April 14, 2015 @ 04:36 PM

Review: Mazda3 Sedan 2.0-litre tested to see if it is that good

There's a sports car lurking underneath that sedan-coat By Jerrica Leong


It’s a sports car in sedan clothing! By Jerrica Leong

 
Mazdas have been under the radar for a long time, pardon my saying this but the older generation still believes that Mazdas are unreliable and ugly cars. But look at the Mazda3, not only did this model make a comeback with a look that is miles sportier than the previous model, it is also jam-packed with Skyactiv technology.
 
Our editor has already rated the 3 on the top of his top five cars he has driven last year on Friday Fives, and I’m not about to call him out for that decision. Which begs the question if the car deserve such praise and attention. Or has our Editor lost focus? Let's find out.
Exterior (Score: 5/5)
 
It’s not to say that the previous generation Mazda3 looks bad, it just didn’t make a statement like the present one does. The new 3 is revolutionised with the KODO design language. Its sharp lines offer the car a fierce and stylish look that gives a person the impression of an aggressive shark. You can’t argue that the 3 grabs your attention when it comes cruising down the road, effortlessly making overtakes like a ballerina.

Interior (Score: 5/5)

The seating position made me feel as if  I was sitting in a sports car the entire time. The semi-bucket seats are set so low to give you the impression that you’re sitting close to the ground, letting your rear end absorb all of the car's sporty behaviour. 

Everything about the interior is comfortable although NVH could have been better; the tyre roar became my pet peeve. But despite having conversation getting drowned out by the rubber, there is barely any engine whine. The only time you will hear the engine would be when i-stop kicks in to turn stop and start the engine.

Power and handling (Score: 5/5)

Flex your foot on the throttle and the Mazda3 accelerates with plenty enthusiasm, especially for a normally aspirated engine. The power and torque produced by the engine is good enough to rival any sport-sedan on the road today. Take it to the rural, mountain roads to feel the car's brilliant road holding and handling capability. So much so the Mazda3 can hold its own even with a fiercer car breathing down its neck!

Tech and Safety (Score: 3/5)

The Mazda3 comes equipped with six-airbags in the specially designed Skyactiv-Body that gave the car a high score of five-stars in the Euro NCAP. The bucket seats help to keep the body in place when you're tossing the 3 around the corners, which in turn, lets you feel confident and cosseted inside. 

Tech wise, the 3 comes equipped with the a seven-inch colour display that comes with every new Mazda model that rolls out of the factory. It's a well-thought system with logical graphics for ease of understanding. Not everything is perfect, the navigation that comes standard is largely not user-friendly.

Summary

With interior that is covered in leather to feel premium to the touch, road-holding to rival an inexpensive sport car and a look that would make anybody think twice before overtaking, the Mazda3 is ticking all the right boxes as a driver’s car. Mazda has definitely jumped the ladder by creating a car that is so much more improved than the previous model that critics must not, collectively, bite their tongues!

Overall score: 18/20

Mazda3 Sedan 2.0L
Price
RM135,159.00 (without insurance, not inclusive of GST)
Engine
1998cc, SKYACTIV-G, In-line 4 Cylinder DOHC 16 Valve, 162 @ 6000, 210 @ 4000
Transmission
SKYACTIV-DRIVE 6-Speed Automatic
Length/ width/ height
4580/ 1795/ 1450
Weight
1292kg
 

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Topics:  First Drive

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