New Mazda3 launched, targets upmarket segment

Auto & Audio March 19, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Mazda is hoping to move upmarket with the Mazda3, which was officially launched yesterday in Bangkok.

The new compact car is the first SkyActiv vehicle to be produced in Thailand as the CX-5 launched last year is imported from Malaysia. 
Targeting the upper C-segment market, Mazda plans to sell 13,000 Mazda3s per year. 
Mazda Sales (Thailand) president Choichi Yuki said the all-new Mazda3 Sport Compact is one of the few Japanese cars that can challenge and beat many European makes in terms of quality. 
“I believe that the introduction of the new Mazda3 in Thailand will turn out to be a success since it is a superior car compared to its rivals and is one of the top models that customers have been waiting for. I am confident that the Mazda3 will play an important role in strengthening the Mazda brand in Thailand and serve as an important driving force for Mazda’s future business,” Yuki said. 
Featuring the “KODO – Soul of Motion” design philosophy, the new Mazda3 is powered by a 2.0-litre SkyActiv-G engine capable of producing 165ps at 6,000rpm and 210Nm at 4,000rpm. The 6-speed automatic transmission is also developed using SkyActiv technology and features shift paddles on the steering wheel. 
The Mazda3 comes with six airbags (front, side and curtain), ABS disc brakes with Brake Assist and DSC (Dynamic Stability Control). It also comes with features that are usually found in luxury cars including the i-ActiveSense package of technologies that aids the driver in recognising and avoiding potential hazards, and pre-crash safety technologies which help to avert collisions or reduce their severity in situations where they cannot be avoided. 
Meanwhile, MZD Connect connects with smartphones via Bluetooth allowing for hands-free calls and music streaming, as well as Internet surfing. 
Using the Aha by Harman Web contents platform, the system will even read out the latest tweets on Twitter and newsfeed on Facebook. It is also possible to “like” posts and post voice messages. 
There are seven trim levels for the sedan and hatchback, with prices ranging from Bt833,000 to Bt1.094 million. The engine is E85-compatible, resulting in low excise duty. Only automatic transmission is offered.