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Highlights

Test Drive: Mazda3 2.0R Skyactiv Hatchback




We took the Mazda3 2.0R Skyactiv out for a spin to see how its engine’s innovative features such as i-STOP and i-ELOOP work and how they help the vehicle be more efficient and ultimately save more fuel. What else did they concentrate on for this variant? We find out.

We’ve also prepared a video feature showing more of the Mazda3. Watch it below: 

Exterior

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The Mazda3 carries the same KODO design language that the company first implemented on its CX-5 and Mazda6. It’s basically those lines and accents you see that make the vehicle look like it’s still in motion even while stationary. The front is given character with its aggressive façade, a pair of Xenon bulbs, auto-leveling and daytime running lamps, and a set of fog lights.

Meanwhile, its hatchback design curves out nicely and ends at the dual-type tailpipes with finisher and stands firm on its 18-inch alloy wheels. Accessory-wise, it features a pair of power-fold side mirrors with turn signals and a shark’s fin antenna that is exclusive to this variant alone.

Interior

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Inside, you’ll be welcomed with premium-grade materials such as leather for the seats and steering wheel with carbon fiber finish inserts. This proves that the company didn’t only concentrate on making the exterior a head-turner, but they dressed the interior with accents and detail that altogether make the vehicle attractive for its owner.

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The Mazda3 features a hands-free system through the use of Bluetooth. It has a tablet-like control panel built-in where you can access settings for the sound system that outputs to its 6-piece audio speakers. The control panel itself is touchscreen, but can also be navigated using the physical knob found on the center console.

It uses an analog tachometer that looks straight at you which is coupled with a trip computer. Aside from that, it also gives you a head-up display or HUD that digitally shows your speed – making it easier to see when you’re driving.

The controls for its electric glass sunroof are above the driver in case you want some fresh air. Finally, it relies on a push to start or stop button and veers away from the usual key ignition.

Performance

Running on a 2-liter in-line 4-cylinder engine, it outputs 153 horses with 200 newton-meters of torque which felt just right for city driving and once in a while speeding things up a bit. Shifting between its 6-speed automatic transmission was smooth and the power being delivered to the front wheels make it responsive and easy to drive in general. Additionally, its ventilated brake discs in front and solid discs for the rear gently but surely puts the car to a stop.

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With the Skyactiv engine, the Mazda 3 promises better fuel efficiency, and two of the things contributing to that is its i-ELOOP system and i-STOP technology. According to the company, the i-ELOOP system has a capacitor that stores electricity recovered during deceleration to power the vehicle’s electrical systems and, at the same time, takes the load off from the car’s alternator. The i-STOP, however, saves fuel by automatically switching off the engine while the car is stopped, but also keeps it ready to ignite so as soon as you let go of the breaks, allowing the engine to start up almost instantly.

During our time with it, the Mazda3 yielded an average of 8.7 kilometers to the liter but take note that we were pretty heavy on the pedal during the time we took it to an out of town drive. On a different vehicle, it would usually take us around 6.5 to 7km per liter, so that 8.7 is a fuel consumption that’s worth writing home about.

Conclusion

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From its sleek exterior that looks like it’s always ready to pounce, to its classy interior with premium grade leather and carbon fiber inserts, altogether make it a visually-stunning vehicle. Add to that its agile performance and at the same time fuel-efficient engine, and you’ve got a solid combination of features working to your advantage. And this is what Mazda3 is all about – having the advantage over others in its class.

The 2.0R hatchback variant was introduced with an SRP of Php1,198,000.

Mazda3 2.0R Skyactiv Hatchback specs and features:
2-liter  Skyactiv G engine w/ i-ELOOP and i-Stop
In-line 4-cylinder DOHC, 16V
153hp @ 6,000rpm
200Nm @ 4,000rpm
Euro Stage 4 emissions standard
Dimensions: 4,580 x 1,795 x 1,450mm
Wheelbase: 2,700mm
Weight: 1,310kg
18-inch alloy wheels
Electric glass sunroof
Leather seats
6-piece speakers
Bluetooth hands-free system
Head-up display (HUD)

Pros:
* Head-turning design
* Premium-grade materials used for interior
* HUD
* Fuel-efficient
* Agile performer
* Really sticks to the ground during turns

CONS:
* A bit pricey

 



Kevin Bruce Francisco is the Senior Editor and Video Producer for YugaTech. He's a Digital Filmmaking graduate who's always either daydreaming of traveling or actually going places on his bike. Follow him on Twitter for more tech updates @kevincofrancis.

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