MAZDA has high hopes for its latest model — it claims the all-new Mazda3 will transform the lower medium company car sector because of the new model’s “class-leading combination of performance, excellent fuel economy and low emissions with the latter delivering tax savings to drivers and businesses”.
The model, which will be available in hatchback and fastback (saloon) body styles, will be the third car in the Mazda range, following the Mazda CX-5 and new Mazda6, to feature the manufacturer’s SKYACTIV technology.
A choice of three highly efficient SKYACTIV-G petrol engines and one SKYACTIV-D diesel engine available with outstanding CO2 emissions from 104g/km will be twinned with crisp, smooth six-speed automatic or manual transmissions offering fleet operators and company car drivers a wide model choice across SE, SE Nav, SE-L, SE-L Nav and Sport Nav trim levels.
Arrival of the 36-strong model range heralds the debut of two new SKYACTIV engines — the SKYACTIV-G 1.5-litre 100ps delivering up to 55.4mpg on the combined cycle and emissions from 119gkm and the 2-litre 120ps also offering up to 55.4mpg and emissions from 119g/km.
The range also sees the introduction of powerplants already established in the Mazda CX-5 and new Mazda6 in the form of the SKYACTIV-G 2-litre 165ps with up to 48.7mpg and emissions of 135g/km and the SKYACTIV-D 2.2 150ps, which meets Euro 6 emission standards and returns up to 72.4mpg with emissions from 104g/km.
On the road prices start at £16,695 for the all-new Mazda3 hatchback 1.5-litre SKYACTIV-G 100ps SE hatchback and extend to £23,345 for the Mazda3 2.2-litre SKYACTIV-D 150ps Sport Nav auto hatchback. The range goes on sale in January 2014.
Meanwhile, prices for the Mazda3 fastback featuring the emission-busting 2.2-litre SKYACTIV-D 150ps (104g/km) engine start at £19,245 for the SE derivative and extend to £22,145 for the Sport Nav variant. It means that company car driver benefit-in-kind tax bills for the car start at just £48 a month in 2014 for a basic rate taxpayer (£96 a month at the higher rate).
Mazda is gunning for the traditional C segment with the all-new model, but due to a combination of its dimensions — it is larger than the outgoing Mazda3 — coupled with styling, price and performance that deliver up to 20 per cent lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, the manufacturer believes it will secure a significant foothold in the premium C/D segment.
The all-new Mazda3 2.2-litre SKYACTIV diesel 150ps model, which is anticipated to be the best-seller in the corporate market, offers for example, significant CO2 and MPG advantages over rivals, while also delivering major tax savings to drivers.
and corporate tax and National Insurance savings to employers.
Mazda Head of Fleet Steve Tomlinson said: “A class-leading combination of performance, CO2 emissions and fuel economy, means that the all-new Mazda3 gives fleet managers and company car drivers a real alternative to the traditional in both the C and C/D segments.
“The introduction of SKYACTIV technology in both the Mazda CX-5 and new Mazda6 within the past 12 months has helped to increase Mazda’s penetration in the fleet sector and the arrival of the all-new Mazda3 with similar benefits will further enhance our fleet proposition.”
The £28,410 (OTR) BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics 4dr with CO2 emissions of 109g/km and fuel economy of 68.9mpg is generally regarded as setting the emissions and fuel economy benchmarks in the C/D sector.
Tomlinson continued: “The all-new Mazda3 fastback with CO2 emissions of 104g/km, fuel economy of 72.4mpg and priced from £19,245 establishes a new performance threshold. Additionally, with a benefit-in-kind tax rate of just 15 percent in 2014, the significantly lower list price means major savings for both businesses and company car drivers.”