Meet Smokey Nagata

The man behind the legendary twin-turbo V12 Toyota Supra build.

First sprint in Merc's ferocious C 63 S

'You can feel how taut the steering is, how sensitive the accelerator is to inputs', writes Charlen Raymond.

Going premium: Next-gen Mazda3 moves the Japanese brand into a new era in SA

2019-07-17 15:00
Mazda3 hatchback sedan

Image: Wheels24 / Sergio Davids

With the launch of its 7th generation Mazda3 sets a new milestone as the first production model to lead the automaker into a new premium era.

The next-generation Mazda3 adopts a matured Kodo design language in both hatch and sedan guise.

Despite sharing the same nameplate, the hatch and sedan models have distinct personalities — the design of the hatch is dynamic, while the sedan elegant.

The Astina hatch sports black metallic 18" alloy wheels while sedan derivatives have grey roof lining and on the Astina model, silver metallic 18" alloy wheels.

Mazda3 goes premium

Craig Roberts, Managing Director - Mazda Southern Africa, said: "The Mazda3 is a strategic model that has driven Mazda’s growth from both a brand and business perspective. 

"The outgoing 6th generation Mazda3 has delivered Mazda’s renowned driving pleasure to over 12 000 Southern Africa customers. Our mission is to build on this legacy and deliver a product that will exceed both customer expectations and industry standard with the next–generation Mazda3. 

mazda 3

                                                 Image: Mazda

"The next generation of Mazda cars will enhance the value of the car-ownership experience. Through these products, Mazda Southern Africa, together with our dealer partners, aim to further raise Mazda’s brand value and work towards our goal of building ever stronger bonds our customers." 


The centre console has been redesigned with the shift knob, new commander control and armrest moved forward, while the cupholders are repositioned to the front. This new configuration provides a more natural feeling for any driver.

The new Mazda3 offers two interior colour options; black and, exclusive to the Mazda3 hatch, optional burgundy red leather seat trim.


The improved MZD Connect screen has enhanced system performance, standard Android Auto and Apple Carplay and head-up display. 

mazda 3

                                                 Image: Mazda

Mazda3 is the first to introduce an all-new 8.8" Mazda Connect infotainment screen supporting MZD Connect, standard on all models.

Also standard is an all-new 3-way layout 8-speaker sound system from the Active model, and the BOSE 12-speaker layout from the Individual model. 

A new leather wrapped steering wheel featuring illuminated controls and switches expresses luxurious cues. Standard features such as the 7" TFT reconfigurable gauge cluster display, Bluetooth phone and audio pairing, remote keyless entry, push-button ignition, auto door lock, auto headlights & wipers, electronic parking brake, new knee air-bags and two USB audio inputs, elevates the Mazda3 to premium status. 

Also among the long list of standard features are driver and passenger one touch windows, LED headlight and headlight levelling and from the Dynamic model Rear Parking Sensors and Cruise Control.

New additional features from the Individual model include the frameless auto dimming rearview mirror, full auto air-conditioning and a 10-way power adjustable driver seat with lumbar support. The Astina model additions include rear air vents, a rearview camera, rear combination lamps, daytime running lights and adaptive LED headlights. 

Driving dynamics

The next generation Mazda3 adopts Mazda's improved Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture. Various vehicle dynamics enhancements such as redesigned seats, a returned body structure, and an all-new suspension to absorb road vibrations as well as G-Vectoring Control Plus on the 2.0L, all providing a smoother and more enjoyable driving experience.  

The powertrain comprises the latest Skyactiv-G 1.5L and 2.0L engines. As an Entry package option, the Active derivative will be available with a 1.5L engine in manual guise. 

The Dynamic 1.5L engine in both manual and auto transmissions will package the Core offering, while the Individual 1.5L in both manual and auto and Astina 2.0L in Automatic will make up the High package offering.

mazda 3

                                                    Image: Mazda

The Skyactiv-G 1.5L engine will be available with a choice of the six-speed manual and six-speed automatic producing 88kW/153Nm.

The Skyactiv-G 2.0L engine will be available in six-speed automatic producing maximum output of 121kW/213Nm.  


Mazda dedicated every effort to maximising occupant safety in the new Mazda3 by installing active safety measures to help identify potential risks early on and reduce any chance of damage or injury. 

These include the wide adoption of Mazda’s advanced safety technologies, as well as i-ACTIVSENSE, which enable the driver to enjoy every outing, on any road condition. i-ACTIVSENSE combines the basic performance aspects of excellent dynamic performance with linear response and clear visibility to support the driver through all the driving processes of cognition, judgement, and operation.

Mazda3 Astina i-ACTIVSENSE safety features include Adaptive LED Headlights (ALH), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM).

mazda 3

                                                 Image: Mazda

Hill Launch Assist (HLA) is available for all models along with standard safety features, which include Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Child restraint anchor points (ISOFIX), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), electric Break-force Distribution (EBD), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) as well as Driver, Passenger, Knee, Side and Curtain Airbags. 

Mazda's commitment to safety was acknowledged with a maximum five-star rating by Euro NCAP earlier this year. 

Mazda Care

The Mazda3 is sold with a 3-year unlimited kilometre service plan. To provide complete peace of mind motoring, a 3-year factory warranty, a 3-year roadside assistance and a 5-year Corrosion Warranty are also included.


Mazda3 1.5L Active Manual Hatch – R359 900 / Sedan – R357 000 

 • Max. Power 88kW @ 6000 rpm 

 • Max. Torque 153Nm @ 4000 rpm 

 • 6 speed manual transmission 

  • 8 Speaker sound system  

  • i-Stop 

 • Headlights - Auto on/off 

 • LED Headlights  

 • Headlight Levelling 

 • 16" silver metallic alloy wheels 

 • Front rain-sensing wipers 

mazda 3

                                                 Image: Mazda

 • Airbags SRS: Driver, Passenger, Knee, Side & Curtain 

 • Smart keyless push-button engine start 

 • Auto Hold 

 • Auto door lock 

 • Aircon (Manual) 

 • MZD Connect System  

 • 8.8" Display Screen 

 • Commander Dial 

 • Apple Carplay & Android Auto 

 • USB connectivity ports - 2 Ports 

 • Bluetooth hands free system  

 • Multi-function steering wheel with controls 

 • Tilt & telescopic adjustable steering wheel 

 • Driver height adjustable seat 

 • Seat trim - Black Cloth 

 • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) 

 • Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) 

 • Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) 

 • Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) 

 • Head-Up Display (HUD) 

 • Electronic Parking Brake (EPB)

 • Hill Launch Assist (HLA)

mazda 3

                                                  Image: Mazda

Mazda3 1.5L Dynamic Manual - Hatch - R374 200 / Sedan R371 300 Auto 1.5L Hatch – R387 000 / Sedan R384 100 

 • Cruise control 

 • Auto dimming rear-view mirror 

 • Leather-wrapped steering wheel 

 • Leather-wrapped gear shift knob 

 • Rear centre seat armrest with cup holders 

 • Rear parking sensors

Mazda3 1.5L Ind manual – Hatch R421 900 / Sedan R418 800 Auto 1.5L – hatch R434 700 | Sedan R431 600 

  • Smart advanced keyless entry 

  • Auto fold mirrors 

  • Dual-zone climate control aircon

  • Frameless Auto dimming rear-view mirror 

  • 7" TFT LCD Digital Meter 

  • Standard black leather seat trim 

  • Optional burgundy red leather seat trim (Hatch only) 

  • 10-Way power adjustable driver seat 

  • Lumbar support power adjustable driver seat 

  • 12 Speaker BOSE sound system with subwoofer 

  • 18" alloy wheels  

  • 18" grey metallic alloy wheels (Hatch only)

mazda 3

                                                   Image: Mazda

Mazda3 2.0L Astina Auto – Hatch R474 000 / Sedan 470 800

  • Max. Power 121kW @ 6000rpm 

  • Max. Torque 213Nm @ 4000rpm 

  • i-Stop 

  • Daytime Running Lights (DRL) 

  • Rear Combination Lights (RCL) 

  • Adaptive LED Headlights 

  • G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) 

  • Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) 

  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) 

  • Parking sensors - Rear 

  • Reverse Camera 

  • Integrated Navigation 

  • Rear air vents 

  • Auto paddle transmission switches  

  • Sunroof - Power slide & tilt glass 

  • 18" alloy wheels   

  • 18" black metallic alloy wheels (Hatch Only)

Read more on:    mazda  |  new models

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.