Bermaz Motor has today announced the prices of the latest generation of Mazda3 with SKYACTIV engines. The model is assembled at the Inokom plant in Kulim, Kedah, and takes over from the previous generation that was the first Mazda model assembled in Malaysia again after the AMI plant in Shah Alam, Selangor, ceased operations in 2006.

Local assembly enables the prices to be lower and Bermaz is certainly going to upset the market with its pricing strategy. Excluding insurance premium, the entry-level sedan variant is priced at RM105,000 while the top variant is priced at RM125,000. In between is the hatchback which has a pricetag of RM119,000. Why are these prices surprising? Because all the variants come with the latest 2-litre SKYACTIV-G engine and generally better equipment than the imported ones.

The 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G engine (shown above) producing 162 bhp/210 Nm, and has a 6-speed SKYACTIV-DRIVE automatic transmission (torque converter type). The engine runs on an unusually high compression ratio of 14:1 which is one of the features of the SKYACTIV engines and testing with Malaysian fuel has shown that there are no issues.

As would be expected, the most expensive variant comes with lots of goodies like a bi-xenon lights, keyless entry, Head-Up Display, Adaptive Front Lighting System, High Beam Control System, Smart City Brake System, Rear Vehicle Monitoring and Lane Departure Warning.

All variants come with the MZD Connect System which is a tablet-like panel that stands vertically in the middle of the dashboard. It not only serves as an infotainment centre but also incorporates a GPS navigation system and multiple connectivity options. When connected by Bluetooth to a compatible smartphone with a 3G service, the MZD Connect system, which has a 7-inch colour screen, can also draw content from the Internet while on the move. Operation of the system is by a rotary Commander Controller situated next to the driver’s seat. The interface has been carefully designed to allow for intuitive operation so the driver can select and operate functions without having to take his eyes off the road. Should there be improvements to the software, service centres can easily update the system.

The locally-assembled units will be in the showrooms from mid-April, according to Bermaz. For now, here’s the spec sheet for those who want a detailed look at the Mazda3.

To locate a showroom to place a booking or to find out more, visit www.mazda.com.my.

Click here for more news and articles about the Mazda3| Click here for our driving impressions of the Mazda3 SKYACTIV.

[Chips Yap]

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