After the salvo of model refreshes by Mazda Philippines the past few days, it is the turn of the humble Mazda 3 compact car.
It was last updated back in October 2021 with the introduction of the M Hybrid variant that introduced electrification to the model range. With the vehicle receiving a refresh earlier this year, it was only a matter of time before it was introduced to our market.
To get it out of the way, the 3 does not get any new colors, unlike its other refreshed siblings. It still has the same hues of Soul Red Crystal, Machine Gray, Platinum Quartz, Snowflake White Pearl, Polymetal Gray, Deep Crystal Blue, and Jet Black.
The biggest changes come to the Sport variant. The price is now at P1,510,000 up from P1,495,000, but the small price bump gives you a whole lot of additional features that make it one of the most feature-rich vehicles in its segment.
It’s powered by a 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G gasoline mill with 153hp and 200Nm, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The changes outside are minimal, but it now receives adaptive front-lighting LED headlamps, signature LED taillights, and auto-folding rear mirrors. The 18-inch wheels are finished in Black Metallic for the hatchback, while the sedan gets them in Bright Silver. Also, the matte-black trim found on the B-pillars is now finished in gloss black for a more premium look.
It comes with a black leather interior that gains additional chrome accents across the cabin, with a 10-way power driver’s seat, a 12-speaker Bose sound system, a heads-up display, a bigger 10.25-inch screen with wireless Apple CarPlay support (Android Auto is still wired), USB-C ports, and a wireless charger. You do lose the front parking sensors on the Sport, but gain blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
Meanwhile, the M-Hybrid gets renamed as the HEV. From P1,695,000, the price gets bumped up to P1,790,000. The 2.0-liter e-Skyactiv-G motor has a 24V mild-hybrid system, with a 0.216kWh lithium-ion battery. The power figure sits at a combined 162hp and 213Nm, and the electric motor has a maximum output of 6.8hp.
It carries over everything found in the Sport, and adds a 360° camera, passive collision signal for brakes, front and rear parking sensors, and an enhanced i-Activsense suite of safety features (front cross-traffic alert, front and rear smart brake support, lane-departure warning with lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control with cruising and traffic support, a driver monitoring system, and driver attention alert).
With the market slowly shifting to crossovers, the compact sedan/hatchback is turning out to become one of the niche form factors. With the Sport essentially having feature parity with the HEV for this update, buyers are getting a fully loaded product regardless of variant. Do you think Mazda Philippines made the right decision, or would you rather have the distributor reintroduce the more affordable variants with cut-down features?