Mazda's compact hatch and sedan range, the Mazda3 has been significantly beefed up as part of its mid-life tweaking.
Virtually all aspects of the Mazda3 have been revised. From the outside, the sedan gets redesigned bumpers and a fresh grille that is repeated on the hatchback (where the grille?s upper bar is also body coloured).
The range also gets body coloured exterior mirrors, revised integrated foglamps and clear lamp covers on all derivatives. The sedan's rear end has been revised and now provides an extra 40 l of storage space and a recess for easier lifting of the bootlid.
All 15-, 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels are redesigned too.
Apart from the 1.6i and Original, all models are decked out in a Sports Appearance Pack that also boasts chrome tail pipes.
On the inside, Mazda is said to have improved the quality of its finishes and a range of interior colour schemes have been introduced. Leather gear knobs on all models, again barring the 1.6i and Original models, now come with a dark silver cover.
Leather is carried over to the seat trim on more luxurious models and the steering wheel with audio controls.
The white instrument cluster is available with new red and blue lighting, or black on 2.0 Dynamic and Individual, and 2.3 Individual models.
Several new features that affect the Mazda3?s operation have been added. A retractable key (with keyless entry) is now available across the range. Individual models are equipped with a power sunroof and most models come with power folding mirrors.
The engine line-up features tweaked 1.6 and 2.0 litre plants mated with a revised five-speed manual gearbox. A 2.3 litre powerplant has been added to the range with drive to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.
The 2.3 dispatches 115 kW at 6 500 r/min and 203 Nm at 4 500 r/min, and Mazda claims a firmer ride and sportier handling due to an upgraded bodyshell.
Safety items include ABS, EBD and EBA, with standard dual front airbags and additional side and curtain airbags in the cabin for certain models.
The Mazda3 range is sold with a three-year /100 000 km warranty, five-year / 100 000 km maintenance plan and roadside assistance for three years. Service intervals are at 15 000 km intervals.
1.6i - R 153 990
1.6 Original - R 165 990
1.6 Active - R 182 991
1.6 Dynamic - R 187 991
2.0 Dynamic - R 199 990
2.0 Individual - R 209 990
2.3 Individual - R 219 990
Sport 1.6 Original - R 162 990
Sport 1.6 Active - R 179 990
Sport 1.6 Dynamic - R 184 990
Sport 2.0 Dynamic - R 196 990
Sport 2.0 Individual - R 206 990
Sport 2.3 Individual - R 216 990