|The new Mazda3 Sport reached our hands for a customary test drive recently courtesy of Bermaz Motor headquartered at the Hicom Glenmarie Industrial Area in Shah Alam.|
At a glance, the Mazda3 Sport 2.0 features a continental appeal and boasts an aerodynamically savvy exterior, with a marginal fully imported from Japan or CBU price tag.
The new Mazda3 Sport 2.0 version features accentuated headlamps and a large intake grill resembling a “smiley” outlook. With its combined sharp curves, high deck and short overhangs design, sculpted sides and defined wheel arches, the 3 Sport provides a stylish and aggressive appeal to just about anyone who prefers a sporty but not overly priced performance sedan.
Looking inside this scintillating vehicle, you’d notice a merit of added styling and sophistication namely; a pre-defined wave-like dashboard, a blue LED Multi Information Display (MID) which brings out a sense of luxury, and an upgraded steering wheel with a pair of paddle shifters with Direct Active Matic (DAM), available on the 2.0 only.
Other class-leading features in the Mazda3 Sport 2.0 include 6 airbags (front, side, curtain), auto headlamp levelling, dual-zone air-condition, premium audio entertainment system, 17” alloy wheels and much much more.
The Mazda3 Sport 2.0L may look compact at the rear, but it has rather spacious rear and storage compartment for excess luggage and items. After several minutes of discovery to figure out appropriate switches and align the seats and windows, we were quick to hit the road and put the Mazda3 Sport to its trial runs.
Its paddle-shift steering had several functionalities which; control the audio and entertainment system, toggle vehicle information and access the expanded cruise control. The information panel at the center of the dashboard provides key entries on the vehicle’s current data such as; temperatures, average speed, speed alarm, FM frequency listings, average fuel economy, distance traveled, and other important data.
Another outstanding interior highlight was the double protruding oval shaped speedometer. The speedometer provides the driver with extra clarity and a range of accessibilities. However, manual access to the information panel was probably a bit further away than usual and not at arms’ length for some drivers. Therefore, we had to tweak the appropriate information settings required before resuming our drive.
The 3 Sport’s dual air-condition controls provided very efficient cool air for front passengers and rear passengers alike, ensuring a good level of comfort on the road at all times. A center knob is also available on the classy A/C panel to set the A/C level on high or low depending on the driver or front passenger’s preferences.
From the A/C panel upwards, the audio entertainment system gave us an immensely hi-tech personification and we felt that it bonded really well with the A/C vents and A/C control panel, creating a sense of individualized styling similar to preferred customized interior available only in certain Continental marques. Additional interior amenities include; a large center console, an enclosed small storage compartment below the A/C panel and a sunglass compartment.
We did short and long analysis to scrutinize the 3 Sport 2.0’s rigidity and performance capabilities. On short runs, the 3 Sport had a convincing smooth power delivery thanks to its optimized MZR engine. Its torque capability of 182 Nm at 4,500 rpm is said to have been enhanced compared its predecessor.
Challenging Malaysian roads also allowed us to take several undulating routes where we put the paddle-shifters to good use to determine relative gear ratios and responsiveness. Additionally, we were able to analyze the car’s stability on corners and adverse roads. The 3 Sport negotiated tight bends and curbs with relative ease and was particularly smooth on entries and exits. The sturdy handling of the car was enabled by efficient MacPherson front suspension system.
On occasions where overtaking was required, the 3 Sport performed like a dream. Its power delivery was somewhat phenomenal for its class at 108kw or 145 hp at 6,500 rpm, constituting to linear drives. In fact, whenever there were overtaking opportunities we would utilize it with the 3 Sport’s excellent pick up speed and fluid handling. The pick-up and handling aspects are attributed to its DOHC 16-valve and patented Mazda sequential valve timing powertrain.
Switching from automatic mode to paddle-shifter mode was a breeze, to access it simply push or engage the gear lever towards the driver’s side while on D with +/M/- sign. Upon the switch, the car gained an ever slight power increase. This process did take a little getting use to and it’s really not recommended for long distance driving.
Once the car’s back to auto mode, the gear ratios were recalibrated and within seconds it felt easy to drive again on all quarters, particularly on distance drives. The 2.0’s pace was imminently consistent, and its handling proved itself especially on extremely curvy and tight corners on various roads in the Klang Valley.
Braking was another commendable factor on the 3 Sport, forced or emergency braking was completely safe and assured with the 3 Sport’s quality braking system. The ventilated discs when applied would stabilize the car and readjust the wheels to allow a very effective transition from a temporary stop situation to full throttle again.
On another worthy note, although the 3 Sport offers a powerful package, it was real easy on fuel. Our readings indicated that a full tank could go 393km and more, depending on a light-foot or a heavy-foot driver.
You’ll have to try the 3 Sport to believe it for yourselves!
For more information, contact Bermaz Motor Sdn. Bhd. at 0355692797 or log on to www.mazda.com.my
MAZDA3 SPORT 2 .0
MZR 2.0 Engine Inline 4-Cylinder DOHC
Max. Output (EEC)
Max. Torque (EEC)
Fuel Tank Capacity
5 speed AT activematic with AAS
Rack and pinion
Electro-Hydraulic Power Assist Steering (EHPAS)
DIMENSION & WEIGHTS
Minimum turning circle
Minimum kerb weight