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should you pay rm160k for the new mazda3

Should you pay RM160k for the new Mazda3?

It’s big moolah for a C-segmenter but the leap in refinement, equipment and luxury is justified

Dinesh Appavu Photo

Dinesh Appavu

17 Jul 2019

Most would consider it pretty outrageous that the new Mazda3 is priced up to RM160k. Heck, it even starts at RM140k, which is where most C-segment models here top out; some with change to spare. The big question obviously is, is it worth the money?

Mazda has always prided itself on offering models just a tad more opulent than the rest of the dishes on the Japanese menu here. Their vehicles always felt like a little more thought and material was put into them. They even drove like it too.

This new Mazda3 is simply quantum leap forward on that philosophy, hence the pricing.

Three trims across two body styles will be available here but the groundbreaking SkyActiv-X engine won’t be powering any of them. Straying from the CKD status of the previous 3, this will now be completely CBU from Japan.

You can have either a 1.5-litre or 2.0-litre naturally aspirated inline-four of the SkyActiv-G kind with your sedan or hatch (both RM139,620). The 1.5-litre makes a decent 118hp and 153Nm of torque whereas the larger 2.0-litre dishes out 162hp and 213Nm of torque. Both are mated to six-speed automatics driving the steered wheels.

The base 1.5-litre sedan and hatch isn’t lacking in terms of kit. You’ll find auto LED projector headlights but with regular bulb-type DRLs, LED taillights and 16-inch wheels.

Inside though is where most of the magic has been done. Modern minimalistic with only the finest materials are used. In this trim however, keeping the price down means some of the kit is limited to single-zone air-conditioning, manually operated front seats and fabric upholstery but you do get a 7.0-inch TFT-LCD digital instrument cluster display with an 8.8-inch display for the Mazda Connect eight-speaker infotainment system and a heads-up display.

Sitting in the middle is the 2.0 High trim that’s only available in sedan form (RM150,059). The extra coin gets you dual-zone climate control with rear vents, keyless entry, leather upholstery, 10-way powered driver seat with memory function and a sunroof.

Right atop the Mazda3 food-chain is the 2.0 High Plus (RM160,059). This trim is available on the sedan and hatch. All the bells and whistles are out to play here. This comprises 18-inch wheels, adaptive LED headlights and four front parking sensors.

Mazda has also included the entire Mazda i-Activesense suite of safety assistance systems that comprises Adaptive Front-lighting System, High Beam Control, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning System, Lane Keep Assist System, Driver Attention Alert, Smart City Brake Support and Mazda Radar Cruise Control.

Don’t fret though, standard safety isn’t too shabby either with seven airbags, stability control, traction control, ABS, EBD, emergency brake assist, hill start assist and of course G-Vectoring Control Plus.

While its common knowledge that any Mazda must be had in the Soul Red Crystal, you can be foolish and have it in the other six colours of Snowflake White Pearl, Machine Grey, Sonic Silver, Deep Crystal Blue, Jet Black and Polymetal Grey.

All Mazdas come with a five year/100,000km warranty that’s also inclusive of a free maintenance package, as well as SkyTint security window tint.