Mazda3 Neo Manual Sedan April 2004

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					                                                                                                            Mazda3 Neo Manual Sedan
                                                                                                                       April 2004
                                                                                   Report No.698, by NRMA Motoring Information Services




                     LIKES                                           DISLIKES
 Good sizes external mirrors                         Engine rpm high at highway speeds
 Strong performance                                  Lightly weighted steering
The new Mazda 3, introduced into the market          structure enables the chassis engineers to
in January 2004, is the fourth vehicle in the        provide consistent handling characteristics
Mazda range to have been replaced with an all        through a range of driving conditions.
new model. It is a new design that conveys a          The trend in recent years in small cars has
strong presence, and continues the design            been to grow in size and this is certainly
theme that the Mazda2, Mazda6 and Rx8                evident with the new 3, cabin space is as large
introduced into the market during 2002 and           as some mid size sedans of a few years ago.             TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
2003.                                                The sedan is bigger in every dimension than         ENGINE
 The Mazda 3 has two new body styles, a four         the superseded 323 range, which has also            Type...................................4 cylinder in-line
door sedan, and a five door hatch.                   added to overall weight, which depending on         Capacity in litres .................................. 1,998
Interestingly, the sedan and hatch models have       the model, adds between thirty and sixty            Induction............... Multi point fuel injection
no common body panels. The entry level               kilograms.                                          Fuel recommendation .........................91 ron
version is the Mazda3 Neo, available in sedan         The driver settles into a soft, supportive seat,   Claimed max. power .... 104kW at 6,500 rpm
or hatch from just $21,490 with manual               there is plenty of leg and head space, tilt and     Claimed max. torque.... 181Nm at 4,500 rpm
transmission. Automatic transmission adds            telescope adjustment for the steering wheel,        Specific power output ........... 52kW per litre
$2,080 across the range. The standard features       and the four way adjustable driver’s seat           TRANSMISSION
on the Neo include air conditioning, dual            ensures that all size drivers are well catered      Type..................................... 5 speed manual
airbags, CD player, five lap/sash seat belts, tilt   for. The rear seat needed a little more support     Driving wheels..................................... Front
and reach adjustable steering, and four wheel        at the edge of the seat base for longer legged      Speed per 1000 rpm in top gear .......34 km/h
disc brakes.                                         passengers. External mirrors are large without      WHEELS ........................... Steel 15x 6 inch
  The next model is the Mazda3 Maxx, priced          being obtrusive or ugly, and give excellent         Tyres ....................................195/65R15 91V
at $25,490 for the sedan or hatch. Additional        rearward vision. The instrument cluster             Spare .......................................... Space saver
features include six airbags, ABS brakes with        continues the design theme from the Mazda6,         STEERING
EBD and brake assist, an upgraded sound              there are three recessed dials housing Speedo,      Type.......................................... Power assist
system, electric windows and mirrors and             Tacho and fuel and temp gauges which are            Turns lock to lock .................................... 2.9
alloy wheels. A sportier version is available,       easily read through a nicely sized steering         Turning circle...................................... 10.4m
the Maxx sports. Additional features for this        wheel. Mazda’s usual high quality standards
                                                                                                         DIMENSIONS
model are fog lamps, side skirts, a rear spoiler,    for trim and plastic moulds carry through to        Mass.................................................. 1219kg
sports steering wheel and larger 16x6.5 alloy        the 3, each model has its own unique seat trim.     Length............................................. 4405mm
wheels.                                              A large glove box and side door pockets that        Width (incl. mirrors ) ...................... 1945mm
A safety pack that includes side and curtain         also incorporate a drink holder provides useful     Height ............................................. 1465mm
airbags and ABS brakes is available on the           storage. A map pocket is provided on the rear       Ground clearance (measured) ...........136mm
entry level Neo for $1,600.                          of the passenger seat only.                         Seating capacity .......................................... 5
 Rounding out the range is the 2.3 litre SP23,        Driving the 3 sedan around our suburban test       Fuel tank capacity ............................ 55 litres
available in hatch or sedan. Prices start at         route highlights how the impressive the new
                                                                                                         TOWING
$29,990. The SP23 has a unique body kit              engine and transmission package is, the engine
                                                                                                         Max. towed mass (trailer plus load)...... 900kg
which includes new front and rear bumpers,           pulls away strongly from a standing start and
rear spoiler, and larger 17x7 alloy wheels. The      even when the engine revs climb towards the         NRMA THEFT RATING
engine in the SP23 is 2.3 litres in capacity, and    redline, engine noise and vibration were not        Points on 0-120 scale (high score best) .........74
develops 115kW at 6,500 rpm. This engine is a        intrusive. The manual transmission was easy         WARRANTY ........Three Years 100,000 km
variant of the Mazda6 engine, developing             and direct to operate. Mazda engineers have         MANUFACTURED IN ...................... Japan
slightly less power, which was introduced in         opted for a cable controlled manual to reduce                        TEST RESULTS
the Mazda6 in 2002.                                  vibration and make gear selection smoother.         ACCELERATION
 The new two litre engine develops 104kW at           Power assisted steering is electrically            50 - 80 km/h (in third gear )............. 5.03 sec
6,500 rpm and 181Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm.          operated. Steering is precise and responsive        60 -100 km/h (in third gear)............. 6.24 sec
Compared to the superseded 1.8 Litre Mazda           although weighted on the lighter side, which        0 -80 km/h.......................................... 6.8 sec
323 there is an increase of 12kw and 18Nm of         reduces driver feel somewhat.                       0 - 100 km/h..................................... 10.3 sec
torque. It is a all aluminium design with             On the highway the Mazda3 performs well,           0 - 400 metres .................................. 17.2 sec
lightweight engine internals, aimed to reduce        and holds its own with the best in its class. At    FUEL CONSUMPTION (litres/100 km)
engine noise and harshness. Importantly, the         speed the engine is busy, there is enough           Best recorded during testing .................... 6.6
two litre and the 2.3 litre engine in the SP23       torque available for a sixth gear which would       Worst recorded during testing.................. 9.7
pass the Euro Stage 3 engine emission                lower engine rpm. Ride quality was excellent,       Average on test ........................................ 8.0
standard, which does not come into law until         and even on rougher sealed roads, the driver        BRAKING
2005.                                                was well insulated from potholes and                Distance to stop from 80 km/h... 26.1metres
Mazda’s ‘Activematic’ four speed automatic           corrugations.                                       NOISE
transmission has been redesigned to provide          SUMMARY:                                            Interior at constant 80 km/h ............68.9dBA
quicker up shift and downshift times for a            Mazda’s excellent reputation for producing
brisk response                                       contemporary reliable small cars will be
 Body structure in both the sedan and hatch          enhanced with the new Mazda3 and should                        Test vehicle supplied by
has been stiffened to improve occupant safety        continue Mazda’s popularity in this                                Mazda Australia
and the chassis dynamics. A stiffer body             competitive market.


 Call Technical Advice on 1300 655 443 for additional information on this vehicle, and for other automotive advice.
                                                       or visit
                                               www.mynrma.com.au

				
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