Mazda has been selling up a storm in Australia in recent months and part of their improving performance is the very popular Mazda3 range. Not content to rest on their laurels, Mazda has launched the Mazda3 Sport range, bringing even more features, improved safety and better value to its best-selling model.
Beginning this month, the Mazda3 Sport range will be available in Neo Sport, Maxx Sport, Diesel, SP23 and MPS variants, all sporting a host of cosmetic changes.
The Mazda3 Sport range offers a choice of two body styles, four transmissions and four specification grades. Vehicles in the range are available in up to 12 colours including four new to the Mazda3 range; Copper Red, Golden Sand, Metropolitan Grey and Stormy Blue.
The base model Neo Sport retains its $20,990 starting price and is packed with $1600 worth of extra value. Its 15-inch steel wheels are replaced by alloys while power windows and mirrors and an AUX jack for iPod compatibility are now standard. An upgraded black cloth seat and door trim completes the makeover.
Other standard features on the Mazda3 Neo Sport include dual front airbags, air-conditioning, a 6-disc CD player, cruise control, remote central locking, driver's seat height adjustment and tilt and a telescopic adjustable steering wheel.
Priced from $25,500 the petrol-powered Mazda3 Maxx Sport gets six airbags (driver, passenger, front-side and front- and rear-curtain), chrome outer door handles and a new design 16-inch alloy wheel. An upgraded cloth interior trim takes inspiration from the SP23, and a sleek centre console in Piano Black gives its interior a luxurious feel.
The 2.0-litre engine that powers the Neo Sport and Maxx Sport outputs a healthy 108kW and 182Nm and is available with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. The 2.0-litre manual returns 8.2L/100km on the ADR 81/01 cycle.
The Mazda3 Diesel sedan and hatch enjoys the same improvements and increased specification as the Maxx Sport, and is priced at $29,500. The Mazda3's up-to-the-minute diesel boasts a best-in-class 360Nm and 105kW and accelerates from 0-100kmh in 9.5 seconds with a standard six-speed manual gearbox.
The 2.3-litre Mazda3 SP23 (115kW and 203Nm) is priced from $29,600 and now offers even more refinement and value across its base and luxury grades. Chrome outer door handles and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Traction Control System (TCS), previously packaged into the SP23 Luxury, are now standard features on the SP23.
Inside, the SP23 gets a new ultra-quality seat and door trim cloth courtesy of its big brother MPS, and a centre console, instrument panels, steering wheel and power window switch bezels all in Piano Black.
The turbocharged Mazda3 MPS gets similar interior upgrades along with a brand new cloth trim with red highlights. Priced from $38,750, the MPS is equipped with a 2.3-litre engine that belts out 190kw and 380Nm.
More than 130,000 Australians have taken delivery of a Mazda3 since its launch in January 2004.
Mazda3 Sport range
Sedan and Hatch
Mazda3 Neo Sport $20,990
With Safety Pack $22,690
Auto transmission $2,000
Mazda3 Maxx Sport $25,500
With DSC $26,500
Auto transmission $2,000
Mazda3 Diesel $29,500
Mazda3 SP23 $29,600
With Luxury Pack $31,600
Auto transmission $2,260
Mazda3 MPS $38,750
With Sports Pack $42,250