By: Jason Woosey
Hiroshima, Japan - The Mazda3 has been given its midlife makeover in the form of a subtle facelift and various mechanical refinements, an improved diesel engine range and new technologies.
You'll have to look closely at pictures two and three in the gallery above to notice the facial differences between new and old, but it does sport a new bumper/grille design and headlights, with the most apparent changes being where the grille's chrome surround meets the headlights and the lower air inlets have also been restyled. Two new colours join the range in the form of Eternal Mica Blue and Sonic Silver. The biggest alteration inside the freshened Mazda3 is a redesigned steering wheel.
Certain markets will get a more affordable diesel engine option in the form of Mazda's 1.5-litre Skyactiv-D, but our local contact tells us that this won't form part of the revised South African model, which will remain unchanged in terms of line-up.
On the technological front, the new 3 gains a system called G-Vectoring Control, that can vary engine torque in response to steering inputs to optimize the vertical load on each wheel and make the overall driving experience smoother and more in tune with body movements.
Available driver assistance gadgets include Mazda's first Traffic Sign Recognition System, as well as an improved Advanced Smart City Brake Support system that can now detect pedestrians and which can now detect vehicles and pedestrians at speeds of up to 80km/h.
The refreshed Mazda3 range is due in South Africa around September or October this year, according to Mazda SA.
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