NEWS:

Revised Mazda3 On Sale

(Wednesday 3 October 2012)

Mazda3 MPS.

Mazda has made some tweaks to its 3 line-up, and the new range goes on sale this month priced from £15,995.

There are just seven variants (a mere one-eleventh the choice Ford offers for the similarly-sized Focus) and most of them have 1.6-litre petrol or diesel engines producing 104bhp and 114bhp respectively.

The petrol engines have been tweaked and now boast improved official economy and CO2 figures of 44.8mpg and 144g/km. Along with the diesels, they're offered in trim levels called Tamura and Venture, both of which were previously special editions. Tamura includes 17" alloy wheels, front foglights, dual-zone climate control and air-conditioning, cruise control and heated front seats, while for an extra £1500 Venture adds light gunmetal alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, privacy glass, Sanyo TomTom navigation, Bluetooth connectivity and automatic headlights and wipers.

The petrol version of the Tamura is the only 3 available with automatic transmission, which adds £1000 to the price.

Top price for all the models mentioned so far is the £18,995 it will cost you to buy a diesel Venture. Above that comes the £20,995 183bhp 2.2 diesel Sport Nav, which is much quicker (top speed 132mph, 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds) and has economy and CO2 figures of 52.3mpg and 142g/km - not as good as the 1.6s diesel, of course, but comfortably ahead of the 1.6 petrols.

Heading the range once more is the 256bhp MPS pictured at the top of this page. Mechanically unchanged, it has been given a styling makeover which includes a gunmetal finish for the 18" alloy wheels and Black Mica paintwork for the new inner roof spoiler, the door mirror housings and the lower rear bunmper. It costs £23,995.

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