Text: Vic Rosales / Photos: | posted June 11, 2007 23:00
Gracing the event were the bigwigs from Ford and Mazda, including Ford Group Philippines President Rich Baker, Managing Director of Mazda Philippines Gerardo Alejandro and arriving from Japan just for the launch, Kiyotaka Ishii General Manage of Asia-Pacific Sales of Mazda.
The Mazda3 comes in four variants, starting with the 1.6L S automatic 4 door, followed by the 1.6L V automatic 4 door and the 1.6L automatic 5 door hatchback. As their name suggests, all come with the 1.6 liter Mazda J48L engine. The top of the line 2.0L R AT comes with a 2 liter engine in 4 door sedan only.
Noticeable about the Mazda3 this year is the new bumpers it carries. Both front and rear have been changed for the new model as well as the 17-inch rims that come with the top of the line 2.0 R model. Keeping the cat-eye headlamp design that has made the Mazda3 one of the sharpest looking compact sedans, The Mazda3 now also comes with new High-Intensity Discharge headlamps, so now you won't have to go to the aftermarket for high-powered beams of light. This will give you better visibility at night while also giving the Mazda3 a more upscale look. People will surely notice you arriving with HIDs but they'll also notice your departure especially after seeing the Light Emitting Diode (LED) tail lamps for the rear. The strong sharp lines that adorn the body continue unchanged for this year.
The most noticeable difference in the 2007 Mazda3 is the new instrument cluster in the dash and the reduction of Noise Vibration Harshness (NVH). The cluster glows blue on white instrumentation and is pleasant to the eyes while giving that sporty feeling normally found on aftermarket upgrades. The bezels on the dashboard which houses the AC and radio controls have also changed. The additional foaming around the car makes the ride quieter; making a stressful day in traffic more tolerable.
The New Mazda3's driving dynamics include S-VT and VIS, Electronic Throttle Control, Activematic Transmission, Enhanced Sport-Tuned Suspension. The S-VT and VIS stand for Sequential Valve Timing and Variable Intake System, which are basically engine-timing devices that enhance fuel combustion, making the engine more fuel-efficient and reduces emissions. Electronic Throttle Control computerizes throttle input, making it more sensitive which enhances the feeling of acceleration. Activematic transmission gives you the option of switching between gears by flicking the gear lever without having to step on a clutch, giving you both the convenience of an automatic while still allowing some thrills of a manual transmission. The enhanced Sport-Tuned Suspension refers to the Mazda3's MacPherson-strut front and it's E-type multilink rear suspension. Working together these parts give the Mazda3 it's sharp turning prowess, reducing the amount of squat and dive one experiences during hard turns. This gives the Mazda3 a flatter ride which equates to more stability even at high speed cornering. - Vic Rosales