What is it?
The Mazda 3 Liftback High Plus is the highest spec variant of the Mazda 3 among its lineup. As the highest spec, you’ll expect the Mazda 3 Liftback High Plus to be loaded with all the bells and whistle that is available within the Mazda’s arsenal. We have tested the Mazda 3 Sedan High variant back in August 2019, so this time round, let’s see what differs between the High and High Plus variant.
What’s the difference?
As a Mazda 3 liftback, the 1st thing that you lose out is the cargo space which is 149L down from the sedan’s carrying capacity to a modest 295L in the liftback. Apart from the cargo space, the High Plus variant of the Mazda 3 also comes equipped with a signature illumination LED headlight and taillight that enhances the look of the Mazda 3. The rim size has also been increase to 215/45 R18 that filled up the wheel arch nicely.
The biggest difference between the High variant and the High Plus variant of the Mazda 3 is in safety front. For starters, there are the additional Adaptive Front-Lighting System (AFS) with High Beam Control (HBC), which uses the forward facing camera to determine oncoming cars or cars ahead in order to switch on and off the high beam to prevent glaring other road users. The system does a very good job in detecting other road users and didn’t once glaring other road users.
Next up, the Mazda 3 High Plus also comes with Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) that work together to keep the drivers alert about other road users that are within the driver’s blind spot. The system is quite sensitive about detecting other cars around the Mazda which is very helpful. On top of that, the Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), Lane-Keeping Assist System (LAS), and Driver Attention Alert (DAA) is there to constantly keep the car in line. The LDWS and LAS systems is more subtle compare to the systems within the Mazda CX-5, which can catch you off guard if didn’t notice.
Lastly, there are the Smart Brake System (SBS) and Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC) to complete the additional safety system line up. Within the SBS, you are allowed to set the sensitivity of the system which I didn’t try out (#safedriving). As for the MRCC, the system is a little sensitive on the throttle and brakes, Mazda could do some tuning to make the system smoother during acceleration and braking.
How it drives?
The Mazda 3 Liftback High Plus is powered by the same 2.0L engine that is found in the Mazda 3 Sedan we tested previously. Which means the power is retain at 162hp at 6,000rpm, and 213Nm of torque at 4,000rpm and uses the same 6 speed automatic transmission. All the other underpinnings are also similar to the Mazda 3 Sedan. Overall, the driving experience didn’t really change much apart from slight difference in the car’s body control. The Mazda 3 Liftback felt a little more agile when taking corners, this is due to the lack of an additional weight at the back that the sedan variant has, thus cutting down the pendulum effect.
What’s the Verdict?
Mazda 3 Liftback High Plus is a great car to drive with decent practicality. If you wanted more space, but not sacrificing safety, we would highly recommend you to go for the High Plus sedan. Priced at RM160,059, the Mazda 3 Liftback High Plus is still quite an expensive purchase when you consider the direct competitors are priced lesser, but then again, Mazda 3 is the better looking car among its competitor as well. The Mazda 3 Liftback is worth considering if you want something sporty, and drives well if you can afford it.