2014 Mazda 3: available Feb, revives Astina name, sat nav from $23k

Prices are up slightly on the all new Mazda 3 range, but impressively it features sat nav and the MZD Connect entertainment system standard on every model except the entry level Neo.

Kicking off the third generation Mazda 3 range is the A$20,490 Neo that comes standard with a 6-speed manual and Mazda’s 2-litre 114kW/200Nm direct injection SkyActiv-G petrol motor. Standard equipment on the Neo includes 16-inch steel wheels, cruise control, air conditioning, push button start, power windows and mirrors, six airbags, and automatic engine start/stop (i-Stop in Mazda parlance). The hatch also features a rear spoiler as standard. The stereo system feature four speakers, a USB port, auxiliary jack and Bluetooth.

Next up is the A$22,990 Maxx which gains 16-inch alloys, and leather for steering wheel, hand brake and gear shifter. The Maxx is seemingly excellent value as it also includes the MZD Connect 7-inch touchscreen and knob-based entertainment system, as well as sat nav, six speakers, a reversing camera, and built-in apps for Pandora , Stitcher and Aha streaming music services.

Topping out the 2-litre range is the A$25,490 Touring. Extra equipment at this level includes dual-zone climate control, dusk-sensing headlights, leather seat trim, rain-sensing wipers, overhead sunnies storage, illuminated vanity mirrors, and lumbar adjustment for the driver’s seat.

For just a bit more buyers can opt for the A$25,890 SP25, which features a 138kW/250Nm direct injection 2.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol under the hood. That’s not the only upgrade, though, because there’s also 18-inch alloys, front fog lights, and proximity entry key. Sedan versions of the SP25 also gain a rear lip spoiler. Compared the Touring, the SP25 does miss out on a few minor features and one major one: leather seats.

At A$30,590 is the SP25 GT that comes replete with adaptive bi-xenon headlights, LED tail-lights, leather seats, heated front seats with electric adjustment on the driver’s side, LED daytime running lights, head-up display, auto-dimming rear vision mirror, heated wing mirrors, and a Bose sound system with a 231W amp and 9-speaker layout.

Topping out the range is the A$36,190 SP25 Astina that’s equipped with sunroof, radar-guided cruise control, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, emergency braking assistance, rear cross traffic alert, and forward obstruction notification.

All Mazda 3 models are fitted with a 6-speed manual as standard; you’ll need to A$2,000 to the price if you the 6-speed auto instead. A A$1,500 safety pack consisting of blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, auto-dimming rear vision mirror, and city braking assistance is available on all models; it’s A$1,300 on the SP25 GT and standard on the SP25 Astina.

The new Mazda 3 range goes on sale 1 February 2014.

Dimensions, boot capacity

Hatch Sedan
Length 4,460mm (unchanged) 4,580mm (unchanged)
Width 1,795mm (+40mm) 1,795mm (+40mm)
Height 1,455mm (-15mm) 1,455mm (-15mm)
Wheelbase 2,700mm (+60mm) 2,700mm (+60mm)
Boot space (VDA) 308L (-32L*) 408L † (-22L*)

* Boot capacity on the outgoing Mazda 3 depending on wheel size and model. We’re comparing base models here.
† The new Mazda 3 sedan features swan hinges instead of the BL’s gas struts. Swan hinges are easier to open, but intrude into the cargo area and reduce the car’s usable boot space.

Engines, fuel economy

2-litre 2.5-litre
Power 114kW (+6kW*) 138kW (+16kW)
Torque 200Nm (+18Nm*) 250Nm (+23Nm)
Fuel economy (man) 5.9L/100km (-2L/100km) 6.5L/100km (-2.1L/100km)
Fuel economy (auto) 5.8L/100km (-2.6L/100km) 6.1L/100km (-2.5L/100km)

* Compared to the regular 2-litre engine used in most of the outgoing BL Mazda 3 range. The higher spec SP20 SkyActiv had 113kW/194Nm at its disposal.

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Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]