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The Mercury Cars Guide : April 18th 2009
2— CARSguide Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, April 18, 2009 Mazda3 puts TOP OF THE TREE: The SP25 boasts a 2.5-litre, four-cylinder engine. Mazdawill launch its all-importantMazda3intoan Australian market it considers not racked with pitfalls but rich with possibilities. KevinHepworthreports and running at a monthly rate comparable to that of 2003, Mazda is refusing to look beyond what it sees as a silver lining for any company with product and vision. ‘‘There is no doubt that the current situation is challeng- ing, butweare lookingon it as an opportunity to move for- ward,’’ Mazda Australia boss Doug Dickson says. ‘‘If you just pull down the shutters and hope it is all going to go away, then there is a very real danger that when you do have another look it will be too late.’’ The key plank in Mazda’s ‘‘always look on the bright side’’ strategy is the next- generation Mazda3, the car that has sweptMazdato record sales and consistent year-on- year market share improve- ments since the launch of the original car in January 2004. In that time the Mazda3 has T DESPITE a new-car market shedding al- most 20 per cent of year-on-year sales sold more than two million worldwide,makingit the com- pany’s most successful model yet and, with 164,000 sold in Australia to the end of March, it has been the mainstay of the company’s local success. The latest version of the Mazda3 has hit the local mar- ket with a starting price of $21,990 for the Neo six-speed manual (add $2060 for the five- speed automatic), a claimed $100 under the pre-runout sale price of the previous model. The Neo comes in both sedan and hatch models with a 108kW two-litre four- cylinder engine, standard electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist. There are only two airbags fitted as standard, but four more are offered as part of a $500 safety pack. Also standard on the base car are metallic paint, power mirrors and windows, air- conditioning, trip computer, rake and reach adjustable steering wheel, pollen filter and MP3-compatible stereo with single CD. The mid-range Maxx adds side and curtain airbags as standard for $24,990 in manual mode, $1500 below the pre- vious model’s normal recom- mended retail price. Replac- ing the 15-inch steel wheels on the Neo are same-size alloys, while a six-stacker CD with steering wheel-mounted con- trols is also standard. Move up to the Maxx Sport for $27,690 and 16-inch alloys, satellite navigation, fog lamps, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear-shift knob, and Bluetooth join the stan- dard equipment. Atthe top of the tree, at least until the arrival of theMPSin August, the $30,690 SP25 gains the 122kW 2.5-litre four- cylinder engine to go with 17-inch alloys, an aero body kit, dual-zone climate control, driver’s seat lumbar adjust- ment, and wheel-mounted shift paddles with the optional automatic ($2260). To a great extent the com- ALWAYS POPULAR: The Mazda3 has been the company’s biggest-selling model. pany has adopted an ‘‘if it isn’t broke don’t fix it’’ approach with the popular small car. ‘‘In working towards this model, the argument was really one of evolution versus revolution,’’ says Ruben Ar- chilla, group manager for ad- vanced engineering and pro- gram promotion at Mazda’s North American headquar- ters. ‘‘It was important for us to respect what had been working in the car. The out- going model had been doing very well and the customers had been happy — we didn’t need to reinvent the wheel.’’ Archilla says the biggest challenge was to maintain Mazda’s ‘‘zoom zoom’’ charac- ter for enjoyable driving in a changing environment. ‘‘Keeping that ethos in a marketplace where there were changes outside our con- trol — rising fuel costs and stricter emission regulations —was what really focused the development,’’ he says. ‘‘What we had to aim at was smarter, more efficient refinements.’’ The most noticeable of those changes are to the front of the car, where the grille has beenmoveddownand slightly reshaped—within the corpor- ate five-point parameters—to improve air-flow to the engine and across the external sur- faces. ‘‘It gives a ram effect for air- flow, reducing wasted air through the engine bay, im- proving cooling and improv- ing the CD [co-efficient of drag],’’ Archilla says. Within the structure of the car there are redesigns of the suspension, greater use of high-tensile steel, and reposi- tioning of mounting points for the damper towers and anti- roll bars — all designed to Specialising in cars... www.thecarmart.com.au 96 Proton Wira GLi 1.5lt, manual, p/s, economical, one owner. 95 Holden Barina Swing 1.4lt, manual, p/s, alloys, 5 door. SAVE $2000. 97 Proton M21 coupe 1.8lt, manual, p/s, a/c, electrics, alloys, great first car, be quick. 99 Holden Commodore VS III ute 3.8lt, auto, p/s, a/c, tow bar, 3 seater. 98 Honda Accord sedan 3.0lt, auto, p/s, a/c, electrics, alloys, c/lock, lovely example. 00 Kia Carens wagon 1.8lt, manual, p/s, a/c, electrics, 7 seats, 03/10 reg. 95 Mitsubishi Lancer CC sedan 1.8lt, manual, p/s, tidy, above average. 02 Holden YGCruze wagon 1.5lt, manual, p/s, a/c, electrics, alloys, AWD. SAVE $1000 99 Kia Sportage SE 2.0lt, manual, p/s, a/c, electrics, economical 4x4, value. $10,000 02 Holden Astra TS Equipe 1.8lt, manual, p/s, a/c, alloys, body kit, sporty, REDUCED. David Strang 0404 724 986 Mark Patterson 0417 025 936 Todd Jackson 0419 514 956 Rob Sylvester 0418 124 226 (Finance) 99 Hyundai EF Sonata GLS 2.5lt, manual, p/s, a/c, electrics, excellent road test. Easy on-site finance available 96 Hyundai Excel X3 LX 1.5lt, p/s, a/c, tint, hard to find auto. 99 Holden VT Commodore 3.8lt, auto, p/s, a/c, tow bar, tint, 02/10 reg. 01 Ford Falcon AU III 4.0lt, auto, p/s, a/c, electrics, low km, above average. www.thecarmart.com.au 14 Derwent Park Rd, Derwent Park 6211 0566 13099dev Under $3995 $3995 $4995 $9995 $6995 $5995 $5995 $6995 $3995 $8995 $6995 $7995 $9995 $7995
April 4th 2009
April 25th 2009