on the Astina derivative. All that is missing is the autonomous driving button, but the Astina Plus makes up for it with a driver attention alert, or DAA. As in the systems used by Ford and several trucking brands, DAA is designed to reduce accidents caused by inattentiveness due to driver fatigue.
The system is activated at speeds above 65 km/h and begins to “learn” the driver’s habits, watching inputs and the vehicle’s movements in the early stages before fatigue is a factor.
Later, if the system detects changes in vehicle behaviour that suggests the driver may be losing concentration, it will suggest a rest stop by sounding a chime and displaying a warning on the Multi-Information screen.
Interior enhancements on the new-look Mazda3 range, which is still available in both 1,6 litre and two-litre engines include standard Bluetooth from entry model, standard Cruise Control on Individual models and the introduction of Auto Shift Switch, also known as Paddle-shift, on the six-speed automatic transmission models. To maintain the values of older Mazda3 models, very little distinguishes the updated Mazda3 nose from the predecessor, there is an updated Mazda badge that sits slightly lower than the current model’s badge, redesigned fog lights, alloy wheels and side skirts.
The back of the hatch received a bit more of a makeover to look sleeker and five new colours are on sale, including “Machine Grey Metallic”, which colour Mazda said in a statement is from the group’s premium colour palette and “expresses the beauty of a machine’s strength and precision and achieves both highcontrast shadows and a highdensity finish to give a realistic metallic feel”. A five-year corrosion warranty backs this metal under the paint.
A three-year unlimited kilometre factory warranty, roadside assistance, and service plan accompany the rust warranty.
Pricing for the six Mazda3 models starts at R258 900 for the 1,6 l Original with manual transmission and goes up to R407 900 for the Mazda3 2.0 Astina Plus with an automatic shifter.