MAZDA3 DIESEL AUSTRALIA
Driven by the same 2.2 litre diesel found in the Mazda6 and CX-5 models, the XD Astina will offer 129kW of power and 420Nm of torque. In the relatively light 3, that robust torque figure will likely translate into eager on-road performance.
The new model will be available in hatch form only, but with a choice of six-speed SkyActiv manual and automatic transmissions.
The XD Astina’s arrival will also mark the debut of Mazda’s i-ELOOP regnerative braking system in the 3 range, contributing to fuel consumption figures of just 5.0 l/100km.
Full details are still to come, although Mazda adds that the XD Astina will feature a unique red trim to the front grille’s chrome trim to set it apart from the petrol models.
“Diesel is a core part of Mazda’s technology strategy and it’s great to add the SKYACTIV-D engine to our best-selling Mazda3 range,” Mazda Australia marketing boss Alastair Doak said.
“The SKYACTIV-D has been well received in both Mazda6 and CX-5 and it’ll offer something very special when it arrives in the lighter and smaller Mazda3.”
As the battle for Australian small-car supremacy continues (Toyota’s Corolla led the 3 in April, 3504 to 2842 sales), Mazda will be looking to the new diesel model to boost interest in its already popular small car.
But while the new engine option will fill a gap and respond to buyers hungry for a diesel, the up-spec XD Astina is likely to be priced at the top of the range.
Mazda is keeping quiet on pricing for now, but - barring any shake-up in the wider Mazda3 range - expect the XD Astina to enter above $35,000.
In the current line-up, the Astina badge appears only with the top SP25 model, priced from $36,190.
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