The new Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary edition!

Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary Review

The new Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary edition!
The new Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary edition!

The Mazda MX-5 turned 30 in 2019 and to celebrate, Mazda has produced a limited edition 30th Anniversary model. Only 3000 will be made and distributed worldwide with just ten of those cars making their way to Ireland. In December I had the pleasure of spending a week with car #16 of that limited production run.

Finished in exclusive Racing Orange paint, the Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary edition is a showstopper. Priced from €40,995, this model now sits at the very top of the range and is a significant investment over the entry level MX-5 (available from €28,195). But it’s special y’know.

Only 3000 models will be distributed worldwide
Only 3000 models will be distributed worldwide

So what's so special about the Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary?

The orange paintwork and 2.0-litre petrol 184 hp engine are non-negotiable. Yes, the MX-5 30th Anniversary edition gets by default the more powerful engine in the range - the 2.0-litre petrol engine has been improved to output more power – up from 160 hp to 184 hp – since we last tested the MX-5 in 2017. This is paired to an ultra-precise and mechanical feeling six-speed manual gearbox. Bilstein dampers, a strut-brace and limited slip differential mean best possible performance from the tiny two seat roadster.

Other special features include exclusive 17" wheels, orange brake calipers with Nissin brakes on the rear and Brembo brakes on the front wheels, and a 30th Anniversary badge displaying the model’s serial number. It’s one very cool looking machine.

The interior of the MX-5 30th Anniversary
The interior of the MX-5 30th Anniversary

What's the MX-5 30th Anniversary like inside?

The black interior has been laced with orange trim for a modern, youthful feel. There’s orange piping on the Recaro seats with Alcantara trim, orange trim around the air vents and on the inside door panels, steering wheel, dashboard and gear lever. The infotainment screen is controlled via steering wheel mounted controls and a rotary controller on the centre console. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard.

The cabin of the MX-5 is snug and sporty. You’ve got to enjoy tight spaces. Feet stretched out in front of you on the pedals, press the start button to fire up the engine, left hand on the gear shifter as you slot the car into first gear…there’s a tactile, raw feeling to the Mazda MX-5 that stays for the entire journey.

The Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary is available from €40,995
The Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary is available from €40,995

Driving it

A perfectly balanced chassis translates to lightening quick steering and chassis responses in corners that account for the magic feeling only a true sports car like the MX-5 can give you. This car flows through corners with just delicate movements on the steering wheel and a lightness of touch that's absolutely thrilling when the roads get twisty and you give it a bit more throttle. Sitting so close to the ground means you feel like you're flying all the time. There’s lots of engine noise through the gear changes and the lack of refinement from the fabric roof just adds to the atmosphere.

This is a stiff set-up and can be teeth jangling on very rough roads. Over a week of driving my fuel consumption averaged at 6.1 l/100 km, which is remarkably good.

The Mazda MX-5 is a wonderful sports car for people who love driving for the fun of it. It's small, a bit uncomfortable at times...but I doubt you will ever regret buying it other than the day you are asked to do an airport run.

You do pay a premium for the 30th Anniversary model but the orange theme adds a surprising amount of energy. A fantastic birthday makeover for an icon!

Caroline says sayonara from the cabin of the MX-5 30th Anniversary - we have our memories

Caroline says sayonara from the cabin of the MX-5 30th Anniversary - we have our memories

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary 2.0 Skyactiv-G
Price: 
€40,995
Engine: 2.0-litre petrol
Power: 
184 hp
Torque: 205Nm
0-100km/h:  
6.5 seconds
Top speed: 219 km/h
Economy: 
6.9/100km
CO2 emissions:  
161g/km
Motor tax: 
€570 per year

 


Caroline and the Mazda CX-30 EV Prototype

Mazda MX-30 EV Prototype First Drive Review

Caroline and the Mazda CX-30 EV Prototype
Caroline and the Mazda MX-30 EV Prototype

In 2020, Mazda will launch the brand's first ever electric vehicle, the Mazda MX-30 all-electric SUV. I had an opportunity to preview the new MX-30 in Portugal, and test drive Mazda's new EV technology in a prototype vehicle.

Mazda has set out to bottle up the company's Jinba Ittai - driver and car as one - engineering ethos, and produce an electric vehicle that delivers ‘outstanding driving pleasure’. The MX-30 will be the third new generation Mazda - after the 2019 Mazda3 and CX-30 - when it goes into production towards the middle of 2020.

At Mazda's Technology & Design Forum in Lisbon, we had the opportunity to speak in great detail with the MX-30 European product development team, led by the passionate and articulate Christian Schultze, Director and Deputy General Manager at the Mazda Motor Europe R&D Centre. Schultze has been working with Mazda in Europe since 1990 and told us about the product development that saw the European team in consultation with their Japanese colleagues from an early stage. The MX-30 will be a global car but will launch first in Europe in 2020 and has been developed for this market.

The new Mazda EV prototype in action in Sintra, Portugal
The new Mazda EV prototype in action in Sintra, Portugal

The MX-30 uses the brand's new Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture and employs a number of new technologies and innovations to create the most natural feeling EV powertrain. Electric G-Vectoring Control Plus (e-GVC Plus) is an evolution of a system already found in Mazda's fleet and promises a feeling of more natural feedback by precise torque control and sound that lets the driver know exactly what the car is doing. Mazda has developed its own bespoke motor pedal concept for the Mazda MX-30 for a more natural feel relative to the driver’s intended amount of acceleration and deceleration. They have also developed special sound or ‘aural feedback’ through the audio system corresponding to the driver’s pedal action that helps the driver to more precisely control vehicle speed and adds to the driving pleasure.

Power will come from a 35.5 kWh battery giving a power output of about 140 hp, torque of 265 Nm and an electric range estimated somewhere in the region of 200 km. Mazda engineers also spoke to us about the possibility of a rotary engine being installed as a range extender.

The test vehicle provided to us in Portugal on a bright December morning was an e-TPV (electric technology proving vehicle) using the chassis and body of a CX-30. The MX-30 and CX-30 are closely matched in size and wheelbase so this was a realistic preview of what the MX-30 is going to feel like on the road.

The interior of the prototype - don't touch the red button
The interior of the prototype - don't touch the red button

I was accompanied by a member of the Mazda event team who briefed me on the vehicle. He was monitoring the technical underpinnings of the car through a tablet and the big red button on the dash you can see in the photos was where he could cut the power to the car, should any warnings or faults appear on the system. Before we set off on the test route on a beautiful mountainous road through the Sintra region, he let me know that the only safety equipment the test vehicle had was ABS - no airbags, no lane departure warning, no ESC, etc. I looked down the ravine to the left and thought...okay... just before I met one of the locals who thought he was driving in my country.

I was so excited to be driving this new electric car from Mazda that feels like no other. The Mazda DNA is very quickly apparent. The steering was natural and fluid, the car willing to play ball among the twists and turns of our test route with a pleasant amount of grip through the front tyres in fast cornering.

The most interesting and frankly, brilliant, innovation here is the aural feedback from the car and sensations through the pedals as you accelerate and decelerate. Electric cars are typically devoid of any feedback through the pedals or controls. Not so with the CX-30 EV prototype. It feels and sounds not much different than a petrol CX-30 in typical stop/start driving. Up and down inclines, I had the opportunity to experience this new technology and I loved it: gurgles and resistance like a good old-fashioned ICE.

We test drove the Mazda EV prototype to preview MX-30's new EV technology
We test drove the Mazda EV prototype to preview MX-30's new EV technology

The nature of the weight distribution of an EV versus a front engined mid size SUV was apparent in the way the car shifted its weight around corners, but it was remarkably good to drive. Certainly I felt the relative 'low' power of the CX-30 EV prototype (140 hp) versus some of the similarly sized EVs I've driven at home, as it doesn't feel quite as lively off the line.

Mazda is persevering to push a 'right sized' battery approach that they claim is kinder to the environment when you look at where battery and EV technology is right now. But there are obvious shortcomings to this approach in an era where many rivals are pushing out EVs with 64 kWh batteries and range in excess of 400 km.

This wasn't an adequate test of battery range and practicality in every day life but from an engineering perspective, what we drove in Lisbon was really promising for the future of EVs and the Mazda brand. It's worth noting that the MX-30 is just one part of Mazda's 'multi-solution approach' to the debarbonisation of transport. The brand is also working on improving engine efficiency with innovations such as Skyactiv-X, the world's first petrol engine with compression ignition, and a new clean diesel coming next year. Mild hybrid technology has already begun to be rolled out in the brand's newest product ranges and Mazda will offer more electric, plug-in hybrid and range extender vehicles in the future.

Caroline KiddCaroline Kidd

 


Caroline and the new Mazda MX-30

2020 Mazda MX-30 Preview In Lisbon

Caroline and the new Mazda MX-30
Caroline and the new Mazda MX-30

Mazda Ireland brought me to Lisbon, Portugal, to preview their exciting new electric vehicle – the new Mazda MX-30.

What is it?

The MX-30 is Mazda’s first ever electric vehicle and it’s debuting in the form of an SUV. The car is still in development and is due to hit production around the middle of 2020. We can expect to see the MX-30 in Ireland in January 2021.

What does it look like?

We had an opportunity to view the new Mazda MX-30 up close, fresh from its reveal at the 2019 Toyko Motor Show. From a design perspective, it’s more of an SUV coupé than a conventional SUV with distinct ‘freestyle doors’ that hark back to the Mazda RX-8 of the Noughties. Mazda has evolved its famed KODO design philosophy for the company’s new EV line. As a result, the car looks more futuristic and suburban than say the CX-30 or CX-5 in the current Mazda SUV range.

What’s it like inside?

Mazda has given the MX-30 interior the feel of a cool lounge. The MX-30 shares the same carefully considered cockpit design found on all Mazda cars, with a horizontally symmetrical layout centred on the driver. The focus is on eco-materials: unique fabric from recycled plastic, vegan leather, and natural cork. For the first time in a Mazda, the MX-30 adopts a touchscreen air-conditioning control panel on a 7-inch screen in the lower centre console.

The Mazda MX-30 will have a range in the region of 200 km
The Mazda MX-30 will have a range in the region of 200 km

So how far will it get me on a full charge?

The MX-30 introduces a new electric drive technology to Mazda, called e–Skyactiv. The power output of the car is about 140 hp and there will be about 265 Nm of torque. The MX-30 will be powered by a 35.5 kWh battery with a range estimated somewhere in the region of 200 km. In an era where many mainstream EVs are now debuting 64 kWh batteries with a range in excess of 400 km, this might appear short-sighted but Mazda like to do things differently. The company is famous for its ‘right-sized’ engine philosophy, which has seen the Japanese brand buck the trend for small turbocharged units in favour of large capacity naturally aspirated engines. Now Mazda continues to challenge conventional wisdom with their ‘right-sized’ battery approach to electric vehicles. Their research has shown that 48 km is the average daily drive of the European customer, well within the Mazda MX-30’s range. But they also cite this battery size as kinder to the environment right now, resulting in lower life cycle CO2 emissions.

How about charging?

There will be a 6.6kW onboard charger for charging at home and 50kW rapid charging through a CCS connection.

The interior of the new Mazda MX-30
The interior of the new Mazda MX-30

Will it be good to drive?

We expect so and we actually got an opportunity to test drive the technology in an EV prototype in the body of a CX-30. The MX-30 will be the third new Mazda after the Mazda3 and the CX-30 to use the new Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture. It’s an EV designed to deliver ‘outstanding driving pleasure’ based on the company's Jinba Ittai - driver and car as one - engineering ethos. Mazda technologies like electric G-Vectoring Control Plus (e-GVC Plus) are fitted as standard. This system gives the car a feeling of more natural feedback by precise torque control and sound that lets the driver know exactly what the car is doing.

How cool is the EV technology?

Mazda has developed its own bespoke motor pedal concept for the Mazda MX-30 for a more natural feel relative to the driver’s intended amount of acceleration and deceleration. They have also developed special sound or ‘aural feedback’ through the audio system corresponding to the driver’s pedal action. Mazda engineers also showed us the place where under the hood a rotary petrol engine can be added to extend the range.

Is it safe?

The MX-30 has no centre pillar because of the freestyle doors but safety is not compromised due to the MX-30's high strength bodyshell. The suite of i-Activsense advanced safety technologies will be enhanced by a new Smart Brake Support (SBS) system to help to prevent collisions at intersections in the traffic and technology designed to help keep drivers on track on roads with kerbs or discernible edges, even in the absence of lane markings.

How much will it cost?

We have no indication of pricing yet for Ireland but in Germany the MX-30 will go on sale from €33,900 before grants.

The MX-30 is expected in Ireland in early 2021
The MX-30 is expected in Ireland in early 2021

Caroline Kidd


Mazda has partnered with Taste of Dublin Festive Edition to celebrate arrival of new CX-30

Mazda Partner With Taste of Dublin Festive Edition

Mazda has partnered with Taste of Dublin Festive Edition to celebrate arrival of new CX-30
Mazda has partnered with Taste of Dublin Festive Edition to celebrate arrival of new CX-30

Mazda Ireland has partnered with Taste of Dublin Festive Edition to celebrate the arrival of the new CX-30.

First customer orders are officially arriving in dealerships the week of Taste of Dublin Festive Edition and the compact SUV will be showcased at the event. The new model has already been awarded a Golden Steering Wheel award and has achieved the highest ever score for adult occupant safety in the Euro NCAP safety rating where it was also awarded 5 stars.

The Mazda Live Stage will host entertainment at the event, where food lovers can enjoy lively music and fiery food. Some of Ireland's best loved chefs, including Rachel Allen, Mark Moriarty, Paul Kelly, and Sharon Hearne Smith, will demonstrate their cooking tips and tricks to hone your Christmas cooking skills.

Taste of Dublin Managing Director, Avril Bannerton commented; “We are absolutely are delighted to be partnering with Mazda Ireland for the inaugural Taste of Dublin Festive Edition.  This partnership will further build on the already well-established relationship between Taste and Mazda which is now enjoying a multi-event deal across three of Equinox Events’ portfolio events; Taste; Festive Edition, Thrive Festival and Taste of Dublin.”

Tickets can be purchased at www.dublin.tastefestivals.com and the event will run from November 28th to December 1st. Mazda will also run a competition for a €1,000 shopping spree, which you can enter at the Mazda stand.


The new Mazda MX-30 electric SUV

Mazda MX-30 Electric SUV Expected In 2021

The new Mazda MX-30 electric SUV
The new Mazda MX-30 electric SUV

Mazda has debuted the Japanese brand's first production electric car at the Tokyo Motor Show. The new Mazda MX-30 is an all-electric SUV and is expected in Ireland in early 2021.

Mazda is following its 'right sized engine' strategy into the realm of EVs, claiming that the MX-30's 35.5 kWh battery is a 'right-sized battery'. Mazda indicate that the range will be approximately 200km, "exceeding the 48km average daily drive of the European customer".

"The Mazda MX-30 marks another positive step in Mazda’s multi-solution approach to reducing emissions following the recent arrival of the innovative Skyactiv-X engine."

Yasuhiro Aoyama President & CEO of Mazda Motor Europe said:

“As with all our products, our designers and engineers had a very clear goal for our first battery-electric vehicle. It had to have stand out design, be great to drive, something that is key part of Mazda’s DNA and makes us unique when compared with competitors, and most importantly, make a positive contribution to reducing emission across the entire life cycle of the product.

Alongside the electrification technologies we are introducing across our range, being a smaller manufacturer we focused all our efforts on creating an electric car that we anticipate will be a second car where the range of our vehicle will meet customers’ needs.

Many of the media who have driven our test vehicle have said it is one of the few electric cars they have driven with the positive characteristics of a regular car.  Delivering driving pleasure is at the heart of every Mazda we design and that will be no different in our electric car.”

The interior of the new MX-30
The interior of the new MX-30

Eco-materials and freestyle doors

Innovative engineering approaches have been employed in the new MX-30 to ensure a natural and responsive driving feel in the e-Skyactiv package.  This includes the battery being rigidly integrated into the vehicle body structure which enhances the overall body stiffness and improves response to the driver's input.

Mazda engineers have also created an electronic sound system inside the Mazda MX-30, which is synchronized to motor torque in sound frequency and sound pressure.  This leads to less variation in vehicle speed resulting in very stable driving, further supported by Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control (GVC), which has been expanded and uses the advantages of the electric motor (electric G-Vectoring Control Plus).

The new Mazda MX-30 features KODO design and distinct 'freestyle doors''. The interior also uses eco-friendly materials. Real leather will be replaced with a vegan alternative. There is also environmentally sourced cork featured in the floating centre console.

Distinct 'freestyle doors' feature
Distinct 'freestyle doors' feature

What we know so far about the MX-30 specification:

Body type SUV
Seating capacity 5 persons
Overall length × overall width × overall height 4,395mm × 1,795mm × 1,570mm
Wheelbase 2,655mm
Powertrain e-SKYACTIV
Front suspension MacPherson strut
Rear suspension Torsion-beam
Steering Rack and pinion
Brakes (front/rear/control) Ventilated discs/Solid discs
/Regenerative cooperating brakes
Tire size 215/55R18
Drive battery Type Lithium-ion battery
Cell Prismatic
Total voltage 355V
Total electric power (battery capacity) 35.5kWh
Motor Type AC synchronous motor
Cooling system Water-cooled
Charging DC charging COMBO spec
AC charging Maximum input 6.6kW

The new Mazda CX-30 will arrive in Ireland by the end of 2019

2019 Mazda CX-30 First Drive Review

The new Mazda CX-30 will arrive in Ireland by the end of 2019
The new Mazda CX-30 will arrive in Ireland by the end of 2019

The Mazda CX-30 is a new compact SUV from Mazda that will slot between the CX-3 and CX-5 in the brand’s SUV line-up. The CX-30 is one of the new generation of Mazda vehicles alongside new Mazda3 and features the latest in Mazda design and technology, including the exciting new Skyactiv X engine. Caroline travelled to Girona, Spain, to test drive the new Mazda CX-30 ahead of its arrival in Ireland at the end of the year in time for January 2020 registrations.

Styling

The new Mazda CX-30 features an evolution of Mazda’s famed KODO designed language with more refined surfaces. Mazda use clay modelling to achieve the beautiful curved surfaces that distinguish Mazdas from other mainstream manufacturers. The CX-30 has a neat, compact profile and unique design features that make it stand out. In fact it’s more of a high riding hatchback in the metal than a chunky SUV. A thick piece of grey plastic cladding around the lower sills and wheel arches gives the CX-30 the attitude of a modern compact crossover. 16” alloy wheels and LED headlights feature as standard. Signature colours include Soul Red Crystal, Machine Grey and Polymetal Grey.

Watch a video of the new Mazda CX-30:

Interior

The interior of the Mazda CX-30 is a sophisticated and premium offering that is hard to find in this class of vehicle. The dashboard has a horizontal, minimalist design characterised by plenty of good quality soft dashboard panelling. The CX-30 features the latest Mazda infotainment system that comes with a slick looking, wide screen 8.8 inch central display that is controlled by a rotary controller with shortcut buttons to access different menus. A digital driver information panel is also included as standard. The new CX-30 is available in two colour schemes: Dark Brown or Dark Blue. Leather is available in Black or Pure White.

The interior of the new CX-30
The interior of the new CX-30

Practicality

The CX-30 is a five seat SUV. Mazda has delivered on the promise of creating a roomier SUV. The CX-30 is a more spacious and practical vehicle when compared to the CX-3, though there are other SUVs in this segment that feel more spacious in the rear. Access and egress is easy thanks to generous door openings and the positioning and shape of the seats in the vehicle. There is 430 litres of boot space, which is more than in the equivalent Mazda3 hatchback. A powered tailgate is available.

Engines

There are two petrol engines (Skyactiv G and Skyactiv X) and one diesel engine (Skyactiv D) available for new CX-30. CX-30 is a front wheel drive SUV, with all wheel drive (AWD) available as an option.

Skyactiv G is a 2.0-litre petrol engine with new Mazda M Hybrid Technology and Cylinder Deactivation systems. Skyactiv G has 122hp and is available with automatic and manual gearboxes. On the road, the Skyactiv G works well in the CX-30 being both refined and delivering smooth power. Over a short test drive over rural roads and a short motorway stint we averaged 6.8l per 100km.

Skyactiv D is a 1.8-litre diesel putting out 116hp and 270Nm of torque. The torque of the diesel offers a pleasant punch and this engine offers superb economy in the CX-30. We averaged 4.8l per 100km over a long, mixed test route. Skyactiv D is available with automatic and manual gearboxes.

We also had an opportunity to take Mazda’s exciting new Skyactiv X on a short test loop in pre-production vehicles. Mazda claims this engine combines the benefits of a spark-ignition petrol engine with those of a compression-ignition diesel engine, and is both fuel efficient and powerful. Skyactiv X also comes with the new Mazda M Hybrid System. The extra power is evident on the road (180hp) but we are still on the fence as to whether this engine fully delivers. We will reserve judgement until we have had an opportunity to take this car for a longer drive on Irish roads!

The new Mazda CX-30 is available with petrol and diesel engines
The new Mazda CX-30 is available with petrol and diesel engines

On the road

The new Mazda CX-30 is based on a new generation of Mazda’s Skyactiv Vehicle Architecture that also underpins the new Mazda3 hatchback. Front wheel drive models feature G-Vectoring Control Plus for better handling. A torsion beam at the rear provides better refinement over a variety of road surfaces. On the road the Mazda CX-30 is easily one of the most quiet and refined cars in its class with minimal road and wind noise entering the cabin. It's comfortable and good fun to drive with excellent composure through bends and well judged steering.

Equipment

For Ireland there will be a choice of four trim levels: GS, GS-L, GT and GT Sport. Standard equipment is expected to include air con, an 8.8-inch colour entertainment screen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, 7-inch digital dashboard, rear parking sensor, window projected colour Active Driving Display, 16” alloys, LED headlights with High Beam Control, Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring with rear traffic alert, Traffic Sign Recognition, E-Call and Lane Keep Assist.

GS-L includes a reversing camera, smart keyless entry, front parking sensors, powered tailgate, dual zone climate control and heated front seats.

The GT model is equipped with 18” alloy wheels, heated steering wheel, power adjustable driver’s seat and a black leather interior.

At the top of the range the GT Sport adds adaptive LED headlights, front and rear signature LED lighting, frameless rear view mirror, rear privacy glass, piano black exterior detailing and Bose® twelve speaker audio system.

Pricing

Mazda Ireland has confirmed that the new CX-30 range will be priced from €29,495 to €43,115. The range starts at €29,495 for a 2.0-litre petrol Skyactiv G. Both the 1.8-litre diesel Skyactiv D and the new Skyactiv X petrol are available from €31,915.

Rivals

The new Mazda CX-30 will go head to head with the Volkswagen Tiguan, Peugeot 3008, Toyota C-HR and segment leaders, Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tucson.

Verdict

The Mazda CX-30 fills a niche for customers seeking the compact dimensions of the CX-3 but with a more spacious and practical interior. The CX-30 delivers on that and features the same high-end design and finish that we have come to expect from Mazda.

It’s also one of the most fun and engaging crossovers to drive with excellent refinement on the move.

The CX-30 is now one of the most modern and advanced models in the Mazda range and features the full complement of Mazda engine technology – Skyactiv G, Skyactiv D and the new Skyactiv X.

Mazda Ireland expect the CX-30 to become its bestselling model and we can see why. This is the sweet spot of the market and the CX-30 is high in desirability.

We look forward to bringing you a full road test in 2020.

The new Mazda CX-30 will be in dealers from the December
The new Mazda CX-30 is expected be in dealers from December

Caroline Kidd


The new Mazda3 is now on sale in Ireland priced from €26,295

2019 Mazda3 2.0 Petrol Skyactiv-G Review

The new Mazda3 is now on sale in Ireland priced from €26,295
The new Mazda3 is now on sale in Ireland priced from €26,295

Caroline drives the new Mazda3!

Mazda has recently launched an all-new generation of the Mazda3 hatchback and saloon. Since I began testing cars, the Mazda3 has always been one of my favourite cars in the compact class for its stylish looks, high quality cabin and fun, sporty drive.

But it was time for a change. Reflecting the current move in the industry to integrating hybrid technology to boost efficiency, the news is that Mazda has also launched the Mazda3 with mild hybrid technology. There’s also a revolutionary new petrol engine due to arrive shortly (‘Skyactiv-X’) that promises the free-revving performance of a petrol engine with the response and fuel economy of a diesel.

Mazda has gently progressed the styling of the Mazda3 with stunning results. The curvature of the sheet metal around the rear quarters of the hatchback is particularly interesting. The new Mazda3 is clearly one of the style icons of its class!

The Mazda3 2.0-litre petrol engine now features mild hybrid technology to boost efficiency and reduce emissions
The Mazda3 2.0-litre petrol engine now features mild hybrid technology to boost efficiency and reduce emissions

The interior of the new Mazda3

Inside, the interior has progressed to a more cohesive and stylish design. The material quality is excellent and the new digital instrument panel is modern and easy to read. The infotainment has also been updated and improved with a new screen and rotary controller on the centre console. In terms of space, the new Mazda3 will seat five and is reasonably spacious in the rear for this class of vehicle. At 351 litres, the boot is about average for the compact class.

For Ireland there will be a choice of four trim levels for the hatchback: GS, GS-L, GT and GT Sport. Standard equipment includes air con, an 8.8-inch colour entertainment screen, 7-inch digital dashboard, window projected colour Active Driving Display, 16” alloys, LED headlights with High Beam Control, Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring with rear traffic alert, E-Call and Lane Keep Assist. Every model in the line-up also features navigation, Apple CarPlay™/Android Auto™ and an eight speaker audio system.

GS-L includes a reversing camera, smart keyless entry and heated front seats, while the GT model is equipped with 18” alloy wheels and a black leather interior. At the top of the range the GT Sport sees an enhanced cabin with additional chrome detailing, a frameless rear view mirror, rear privacy glass and Bose® twelve speaker audio system.

At launch the new Mazda3 is available with the 2.0 Skyactiv-G petrol (122hp) and the 1.8 Skyactiv-D diesel (116hp). These are not new engines, but the 2.0-litre petrol now has support from a 24 volt mild hybrid system and cylinder deactivation to improve efficiency. The new 2.0-litre petrol Skyactiv-X will join later with 180hp. Manual and automatic gearboxes are available.

My test car was a Mazda3 2.0 Skyactiv-G GT Sport with a list price of €30,795.

The interior of the new Mazda3
The interior of the new Mazda3

On the road in the new Mazda3

The new Mazda3 has been built upon a new vehicle architecture that promises better handling, ride comfort and refinement. According to Mazda, every element of the car - the seats, body, tyres and suspension - has been developed with “a human centred approach” to ensure that Mazda’s famous ‘Jinba Ittai’ sense of oneness between car and driver is more finely balanced than ever before.

A torsion beam rear suspension has been used to improve refinement over a variety of road surfaces and we can say that is has worked because road noise is gone in this new generation. The Mazda3 is comfortable for the most part but doesn’t take the edge off potholes, manhole covers and other bumps and ridges in the road surface you will encounter around town. The car feels sporty and flat through bends and the steering is also well-weighted.

Bucking the trend for small turbocharged petrol engines, the 2.0-litre petrol in the Mazda3 is a naturally aspirated affair because Mazda believe this is still the best way to get good fuel efficiency from a petrol engine. It is certainly more efficient than what one might think for an engine of this capacity. Over a week of driving my average fuel consumption was 6.6l/100km, while motor tax is €200 per year. However, it does deliver its power differently and I did miss the in-gear punch of a turbo unit. It can feel a little more lazy, though it is very quiet and refined on the move!

The new Mazda3 is positioned near the top of the compact class in terms of price but it comes with a high-quality interior and plenty of standard equipment. The Mazda3 offers an excellent drive and cabin experience. Engine choice is a little bit left field in the Mazda3 range but in terms of power and efficiency, perfectly acceptable.

The new Mazda3 is a sophisticated machine that looks good just about anywhere!

The Mazda3 is a stylish and sporty hatchback for the compact class
The Mazda3 is a stylish and sporty hatchback for the compact class

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Mazda3 2.0 Skyactiv-G GT Sport
Price:
€30,795 (Range from €26,295)
Engine: 2.0-litre petrol mild hybrid
Power: 
122 hp
Torque: 213 Nm
0-100km/h: 
10.4 seconds
Top speed: 197 km/h
Fuel economy:
6.3 l/100km
CO2 emissions: 
142 g/km
Motor tax: 
€200 per year


The new Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition

Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition!

The new Mazda MX-5 Anniversary Edition
The new Mazda MX-5 Anniversary Edition

Mazda Ireland has introduced the Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition MX-5, priced at €40,995 and available from selected Mazda dealerships.

Unveiled for the first time at the 2019 Chicago Motor Show, three decades after its debut at the very same motor show in 1989, this special anniversary edition has been produced to celebrate 30 years of the world's bestselling two-seat roadster.

Global production of the MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition are limited to 3000 models, with only 10 cars coming to Ireland.

The 30th Anniversary Edition is exclusively offered in the newly developed Racing Orange body paint and also features forged aluminium Rays wheels and a 30th anniversary badge displaying the model’s serial number. Other unique features include orange brake calipers with Nissin brakes on the rear and Brembo brakes on the front wheels.

Inside there are orange accents on the seats, door trim, dashboard, steering wheel, air vents and gear lever, as well as Recaro seats with Alcantara trim. The 30th Anniversary Edition also features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.

The Mazda MX-5 range is available from €28,195 in Ireland.

Commenting on the launch of 30th Anniversary MX-5, Mazda Motors Ireland Managing Director, John Perry, said: “The MX-5 is the very essence of the Jinba Ittai driver-and-car-as-one philosophy that goes into every Mazda. With its unique detailing, generous equipment levels, exclusivity and bold Racing Orange paint, the 30th Anniversary Edition is the perfect way to celebrate three decades of this iconic sports car”.

The Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition features the new 184 ps version of the 2.0 Skyactiv-G petrol engine, and is available only as a roadster. There's also a six-speed manual gearbox, Bilstein dampers, strut-brace and limited slip differential.


The exciting new Mazda3 SkyActiv-X will be in Ireland before the end of the year!

Mazda3 SkyActiv-X Orders Begin!

 

The exciting new Mazda3 SkyActiv-X will be in Ireland before the end of the year!
The exciting new Mazda3 SkyActiv-X will be in Ireland before the end of the year!azda

Mazda Ireland has announced that customers can now pre-order the new Mazda3 Skyactiv-X.

The revolutionary Skyactiv-X petrol engine features Mazda’s unique Spark Plug Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI) technology. The 2.0 litre, four-cylinder Skyactiv-X engine is the world’s first commercial petrol unit to combine the spark ignition of a petrol engine with the compression ignition of a diesel.

Providing drivers with the free-revving performance of a petrol engine and the superior response of a diesel, Skyactiv-X models will have 180 PS and 224 Nm of torque.

In emissions tests, the new Mazda3 Skyactiv-X Saloon was rated at 96 g/km CO2 and achieved a fuel economy of 4.3 l/100km.

Skyactiv-X models are also equipped with Mazda M Hybrid technology, fitted as standard. The intelligent 24V mild-hybrid system minimises fuel consumption, increasing fuel economy and lowering emissions by recycling energy recovered during deceleration that powers an electric motor that assists the engine.

The Skyactiv-X engine is available on both the Mazda3 hatchback and saloon models, with a choice of six-speed Skyactiv-MT manual or six-speed Skyactiv-Drive automatic transmissions.

It is expected to reach Irish showrooms by the fourth quarter of 2019.


New Mazda3 available now from €26,295

2019 Mazda3 Now On Sale In Ireland

New Mazda3 available now from €26,295
New Mazda3 available now from €26,295

The Mazda3 has arrived in Ireland and is available now from €26,295. It's available in two body-types, Hatchback and Saloon, with the latter arriving in June.

At launch there are two engines available for the Mazda3: the 2.0 Petrol Skyactiv-G and the 1.8 Diesel Skyactiv-D.

An innovative new 2.0 Petrol Skyactiv-X will be added to the range later this year.

Mild hybrid technology and cylinder-deactivation are standard on the 2.0 petrol engine to boost fuel economy.

Commenting on the new launch, John Perry, Managing Director of Mazda Ireland said, “These truly are exciting times for the brand. Reactions to All-New Mazda3 from first customer test drives and press reviews have been phenomenal. Mazda3 has always been a successful model for the brand but this next-generation Mazda3 has further raised the bar within an already competitive segment. By focusing on driving pleasure and creating a bond between car and driver, Mazda don’t just engineer cars to deliver high levels of quality and safety but to the enjoyment and emotional feeling experienced behind the wheel.”