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

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - — Wheels Re­porter.

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.

PHOTO: QUICKPIC

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