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Mazda3 SP25 GT

by John Ewing,reviewed December 2016

Mazda3 – It's THE brand’s most popular model globally and there’s no shortage of them.
On Australian roads, it is one of the nation’s top sellers and, when you drive one, it’s easy to understand why.

The latest model update brings subtle cosmetic changes to the exterior and interior. Importantly, Mazda is delivering better value to buyers with a combination of extra features and revised pricing. In the case of the SP25 GT, the list price rises by only $200, which is more than offset by the sizeable chunk of extra standard equipment it has, including the previous model’s $1300 safety pack option.

The GT’s ‘extras’ include: power folding mirrors; LED fog lights and DRLs; LED adaptive headlights; revised design 18-inch alloys; electric park brake; colour active driving display; DAB+ radio; smart city brake support (forward and reverse); blind-spot monitoring; rear cross-traffic alert; driver attention alert; and traffic sign recognition.

The latter recognises speed, ‘stop’ and ‘no entry’ signs, displaying them in the active head-up driving display, which also blinks when speed exceeds the posted limit. While it’s handy, it did miss speed signs occasionally despite it also using navigation map speed zone data.

The latest 3 also scores Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control system, plus revisions to the electric power steering and suspension dampers. Already highly regarded for its dynamics, these changes enhance its road-holding talents. The G-Vectoring makes for more responsive turn-in to corners and it’s better able to hold a cornering line with minimal corrections of throttle or steering by the driver. 

The 2.5-litre engine used in the larger and nearly 200kg heavier Mazda6 offers smooth, and predictably, solid urge. The six-speed auto’s ratio shifts are smooth and completed promptly. Mazda has made NVH improvements to make the 3 quieter, including changes to specifically deal with tyre and road noise levels. However, on coarse-chip bitumen noise levels are still too intrusive.

Inside, it’s what we have come to expect from the Mazda3 – a well laid-out, user-friendly cabin that’s finished to a high standard. Seating is comfortable, though cushion tilt for the six-way power adjustable driver’s pew would have made it even better.

The latest changes have made the already well-regarded Mazda3, including the GT, an improved package and should ensure more hearts are won over.

For

Handling, better value, NVH improvements.

Against

Spacesaver spare, no cushion tilt for driver’s seat.

Car Details

Vehicle make Mazda
Vehicle model Mazda3 SP25 GT
Year 2016
Current price range $31990 - $
ANCAP crash rating
5 out of 5 stars
Insurance

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Technical advice

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Warranty 3yr/unlimited km
Engine ENGINE: 2.5-litre, Skyactiv-G petrol 4-cyl.
Max power 138kW
Max torque 250Nm
Acceleration to 100 km/h 7.9 seconds
Driving wheels Front
Fuel type ULP
Economy ADR 6.1 litres/100km
CO2 Emissions 143g/km

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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.