2019 Mazda3 – What you need to know

How does the Mazda small car's move upmarket impact on buyers?

Bold new looks, bolder pricing and nameplate changes herald a new Mazda3 that aspires to take lucrative sales from the king of premium small cars, the Volkswagen Golf.

Featuring a raft of the latest safety and driver assist technologies in all-new hatchback and sedan wrappings, the latest Mazda3 is offered in six trim levels, with two engine and transmission choices.

Finding the time to find all the bits and bobs of each is time consuming, so we've done it for you, making it easier to decide which Mazda3 has the features you want at the price you want.

At $24,990 (plus on-road costs) the 2019 Mazda3 G20 Pure manual kicks off the range and features the following standard kit:

• 16-inch alloy wheels
• 8.8-inch infotainment colour screen
• Head-up display
• Air conditioning
• Apple CarPlay / Android Auto
• Cruise control
• Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM)
• Reverse camera
• Satellite navigation

Options

There are eight colours for the hatchback and seven for the sedan, with Soul Red Machine Grey and Polymetal Grey Metallic all adding $495 to the price.

The Vision Technology pack, optional on the Mazda3 G20 Pure, G20 Evolve, G20 Touring, G25 Evolve and G25GT, but standard on the G25 Astina, costs $1500 and includes a 360-degree monitor, cruising and traffic support, front cross traffic alert, front parking sensors and smart brake support. White or burgundy leather seats are also optional and exclusive to the G25 Astina in both hatch and sedan bodies.

Safety and Driver Assistance

Mazda has upped the ante with new safety kit for the Mazda3, including seven airbags, (one of which is a driver knee bag), traction and stability controls, anti-lock brakes with smart brake support, brakeforce distribution, emergency brake assist and emergency stop signal to warn motorists of severe braking.

There is also driver attention alert, auto high beam for the headlights, hill start and lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, G-vectoring control for improved cornering, rear parking sensors, forward obstruction warning, a reversing camera and rear cross traffic alert. Finally, road-sign recognition and tyre-pressure monitoring are standard for all variants.

A step up to the Mazda3 G20 Touring gains you advanced keyless entry, but for all the safety gadgets head to the G25 Astina variant and its 360-degree monitoring, adaptive headlights, cruising and traffic support, driver monitoring front cross-traffic alert, front parking sensors and smart brake support with rear crossing.

Infotainment Comfort and Convenience

Every new-gen Mazda3 variant comes bundled with an 8.8-inch colour infotainment screen operated by a rotary dial and buttons. The system features Bluetooth and music streaming, including DAB+ digital and AM/FM radio, all with steering wheel controls. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and satellite navigation also come standard. But if you want improved sound quality, opt for the Mazda3 G25 GT and its 12-speaker Bose audio system.

While air-conditioning is standard across the range, if you want the flexibility of dual-zone climate control air and rear vents, you'll have to stump up for a Mazda3 G20 Evolve as a minimum.

How about some interior leather accents? Again it's the Mazda3 G20 Evolve that obliges, with leather wrapping on the steering wheel, gear shift knob and handbrake cover. Staying with the G20 Evolve gets you an auto-dimming rear view mirror and gear shift paddles with the automatic transmission.

Are illuminated vanity mirrors important? Scoot over to the Mazda3 G20 Touring and appreciate the convenience of an overhead storage box for your sunnies as well.

Nothing beats the feel of leather seating, and while the G20 Pure and Evolve offer cloth trim, black leather pews are standard in the Touring, without going to the expense of the G25 GT or Astina. The driver seat is also 10-way power adjustable with two memory settings.

Heated seats are handy during winter and if you want them the G25 GT is where you'll have to park your money, and you will also get lumbar support in the driver seat.

Complementing the distinctive looks of the Mazda3 are the daytime running lights, chrome exhaust extension, body-coloured door handles, bumpers LED headlights and tail lights, folding exterior power mirrors and auto headlight function.

Does a sunroof hold any appeal? Slip into the range-topping Mazda3 G25 Astina if so, as its exclusive to this model.

Every model rides on alloy wheels, 16-inch for the Mazda3 G20 Pure and 18-inch for the G20 and G25 Evolve and Touring, plus the Mazda3 G25 GT and G25 Astina. On the GT and Astina variants, they are black on the hatch and bright finish on the sedan.

Engine and transmission choices
The Mazda3 range offers a choice of a 2.0-litre (G20) or 2.5-litre engine (G25).
Both have four cylinders with the 2.0-litre powerplant producing 114kW and 200Nm. The 2.5-litre develops 139kW and 252Nm. The latter engine also has cylinder deactivation for extra fuel savings. Both will run on standard unleaded or E10 fuel.

Prices for the Mazda3 range are:
Hatchback
Mazda3 G20 Pure Manual – $24,990
Mazda3 G20 Pure Automatic – $25,990
Mazda3 G20 Evolve Manual – $26,690
Mazda3 G20 Evolve Automatic – $27,690
Mazda3 G20 Touring Manual – $28,990
Mazda3 G20 Touring Automatic – $29,990
Mazda3 G25 Evolve Manual – $29,490
Mazda3 G25 Evolve Automatic – $30,490
Mazda3 G25 GT Manual – $33,490
Mazda3 G25 GT Automatic – $34,490
Mazda3 G25 Astina Manual – $36,990
Mazda3 G25 Astina Automatic – $37,990

Sedan
Mazda3 G20 Pure Manual – $24,990
Mazda3 G20 Pure Automatic – $25,990
Mazda3 G20 Evolve Manual – $26,690
Mazda3 G20 Evolve Automatic – $27,690
Mazda3 G20 Touring Manual – $28,990
Mazda3 G20 Touring Automatic – $29,990
Mazda3 G25 Evolve Manual – $29,490
Mazda3 G25 Evolve Automatic – $30,490
Mazda3 G25 GT Manual – $33,490
Mazda3 G25 GT Automatic – $34,490
Mazda3 G25 Astina Manual – $36,990
Mazda3 G25 Astina Automatic – $37,990

Verdict on the Mazda3

Firstly, I would always select a hatch for its added versatility and if I was keeping one eye on the piggy bank the G20 Evolve Auto seems like a solid bet, blending a decent level of standard kit, plus a few goodies like dual zone air, leather tiller and gear shifter plus the paddle shifts for greater driver involvement.

However, if the said piggy bank was begging to be emptied the attraction of extra oomph from the bigger engine along with premium sound system, leather interior, bigger alloy wheels are enough for me to fork over the extra chaff for a manual G25 GT and add on the $1500 Vision Tech pack.

Related reading:
Mazda3 Range Review
Mazda3 SKYACTIV-X engine specs confirmed
Mazda3 SKYACTIV-X 2019 Review – International
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