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Given the hatch-buying public’s often slavish devotion to the likes of Volkswagen, Toyota and Ford, it must be immensely frustrating for a firm such as Mazda to be sitting on the sidelines. In recent years, the firm has built up a portfolio of models that are daringly styled, precisely built and pleasurable to pilot. But still the spotlight is all too often undeservedly swerved away from the Mazda3.

Now, with the launch of its impressive new 3, Mazda is determined to ditch the understudy label and take centre stage. We got our hands on a pre-launch homologation unit to see if the new car will meet with rave reviews, or sporadic applause from a hard-to-please audience.

Mazda’s Kodo design language has proved a hit across its products and its evolution in the new 3 is especially appealing. What few sharp edges were present in previous designs have been smoothed back but the appearance still accommodates just a hint of aggression where the front sheetmetal is carved to meet the headlamps and shield-shaped grille. Factor in scalloped taillamps and a sportily long-bonnet and cab-back profile (not to mention that eye-catching pearlescent red paintwork), and the 3 makes its rivals look pedestrian by comparison. This UK-spec homologation unit is about 95% accurate to the Astina variants coming our way, with gloss black alloys featuring locally.

That balance between sportiness and class is similarly reflected in a cabin that’s ergonomically spot-on. You sit low in sports seats that are both supportive and contoured to be comfy for miles on end, confronted by a tiered dash upon which controls are logically labelled and sited.

Where the Germans often set the benchmark for the material quality of their cabins, the new 3 has closed the gap. You’ll have to hunt about the 3’s interior to find anything resembling hard, scratchy plastic; pretty much everything is either hewn from substantial-feeling materials or slush-moulded sections seamed with stitching.

The architecture of Mazda’s Connect infotainment system – which in our market will integrate sat-nav – has undergone subtle changes that make it look sharper on screen and largely free of operational latency.

Quibbles are minor: those thick C-pillars do impinge a bit on rear three-quarter visibility; utility volume is modest for a car of the 3’s dimensions; and, while rear legroom is acceptable, that rakish roof means taller folks will find headroom a bit pinched.

The Astina model destined for our shores won’t ship with this UK-spec car’s front PDC, heating for the steering wheel and seats, and DAB radio. Instead, local units will feature rear air vents, a parking camera, sunroof and a suite of active safety features. In typical Mazda fashion, the Astina’s standard specification is impressive and even the lower-rung Active models are generously appointed.   

Much of the international fanfare surrounding the new Mazda3 centres on the company’s innovative SkyActiv-X engine, a four-cylinder petrol unit that utilises both a petrol engine’s spark ignition with a compression-ignition setup similar to that of a diesel. Along with a 24 V mild-hybrid system that scavenges decelerative energy, this unit not only promises greater fuel efficiency and less exhaust gunk, but it also serves up 132 kW and 224 N.m, some 18 kW and 24 N.m up on the more conventional SkyActiv-G unit.

The ever-frustrating issue of poor local fuel quality has meant the X has not been given the nod for our market. That leaves a range comprising three 1,5-litre models with 88 kW and 153 N.m on tap, plus the Astina as the sole recipient of the SkyActiv-G naturally aspirated 2,0-litre engine. Its application in the 3 is very much a mixed bag. Its level of mechanical refinement, at both idle and motorway speeds, is deeply impressive, and in fluid driving conditions it’s a pleasingly capable engine.

Its connection with the six-speed torque-converter automatic transmission is where things go a bit awry, though. Once a speed has been settled on and the pace is steady, the ‘box acquits itself well, serving up smooth and measured gearshifts. But the journey to that civilised space sees the engine’s modest outputs pitted against a transmission that becomes somewhat erratic. Its tendency to rush through the ratios at moderate speeds means there’s a paucity of low- to mid-end punch, while its penchant for hanging onto a lower-than-desired ratio on even slight inclines and modest overtaking throttle inputs causes the engine to become strained and drone. Given our test car’s pre-launch homologation unit status, the jury is out regarding final software tweaks to the transmission, but there was a feeling that this particular car’s shift mapping seemed geared towards a more powerful engine.

In isolation, the powertrain’s foibles are irksome, but the wonderfully engineered platform to which it’s mounted seems to draw further attention to those shortcomings.

Drive any of Mazda’s cars, be it a hatchback, crossover or SUV, and there’s a common thread running through the driving experience of each one. It presents in the new 3, too. While it continues to mount a MacPherson suspension arrangement up front, Mazda has dispensed the previous 3’s multilink rear suspension in favour of a more straightforward torsion-beam setup. On paper, it appears to be a step backwards, but in practice it’s an absolute delight. Although firm, the ride shows no crashiness when presented with pockmarked road surfaces and is consistent in its performance across road conditions.

Well-weighted and sportily geared steering? Check. Supple chassis and balanced ride characteristics? Check and check. Everything is present and correct for a car that adapts effortlessly to whatever’s thrown its way. Find an engaging stretch of road and the 3 laps it up. The bit of body roll present under fast cornering doesn’t intimidate but rather communicates with the driver as to the 3’s attitude. It’s such a well-tuned setup that it gives the impression it could handle a good deal more power … that’s an MPS-branded anvil of a hint being dropped to the folks at Mazda.
Given the hatch-buying public’s often slavish devotion to the likes of Volkswagen, Toyota and Ford, it must be immensely frustrating for a firm such as Mazda to be sitting on the sidelines. In recent years, the firm has built up a portfolio of models that are daringly styled, precisely built and pleasurable to pilot. But still the spotlight is all too often undeservedly swerved away from the Mazda3.

Now, with the launch of its impressive new 3, Mazda is determined to ditch the understudy label and take centre stage. We got our hands on a pre-launch homologation unit to see if the new car will meet with rave reviews, or sporadic applause from a hard-to-please audience.

Mazda’s Kodo design language has proved a hit across its products and its evolution in the new 3 is especially appealing. What few sharp edges were present in previous designs have been smoothed back but the appearance still accommodates just a hint of aggression where the front sheetmetal is carved to meet the headlamps and shield-shaped grille. Factor in scalloped taillamps and a sportily long-bonnet and cab-back profile (not to mention that eye-catching pearlescent red paintwork), and the 3 makes its rivals look pedestrian by comparison. This UK-spec homologation unit is about 95% accurate to the Astina variants coming our way, with gloss black alloys featuring locally.

That balance between sportiness and class is similarly reflected in a cabin that’s ergonomically spot-on. You sit low in sports seats that are both supportive and contoured to be comfy for miles on end, confronted by a tiered dash upon which controls are logically labelled and sited.

Where the Germans often set the benchmark for the material quality of their cabins, the new 3 has closed the gap. You’ll have to hunt about the 3’s interior to find anything resembling hard, scratchy plastic; pretty much everything is either hewn from substantial-feeling materials or slush-moulded sections seamed with stitching.

The architecture of Mazda’s Connect infotainment system – which in our market will integrate sat-nav – has undergone subtle changes that make it look sharper on screen and largely free of operational latency.

Quibbles are minor: those thick C-pillars do impinge a bit on rear three-quarter visibility; utility volume is modest for a car of the 3’s dimensions; and, while rear legroom is acceptable, that rakish roof means taller folks will find headroom a bit pinched.

The Astina model destined for our shores won’t ship with this UK-spec car’s front PDC, heating for the steering wheel and seats, and DAB radio. Instead, local units will feature rear air vents, a parking camera, sunroof and a suite of active safety features. In typical Mazda fashion, the Astina’s standard specification is impressive and even the lower-rung Active models are generously appointed.   

Much of the international fanfare surrounding the new Mazda3 centres on the company’s innovative SkyActiv-X engine, a four-cylinder petrol unit that utilises both a petrol engine’s spark ignition with a compression-ignition setup similar to that of a diesel. Along with a 24 V mild-hybrid system that scavenges decelerative energy, this unit not only promises greater fuel efficiency and less exhaust gunk, but it also serves up 132 kW and 224 N.m.

The ever-frustrating issue of poor local fuel quality has meant the X has not been given the nod for our market. That leaves a range comprising three 1,5-litre models with 88 kW and 153 N.m on tap, plus the Astina as the sole recipient of the SkyActiv-G naturally aspirated 2,0-litre engine. Its application in the 3 is very much a mixed bag. Its level of mechanical refinement, at both idle and motorway speeds, is deeply impressive, and in fluid driving conditions it’s a pleasingly capable engine.

Its connection with the six-speed torque-converter automatic transmission is where things go a bit awry, though. Once a speed has been settled on and the pace is steady, the ‘box acquits itself well, serving up smooth and measured gearshifts. But the journey to that civilised space sees the engine’s modest outputs pitted against a transmission that becomes somewhat erratic. Its tendency to rush through the ratios at moderate speeds means there’s a paucity of low- to mid-end punch, while its penchant for hanging onto a lower-than-desired ratio on even slight inclines and modest overtaking throttle inputs causes the engine to become strained and drone. Given our test car’s pre-launch homologation unit status, the jury is out regarding final software tweaks to the transmission, but there was a feeling that this particular car’s shift mapping seemed geared towards a more powerful engine.

In isolation, the powertrain’s foibles are irksome, but the wonderfully engineered platform to which it’s mounted seems to draw further attention to those shortcomings.

Drive any of Mazda’s cars, be it a hatchback, crossover or SUV, and there’s a common thread running through the driving experience of each one. It presents in the new 3, too. While it continues to mount a MacPherson suspension arrangement up front, Mazda has dispensed the previous 3’s multilink rear suspension in favour of a more straightforward torsion-beam setup. On paper, it appears to be a step backwards, but in practice it’s an absolute delight. Although firm, the ride shows no crashiness when presented with pockmarked road surfaces and is consistent in its performance across road conditions.

Well-weighted and sportily geared steering? Check. Supple chassis and balanced ride characteristics? Check and check. Everything is present and correct for a car that adapts effortlessly to whatever’s thrown its way. Find an engaging stretch of road and the 3 laps it up. The bit of body roll present under fast cornering doesn’t intimidate but rather communicates with the driver as to the 3’s attitude. It’s such a well-tuned setup that it gives the impression it could handle a good deal more power … that’s an MPS-branded anvil of a hint being dropped to the folks at Mazda.

2019 Mazda Mazda3 hatch 2.0 Astina

R459,850
Ref No: 1646822

Manufacturer Specifications

Standard - standard Optional - optional
  • Leather upholstery: Standard
  • Seats quantity: 5
  • Split rear seat: Standard
  • Air conditioning: Standard
  • Climate control automatic air conditioning: Standard
  • Cup bottle holders: front + rear
  • Lumbar support adjustment: driver electric
  • Antilock braking system (ABS): Standard
  • Electronic brake distribution (EBD): Standard
  • Brake assist (BAS/EBA): Standard
  • Stability control: Standard
  • Driver airbag: Standard
  • Front passenger airbag: Standard
  • Driver knee airbag: Standard
  • Front side airbags: Standard
  • Curtain airbags: Standard
  • Airbag quantity: 7
  • Lane change blindspot warning assist monitor: Standard
  • Automatic drive away locking: Standard
  • ISOFIX child seat mountings: outer rear
  • Approach home safe lighting time delay park headlights: Standard
  • Directional turning headlights: adaptive LED
  • Adaptive headlights varying light distribution: LED
  • Start stop button: Standard
  • Engine auto Stop Start idle stop ecostop: Standard
  • Hillstart assist hillholder: Standard
  • Alloy wheelsrims: Standard
  • Power steering: Standard
  • Multifunction steering wheel controls: Standard
  • Head up display: Standard
  • On board computer multi information display: Standard
  • Navigation: Standard
  • Cruise control: Standard
  • Bluetooth connectivity: Standard
  • CD player: Standard
  • USB port: Standard
  • Central locking: keyless
  • Remote central locking: Standard
  • Key less access start hands free key: Standard
  • Electric windows: front + rear
  • Rain sensor auto wipers: Standard
  • Auto dim interior mirror: Standard
  • Electric adjust mirrors: Standard
  • Sun roof: Standard
  • Electric seat adjustment: driver
  • Daytime driving running lights: LED
  • Light sensor auto on off lights: Standard
  • Xenon headlights: LED
  • Highlevel 3rd brakelight: Standard
  • Park distance control PDC: rear + rear camera
  • Camera for park distance control: rear
  • Rear spoiler: Standard
  • Metallic pearl escent paint: Optional
  • Fuel Type: petrol
  • Fuel range average: 810 km
  • Driven wheels: front
  • Driven wheels quantity: 2
  • Gearratios quantity: 6
  • Gearshift: automatic
  • Transmission type: automatic
  • Gear shift paddles: Standard
  • Electromechanical parking brake: Standard
  • Front tyres: 215/45 R18
  • Reartyres: 215/45 R18
  • Length: 4460 mm
  • Width excl mirrors incl mirrors: 1795 mm
  • Height: 1435 mm
  • Wheel base: 2725 mm
  • Ground clearance minimum maximum: 140 mm
  • Turning circle wheels body: 10.6 m
  • Load volume / capacity: 295 L
  • Unladen/tare/kerb weight: 1350 kg
  • Gross weight (GVM): 1870 kg
  • Towing capacity - unbraked: 600
  • Towing capacity - braked: 1000
  • Fuel tank capacity (incl reserve): 51l
  • Fuel consumption average: 6.3 l/100km
  • CO2 emissions average: 146g/km
  • Power maximum: 121 kW
  • Power maximum total: 121 kW
  • Power peak revs: 6000 r/min
  • Power to weight ratio: 89.6 kW/ton
  • Torque maximum: 213 Nm
  • Torque peak revs: 4000 r/min
  • Torque maximum total: 213 Nm
  • Torque to weight ratio: 158 Nm/ton
  • Engine position/ location: front
  • Engine capacity: 1998 cc
  • Engine size: 2.0l
  • enginedetailshort: 2.0
  • Engine + detail: 2.0
  • Cylinder layout: inline
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder layout + quantity: i4
  • Cam: dohc
  • Valves per cylinder: 4
  • Valves quantity: 16
  • Warranty time (years): 3
  • Warranty distance (km): unlimited km
  • Service plan: Standard
  • Service plan time (years): 3
  • Service plan time (distance): unlimited km
  • Roadside assistance time: 3
  • Service interval (distance): 15000 km
  • Brand: Mazda
  • Status: c
  • Segment: passenger car
  • MMcode: 43046266
  • MMVariant: MAZDA3 2.0 ASTINA A/T 5DR
  • MMintrodat: 2019-07-12
  • Introdate: 2019-07-17
  • DuoportarecordID: MazdMaz3_4h6

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Mazda Mazda3 hatch 2.0 Astina for sale in Sandton from one of Carmag.co.za's apporoved car dealerships
Used Mazda3 hatch 2.0 Astina availbale from the following auto dealer:
Fury Mazda Fourways used car dealership located in: Sandton, Gauteng, South Africa

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