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The Warsaw Voice » Society » September 2, 2011
Mazda 3 1.6 MZ-CD Exclusive
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Driving with a Smile
September 2, 2011   
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Enthusiasm, dynamism and a sporty flair—these are the trademark characteristics of every Mazda. The compact Mazda 3 fitted with a turbodiesel engine adds yet another feature to this
list—fuel economy.

The history of the compact Mazda 3 began in the spring of 2003 during the Geneva Motor Show, where it was unveiled for the first time. It replaced the 323 model, which had been on the market since 1977. Three years ago, the latest—second-generation— Mazda was unveiled.

The car, with a length of 4,460 mm, looks sleekly dynamic. As all Mazda models, it has distinctive bodywork styling features, including a significant inclination of the windshield, bulging wheel arches, a “smiling” grille, and sharply drawn headlights and taillights. The bodywork is certainly a big advantage of the Mazda.

The interior comfortably seats four adult passengers. The test-drive sedan had a luggage compartment of 340l, easily extendible to 1,360l, after folding down the back seats. The dashboard is clear and ergonomically laid out, though at first glance you may feel a bit intimidated by its multitude of buttons and switches. The finishing materials in the cabin are rather average in terms of quality, but they are a perfect fit. Maybe because of the dark colors of the plastics and upholstery, the cabin looks severe and ascetic. Mazda compensates for this with an outstanding list of standard equipment, which includes electric windows and mirrors, dual-zone electronic air conditioning, heated front seats, multifunction steering wheel (with audio/CD and onboard computer controls), a set of airbags and air curtains, xenon headlights, alu wheels and the ABS/ESP system.

The car is fitted with a 115 hp/1.6l turbodiesel engine, with a maximum torque of 270Nm available at 1,750 rpm—meaning this is not a car for Sunday drivers. Driving can be not only dynamic, but also economical. Although this Mazda takes a whole 11 seconds to accelerate from standstill to 100 kph, driving the car feels more exciting than the figures on paper suggest, and putting your foot down will produce a top speed of 186 kph. Average fuel consumption as given by the manufacturer is 4.4l/100 km. During the test drive, consumption was two whole liters more. Perhaps a different driving style would do the trick to match the factory data, but the compact Mazda encourages dynamic driving. The suspension is firm, the steering system direct and the six-speed transmission precise enough. The car comes in handy in the city and is also stable at high speeds. Another plus is the lack of cabin noise.

Mazda boasts that its cars are designed and manufactured with a view to producing maximum driving pleasure. Is this really true in practice? Pretty much. The car certainly put a smile on my face.

Bartosz Grzybiński
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