Mazda3 goes for ul­tra-mod­ern push

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By STU­ART MARTIN

AUS­TRALIA’S favourite car, the Mazda3, has been given more fire­power in the 2012 sales race.

The Ja­panese brand has boosted the fea­tures list for the small car range by adding Blue­tooth— stan­dard in key com­peti­tors Cruze and Corolla — to the en­try-level $20,330 Neo model with­out adding to the price tag.

The sys­tem will en­able hands-free phone use and mu­sic stream­ing, the lat­ter also on of­fer via a USB in­put. A USB con­nec­tion also al­lows for full iPod in­te­gra­tion and func­tion via the steer­ing-wheel-mounted con­trols and in­for­ma­tion be­ing dis­played on the cen­tre dis­play. So far this year the Mazda3 has sold more than 28,000 units and was just ahead of the Toy­ota’s HiLux range of two and four-wheel-drive util­ity ve­hi­cles in sec­ond and the soon-to-be-re­placed Corolla in third.

Mazda Aus­tralia’s na­tional mar­ket­ing man­ager Alas­tair Doak says the Mazda3 is Aus­tralia’s most pop­u­lar car and the up­dates were de­signed to main­tain that. ‘‘With the in­tro­duc­tion of Blue­tooth and USB across the en­tire range . . . we ex­pect the ap­peal to continue.

‘‘The fact that the lat­est en­hance­ments come at no ex­tra cost shows that we are in­tent on giv­ing Mazda buy­ers more,’’ he says.

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