The Mazda3’s presence in Malaysia dates back to 2006, when the Mazda franchise was still under the custody of Cycle & Carriage. Current distributor Bermaz Motor Sdn Bhd brought in the second generation of the 323’s successor in June 2009. Initially available only in sedan guise, Bermaz has since added hatchback variants to offer customers a choice of four variants for the Mazda3.
All the while, the Mazda3 has been arriving at our shores as a fully imported model, but with over 2,000 units finding homes, a strong business case presented itself to Bermaz to have the Mazda3 built locally here in Malaysia. Since January 2011, Bermaz has been rolling out CKD versions of the Mazda3 from Inokom’s plant in Kulim.
As indicated to us at a media preview held a couple of weeks back, there will be four variants of the Mazda3 CKD available – 1.6 sedan, 1.6 hatchback, 2.0 sedan, and 2.0 hatchback. The expected price reduction comes to around RM11k per model, except for the 2.0-litre hatchback, which only enjoyed a RM5k reduction in price.
Bermaz is keen to advertise the fact that its cheapest variant, the 1.6 sedan, dips below the RM100k mark, but that figure excludes insurance and it is only valid for non-metallic paint. Factoring those two items pushes the Mazda3’s starting price point a little higher to RM102,479.50, which is still RM11k less than the equivalent CBU model. Prices of the other variants are listed below.
As before, there is an extensive amount of kit thrown in. The list includes tilt & telescopic steering, ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, dual airbags, immobilizer, side-mirror mounted indicators and a multi-info display. The 1.6 now gets front fog lights, which were deleted in the CBU cars, and also has its rims upsized from 15″ to 16″.
Buyers of the 2.0 justify their extra money with paddle shifters for its 5-speed automatic gearbox, auto cruise, dual-zone climate control, 6 CD changer, auto dimming rear view mirrors, side airbags and curtain airbags. The 2.0 Hatchback also adds a touch-screen audio unit with built-in GPS and full leather seats as standard. These two items are cost options in the other variants, going for RM3,350 and RM2,800 respectively.
No technical changes have been made, so its business as usual with the same 1.6 and 2.0-litre naturally aspirated MZR engines under the bonnet paired with either a 4-speed auto for the 1.6 or a 5-speeder for the 2.0. Underpinning the Mazda3 is Ford’s C1 platform shared with the Ford Focus and Volvo S40.
Those of you insisting on getting fully-imported units of the Mazda3 can still do so as Bermaz has yet to deplete its stocks. Bermaz will continue selling these leftover CBU stocks of the Mazda3 at its previous prices.
Launched together with CKD versions of the Mazda3 is the performance-oriented big brother, the Mazda3 MPS, which offers 255hp and 380Nm in exchange for RM179,895.20 (OTR with Insurance) of your hard-earned money. Delivering that promise is a 2.3-litre turbocharged direct injection mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. In view of that increased power, Traction Control and Dynamic Stability Control are added to the MPS’ arsenal.
Offered only in hatchback bodystyle, the Mazda3 MPS differentiates itself from its conventional brethren with a bonnet scoop, re-profiled bumpers, side skirts, 18″ alloys, bi-xenon head lights, LED taillights and a rear roof-mounted spoiler. Sporty touches continue inside with red stitching all over, red display graphics, and a LED turbo boost gauge.
From 2 to 6 March 2011, Mazda will be displaying its entire range of models, including the newly-launched Mazda3 CKD and MPS at the Mazda Motor Show in the new wing of 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Petaling Jaya. Also on display is the Mazda6 Touring, not for sale, but placed to gauge market response. Test drives of selected Mazda models are available for interested customers.
Bookings for any Mazda model at the show automatically stand a chance to win cash vouchers worth between RM200 and RM9,000 which can be used for purchase of accessories or to offset the purchase price of their new vehicle; and that is besides the three-year warranty, free maintenance, and free road tax package thrown in for all.
Editor’s Note: We had earlier published this article quoting an OTR price of RM104,479.50 with insurance and metallic paint for the Mazda3 1.6 Sedan. The correct price for the said variant is actually RM102,479.50, and the article has been amended accordingly. We regret any inconvenienced that this error may have caused.