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Mazda 3 1.6 MZR-CD 109
In the automotive market, segment C is the category most popular and most competitive. Many manufacturers have indeed several alternative vehicles in their range to share the cake "in house": small sedans, SUVs, mini-MPV crossover and other again.
For some brands, competition is even tougher they have only one vehicle in the segment, which requires them to develop cars that have a certain versatility. For others, the best solution is to find an interesting position to thrive. This is the case of Mazda and the "3" which loses its way and 4-door variation is thus no longer available in 5-door. At Mazda, the right niche is sports!
Question look, no doubt it is very Asian! Borrowing style of elegance and sportiness very inspired by the Mazda 6 sedan and coupe RX-8: optical tapered, stretched on well-marked shoulders, hood shields, wraps and swollen. The silhouette is also fairly close to that of Kiyora Concept unveiled at 2008 Paris, with its long roof line that paints a good habitation.
The fund has also taken 4.5 cm in length and 5 cm in height facing the older generation (the wheelbase remains the same). The passengers are all at their ease, with good headroom and room to spare for the legs, even on the back. The boot is average, with a flexible capacity of 340 to 1360 dm3 in the folding bench 60 / 40.
At the front, Mazda engineers focused their efforts on ergonomics. The shifter is near the driver's commands are directed towards the cockpit and fell instinctively on hand.
The secret of the sport, it is the weight
Weight is one of the determinants of both dynamism and simplicity of a vehicle. The higher the ratio "weight / power ratio is low, the vehicle is more efficient and economical. After the Mazda 2 is lighter than 100 kg, it was the turn of the big sister to lose a few pounds.
Despite the increased stiffness of parts that make up the body structure, engineers dieticians have saved an average of 15 kg on the new "3", which displays and a good ratio for the category: 1260 kg / 109 c. either "11.56 kg / hp" for the 1.6 liter diesel representing the core products.
Even the interior materials were carefully selected to win a single gram. While some plastics are very light, as the central tunnel ultra flexible (and low quality to the touch), the joints are good and the onboard equipment is provided!
A well-equipped entry-level
Among standard features we find: central locking, keyless start, dual zone air conditioning, heated windshield, Bluetooth, Bose audio system supports MP3 and I-pod, radar parking, indicators of blind spots (directly into the ice mirrors), rear spoiler, etc.. In short, the equipment typically found in higher segment vehicles.
Finish entry level "Elegance" is supported by the finish "Sport" that we chose for our trial for his appearance much more fun with its 17-inch wheels, its shields, grilles, optical (and Xenon directional version "Performance") and specific anti-fog.
On board the latter, we find the bucket seats of the virulent version of MPS. Foamed plastics of the dashboard alongside silver inserts to enliven the whole, a rigid covering which also reveals less flattering to the bottom of the center console. Finishing "Sport" series incorporates a small screen GPS hilltop with steering wheel controls (thus apparently only adjustable by the driver). When manufacturers are increasingly adopting more touch screens, Mazda opted for a small screen to reduce costs.
In terms of regrets, we would have liked a steering wheel rim a little thicker and a little more progressive pedals (especially the accelerator). We also regret the absence of a sunroof, significant competitors on some vehicles made for more light in the cockpit. Perceived quality would increase, but the height may be a bit too small, especially at the rear, and added significant weight to the roof would have affected the center of gravity so the general behavior.
Mechanical side, five engines are available: three petrol and two diesel with a mix of species ¼ forecast is a slightly above the segment average.
We first took over the heart of sales: 1.6 MZR-CD 109 hp (240 Nm) Original PSA / Ford. Enjoyable for its quiet operation and gentle use, the engine unfortunately suffers from a low below 1800 rpm and a loss of extension as early as 4000 rpm when coupled to the 5-speed manual reports. This transmission, both firm handling, and flexible enough to snap the reports, has indeed been extended to reduce fuel consumption (4.5 liters per 100 km) and emissions. With 119 g / km of CO2 released in the combined cycle, the beautiful benefits and a bonus of 700 euros.
We have not had the opportunity to try the 2.2-liter 185 hp (149 g CO2 / km) coupled to the BVM 6 speed but we invite you to take a look at our trial Mazda 6!
As for gasoline, we recommend the 1.6 MZR 105 hp (145 Nm), amply sufficient to move the 1170 kg only of the union. It is placed in the reference segment in terms of cleanliness and sobriety with an average consumption of 6.3 liters per 100 km and 149 g CO2 per km rejected.
This is not the case MZR 2.0 151 hp coupled to the 5-speed automatic transmission. A couple we do not recommend! Still in the neutral zone (just!) With 159 g CO2 per km rejected with 5-speed manual gearbox, the MZR 2.0 to 175 g CO2 / km (ie malussé 750 euros) with the laborious automatic transmission.
The version of "Stop & Start", called "i-stop" at Mazda, will arrive in July. The turbulent MPS transformed by a 2.3 liter turbo with 260 hp will arrive during the second half.
On the road
The new Mazda 3 can be characterized in one word: farm! In any case, in a spirit of sportsmanship that engineers have stiffened the structure and strengthen the suspension. Those who want more comfort can always take the rims 15 or 16 inch limit.
Under these conditions, the car is very pleasant to drive on winding roads. The new electro-hydraulic power steering turns direct and precise. The body is well balanced and the chassis shared with the Ford Focus is particularly rigid. Even the ESP comes as standard is very unobtrusive. Real sporting pretensions sum that suggests the best for the future MPS!
Mazda continues to go upmarket vehicles. More expressive, better equipped and more spacious than its predecessor, the new Mazda 3 is likely to win more than one! The Japanese automaker's argument quickdraw sportsmanship when the ecology is affecting more and more awareness. Result, the new Mazda 3 is no lack of interest, far away, but suffered from an imbalance between the sporting pretensions of its frame and the sweetness of its engines greened.
Moved from 20 500 euros in 1.6 petrol finish "Elegance" (with metal paint to 450 euros), tariffs are high enough psychologically, even if the car is very well equipped base! Mazda pushes effect to go upmarket. The additional cost of the Sport trim (Euro 1100) is minimal in relation to services offered and look much nicer body kit.
Little more still, the excellent "Service Plus" Mazda relieve you of any maintenance costs. Even the brake pads and fluid top-ups are charged to the dealership!
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