The past weeks saw us harping about Korean cars—the Hyundai Veloster, the EON, and the Kia Rio—and the American-bred Ford Ranger. Now, it’s the Jap’s turn.
Mazda, in an event called the “Mazda Revolution” at the NBC Tent at the Fort last April 20, launched two new models: the Mazda3 and the CX-5.
The Mazda3, a familiar beast, returns with the same amount of bite that had made its first-generation iteration a popular compact (the model currently comprises a third of Mazda’s annual global sales) since its debut in 2003. From the side, it almost looks like its more upscale brethren, the Mazda 6; ditching the "rounded" look, the ride is a whole lot sleeker.
We might have even asked it if it had been going to the gym. In Mazda’s own words: “A new front fascia with a smaller grille opening contributes to this well-toned look and a sense of enhanced presence. More delicately sculpted forms around the openings on either side of the front bumper realize a fusion between dynamic, emotional design and high functionality.”
Its predecessor was by no means ugly; it was a head turner during its time. But its time has passed, with the classier-looking successor looking more than willing to grab and carry the torch for itself. From the pictures, we favor the sharper headlamps, and the new emblem placement, which now sits prominently in between the grille and the hood line.
“Zoom-Zoom,” the carmaker’s catchphrase, should ring just as loud and clear for the new model’s engines. These come in two variants: the 1.6L with 103 horsepower, and the 2.0L in-line that delivers 145 horsepower. Mazda promises a brisk, comfortable ride with their claims of greater body rigidity; a milder ride with tuned suspension; and improved aerodynamic performance through an optimized front bumper design. On the 2.0L model are 17-inch aluminum wheels to better emphasize these changes.
Its newfound sophistication extends beyond the exterior. The instrument panels, the dashboard, the steering wheel controls have been designed in a manner that “minimizes the amount of eye movement required to operate controls for greater safety and reduced fatigue,” Mazda says. The interior features silver-colored parts and trim, and black-keyed instrument panel design.
We can't wait to drive the car to confirm these statements. The all-new Mazda3 is now available, with three variants ranging from 999,000 pesos to 1.29 million pesos. Now, before we hop on over to the CX-5, we’d like to know why it took three years after it has been available globally since 2009 for a Philippine launch. Seems like it isn’t really all that “all new,” after all.
Not like the CX-5—Mazda’s, compact crossover SUV. This one is all new in the most literal sense, the first of its line, and replaces the all-but-dead Mazda Tribute, which excited nothing but soccer moms. That alone deserves a resounding hooray.
NEXT: Meet Mazda's newest baby, the CX-5