A favourite gets bet­ter

The long-in-the-tooth Mazda3 now has Blue­tooth

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - ASK SMITHY - STU­ART MARTIN

via the steer­ing-wheel mounted con­trols and in­for­ma­tion shown on the cen­tre dis­play.

The Mazda3 sold more than 28,000 up to the start of this month, just ahead of the Toy­ota’s HiLux range of twoand four-wheel drive util­ity ve­hi­cles. The soon-to-bere­placed Corolla in third. Along with a facelift last year, the ex­tra kit is in­tended to keep the 3 in front un­til the new model ar­rives next year.

The top spec Mazda3 MPS hot hatch gets cos­metic changes and no change to the $39,490 pric­etag.

‘‘ It’s a tweak with the MPS. It was made avail­able to us, the MPS wasn’t part of that facelift last year so it was an op­por­tu­nity for us to bring some up­dates to the MPS as well,’’ Mazda spokesman Steve Maciver says.

As to that anoma­lous acro­nym – MPS is sup­posed the stand for Mazda Per­for­mance Se­ries – the ‘‘ range’’ will continue to be counted on one fin­ger with no chance of new Mazda6 ver­sion. ‘‘ The main vol­ume mar­ket for the Mazda6 MPS is the US but ul­ti­mately the vol­ume wasn’t there, that’s the rea­son the de­ci­sion was made to stop pro­duc­tion of the car. There’s no plans to add more MPS mod­els,’’ Maciver says.

Facelift: The Mazda3 Neo is try­ing to keep ahead of its ri­vals

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