The fourth-generation Mazda3 is slated for a local introduction sometime later this month. Here's what we know about the Malaysian-spec 2019 model so far...
1. SkyActiv-X is a notable absentee
There has been plenty of buzz surrounding Mazda's innovative SkyActiv-X engine, and for good reason. Its Spark Controlled Compression Ignition incorporates characteristics of petrol and diesel engines to deliver the performance of the former and the economy of the latter. Sadly, high costs mean we'll continue to get SkyActiv-G engines here, for now at least.
2. There will still be two engines to choose from
The outgoing third-gen car was only offered with a two-litre mill, but the 2019 Mazda3 will come with an additional 1.5-litre option as well. The smaller SkyActiv-G unit pushes out 118hp and 153Nm, which isn't a bad return on RM90 worth of annual road tax. The two-litre unit soldiers on with 162hp and 213Nm of naturally-aspirated torque, making it the one to have if you're not particularly fond of Civic Turbo dust. You get a six-speed auto and GVC Plus either way.
Mazda3 1.5L SkyActiv-G Sedan
3. It's still the sole Japanese C-segment hatchback on sale
Although sedans still rule the local D-segment, Mazda Malaysia will continue to offer the 3 as a hatchback. This means it continues to be the segment's only Japanese hatch in the absence of boot-less versions of the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. This is probably the closest you'll get to a Volkswagen Golf with an Asian twist for the time being.
4. There's quite a big price to pay for it
The 1.5 gets the ball rolling at a lofty RM139,770, regardless of body style. And it only gets pricier from here. The 2.0 is offered in two trims, namely High and High Plus, both of which broach dangerously into CKD D-segment price brackets. The former, a spec exclusive to the sedan, is priced at RM150,059, while the latter tops the range at RM160,059. These are CBU prices after all, but they will leave a dent in your wallet all the same.
5. At least you'll save on maintenance
Earlier this year, Mazda Malaysia announced that all of its passenger cars will enjoy five years of free maintenance capped at 100,000km, and the upcoming Mazda3 benefits from the same perks. It also comes with a 'SkyTint' security window tint as standard, so that's another expense out of the way and into your hire purchase agreement.
We'll find out more once the 2019 Mazda3 is officially launched here (this is just a sneak peek), so stay tuned for updates.