Mazda's new, 2012 Mazda3 gets better range-wide economy and a wide choice of models, trims and specs

16 Mazda3 models in upgraded line-up

Monday, 31 October 2011 3:18 PM

2012 Mazda3 MPS

The new Mazda3 MPS gets some gentle styling tweaks and more focus on economy

The upgraded Mazda3 has 16 variants on offer to the UK market and the focus is on cleaner, greener models, as well as a limited edition version. The dimensions are the same as the last model apart from 30mm shorter in length thanks to a revised rear bumper, so the interior space stays the same. But the efficiency improvements across many models are what Mazda is really singing about.

CO2 emissions are from 115g/km for the six diesels, seven of the petrol variants have emissions of 147g/km while only the automatic and MPS models have emissions exceeding 175g/km. The two new Sport versions, the 1.6 Sport and the Sport Nav Diesel, come with gear shift indicators to make sure you shift it more efficiently.

The diesel versions are expected to be popular with fleet buyers as well as private customers – the 1.6-litre diesel and 2.2D with 182bhp have already proven to be sales successes for Mazda in the UK. Emissions are just 115g/km on manual models, aside from the 2.3 DISI Turbo, and this figure puts it into the lowest bracket for benefit-in-kind tax. Based on driving 12,000 miles per year and fuel costs of 140p per litre, 1.6-litre diesel drivers will save £26.88 per year while drivers of the 2.2-litre models will save £53.76 per year. Drivers of the 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre petrol versions can expect to save £25.92 per year based on fuel at 135p per litre over 12,000 miles.

For the launch, the limited-edition Mazda3 Tamura model will be on offer, with just 750 models available. It has a choice of a 1.6 petrol or 1.6 diesel engine. The bespoke sports styling kit features front fog lights, side skirts, sports grille and 17-inch black gloss alloy wheels. It comes in a choice of four colours – Crystal White Pearlescent, Black Mica, Aluminium Silver Metallic and Autumn Bronze Metallic, which is on offer at no extra charge.

The colour-naming department has been busy with the rest of the line-up as well with seven colours to choose from: Arctic White, Aluminium Silver Metallic, Crystal White Pearlescent and four mica finishes: Black, Graphite, Indigo Lights and Velocity Red.

Inside, there’s a new-look black finish dashboard, the graphics on the screen are easier to read even in harsh daylight and even the entry-level model has front, side and curtain airbags as standard. The TS models get 15-inch alloy wheels, dual zone climate control, power mirrors that are also heated and electric windows all round. Upgrade to the TS2 spec for 16-inch alloys, heated windscreen, Bluetooth, rain-sensing wipers and dusk-sensing lights. Or push the boat out and go for a Sport derivative for 17-inch alloys, heated front seats, a Bose audio system with 10 speakers. At the very top of the range, the Sport Nav models feature an integrated satellite navigation system, keyless entry, engine start/stop button and rear parking sensors.

The 260bhp Mazda3 MPS is by far the faster choice

Interior gets a class-increasing makeover

By Georgia Lewis

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