As I looked down at the above photograph, I had just snapped of my press car for the week, I couldn’t help but think to myself ‘This could be landscape painting by Monet.’ Such were the colours of the autumn leaves, with the rural scene in the background and the heroine front and centre, the Mazda3 sedan.
It can’t be denied that Mazda builds pretty vehicles, whether it’s their SUVs or the MX-5 sportscar, the gentle curves and perfect proportions just look beautiful. This elegant design culture is paired with their ever-improving Skyactiv technology.
The Mazda3 G25 Evolve SP Sedan in Polymetal Grey metallic paint that I recently drove certainly lived up to Mazda’s reputation. This particularly Mazda3 is powered by 2.5 litre, in-line 4 cylinder petrol engine with i-stop and cylinder deactivation. The maximum power output is 139kW @ 6,000 rpm and maximum torque is 252Nm @ 4,000 rpm. I found that this Mazda3 sedan drove nicely and that it had good acceleration off the line.
The engine is paired with a 6-speed manual transmission with a light clutch, making city driving bearable, and drive going to the front wheels. I did find that it was too easy to select reverse when I was actually trying to engage first gear even though you have to push down, up and over to engage reverse gear. Being a manual meant I had some fun chasing the 6,500rpm redline and this may have impacted on my fuel use for the week, which averaged 9.5L/100km. The official combined fuel consumption is 6.2 L/100km and Mazda recommended 91RON or higher petrol or E10.
There is keyless entry and keyless go and the driver gets a nicely proportioned steering wheel with controls that are logically laid out, along with head up display. The driver’s dash has two analogue dials for the taco and speedo and a central digital display that can be configured to show various information.
The voice control activated by pressing the button on the steering wheel with the masculine looking silhouette on it. For my three standard tests of changing the media source, making a phone call and setting a destination on the sat nav the Mazda3 voice control system worked well.
The 8.8-inch infotainment screen display is not a touchscreen and I like this as you don’t get finger-marks all over the screen from constantly touching it. The system is operated by the rotary multi-function commander control on the centre console, which is matt black. But in front of this the gloss black surround around the gear stick gets dusty easily and was already showing signs of scratching in the car I drove.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard across the Mazda3 range and my sedan had an 8-speaker audio system with AM/FM, DAB+, Bluetooth, USB1 and USB2, which is MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, OGG, MP4, AVI, iPod compatible. Under the arm, which can be slid back and forward, there is a good sized storage cubby with one USB port and one 12V outlet. At the front of the centre console there is a storage cubby for your phone and above this there is another USB port. In addition to the two cup holders on the centre console there is also a large drink bottle storage cubby in the front doors.
The seats in this Mazda3 sedan are cloth covered and the driver’s seat has power adjustment for recline, seat heigh front and rear, forward/back and 2-way lumbar support and you get two memory positions to save your driving position. The passenger seat has manual adjustment for recline, seat height and forward/back.
The rear seats had ample headroom for me and the leg room was adequate, but taller individuals may find the leg room tight. There are two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points and the centre seat folds down as an arm rest with two cup holders in it that have grippy sides and there are good sized drink bottle storage areas in the door cubbies. Rear passengers get two central air vents with manual direction and on/off control, but no USB ports.
The boot has a power assisted lid that can be opened by pressing the button under the Mazda emblem or from the key fob only when the car is off. It looks like a large boot for this sized sedan and easily took my weekly shop. If more space is needed there is a manual release in the boot for the 60:40 split folding rear seats. The boot has no tie down points or hooks and under the boot floor there is a space saver spare tyre.
A 5-star ANCAP (2019) safety rating applies to all current Mazda3 variants, with this small car achieving an Adult Occupant Protection score of 98% (37.54 points out of 38) and a Child Occupant Protection score of 89% (43.81 points out of 49). Dual frontal airbags, side chest-protecting and side head protecting airbags (curtains), and a driver knee airbag are standard.
ANCAP tests of the autonomous emergency braking system showed GOOD performance with collisions avoided or mitigated in most test scenarios. ANCAP tests of the lane support system functionality showed ADEQUATE performance in lane keep assist tests, however the system does not intervene in more critical emergency lane keeping scenarios and overall performance was classified as MARGINAL. The overall ANCAP score for Safety Assist is 76%.
The Mazda3 G25 Evolve SP comes standard with Adaptive cruise control (and this doesn’t cut out when you change gear), Blind Spot Monitoring, Emergency Brake Assist, Forward Obstruction Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Lane-keep Assist System, Parking sensors Rear, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Standard Reverse camera with rear sensors only, Smart Brake Support [Rear Crossing] and Smart City Brake Support Forward (with pedestrian and cycle detection). You also get auto lights with high beam control and auto wipers, but I found the auto wipers were a bit hit and miss as to when they came on in the rain.
All new Mazda vehicles sold in Australia come with a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty with Mazda Premium Roadside Assistance included. Service intervals are every 10,000 km, but no longer than 12 months, whichever comes first. Using the Mazda Australia website I calculated that it would cost $1,762 for the first five scheduled services for basic scheduled maintence on the Mazda3 sedan.
The Mazda3 G25 Evolve SP Sedan starts at $32,490 plus on-road costs and as tested with carpet floor mats ($202) the vehicle I drove was $32,692 plus on-road costs. Visit your preferred Mazda dealer to paint yourself into the picture with this elegant sedan.
|It’s an elegant sedan||I accidently engaged reverse when trying to find first gear|
|The light clutch||Gloss black around gear stick gathers dust|
|Adaptive cruise control doesn’t disengage when you change gears||Auto wipers did not always turn on automatically|
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.