By Benjamin Chunga (@benjaminthecreative)
The Mazda3 is a step away from the average c-segment hatch we are used to seeing. The good folk over at Mazda got the checklist of what a modern hatchback should look like, and ignored it completely, produced some magic, and I love them for that.
What they’ve done here is come up with a car so good looking it once pulled every petrol attendant out of the staff room when I drove into a filling station. It is undoubtedly a beautiful car. The plus side is that the aesthetics is not where it ends. Mazda has designed the car to give the driver a better experience.
How, you may ask? Well for one, the handling is simply sublime. The Mazda3’s G-Vectoring Control chassis management system makes city driving a breeze by varying torque in order to shift weight based on the drivers steering input. This improves cornering and creates a much smoother drive. The Mazda3 2.0 Astina Plus also boasts quite a number of nifty little features like LED headlights, lane assist, autonomous city braking, lane departure warnings, and a Head-p Display unit, all of which add to the quality of the drive. The Mazda3 also boasts a 9 speaker BOSE sound system which allows you to customise the settings to your exact preference. There is ample space for you to store various items, the glove compartment being big enough to store my Nikon DSLR camera easily. It contains not one but two USB ports for you to charge your smartphone, and has more than enough boot space.
Whilst my time spent driving this car was enjoyable from the second I got behind the wheel, there were a few things that were a little bit of a nuisance. For example, the Mazda3 2.0 Astina is naturally aspirated, now for those of you who aren’t too familiar with the term, it basically means there’s no turbo. That’s not to say the Mazda3 is a slouch, definitely not. It just takes longer to get to speed than most competitors with turbos. However once it does get to speed, it gives you ample performance. The Mazda3 can hold its own at high speeds with effortless control while pumping out 121Kw of power and 210N.m of torque which go straight to the front wheels. The 6 speed automatic is good, but the second you feel like taking over and using the manual paddle shifters you notice the gear changes begin to lag, which can be slightly frustrating when you need to quickly tap into the power on offer.
The Mazda3 may have few flaws like the slightly smaller boot but all in all, the it hits the right notes.
Model: Mazda3 2,0 Astina Plus Auto
Price: R407 900
Engine: 2,0-litre, four cylinder, naturally aspirated
Power: 121 kW @ 6 000 r/min
Torque: 210 N.m @ 4 000 r/min
0-100 km/h: 8,9 seconds
Top Speed: 195 km/h
Fuel Consumption: 7,0 L/100 km
CO2: 139 g/100 km
Transmission: Six-Speed Automatic
Maintenance Plan: 3 year/unlimited km Service Plan
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