Mazda’s 3 in its various guises has become the car of choice for many people. We now take a look at the exciting all new Mazda 2008 MZR-CD Diesel.
The Mazda 3 has become one of the sucess stories of small passengr cars world over the past few years.
Now in its second generation, sales of the Mazda 3 continue to bubble along quite nicely. And there is a good reason. It is practical, comfortable, offers solid performance and economy and there are design cues to tickle everyone’s fancy in both the hatch and the Sedan Variants.
Moreover the upgraded 3 picks up on one of the biggest faults of the first generation by taming a lot of road noise and making the cabin that bit quiter. And now Mazda has given the 3 a diesel engine in its pursuit to cash in on the small car market for oil burning engines.
To look at , there is small difference between the petrol and diesel variants save for the engine code MZR-CD – plastered on the sides. Inside the cabin is no different to the petrol, with the same stylish and ergonomic cabin layout.
By our reckoning, the diesel version is good for anywhere between 900 km and 1000km from a tankful depending on driving conditions, whereas as tankful from the petrol engine in nomal weekday use lasts for about 600 kms.
The Mazda3 diesel, like the Astra oilburner, lets you know what it is, clattering away at idle and sounding more like a working truck than an in-vougue passenger car.
The 2-litre diesel it shares with the bigger Mazda 6 alternative is heavier than the petrol version by a whopping 145 kg. Performance is blunted to some degree as it is not nearly as nimble to top corners, but then again how many people are going to be driving like a tarmac rally car?
There is not a lot of oomph down from this 105kw and 360MN motor.
While the torque spread is reasonably broad, the diesel starts to cook along from about 2500rpm when it really hits a sweet spot. The big differencein drivability compared with the petrol is the effortless way it pulls and pulls at highway speeds. You don’t need to change any gears as much and everything feels just that much more robust.
The level of twist is almost on par with with the superquick Mazda turbo MPS petrol hatch. The other point of difference is that the diesel gets a six-speed manual transmission compared with a five speed in the petrol. Bad news for some: there is no auto.
Mazda 3 diesel
Engine: 3 out of 5….. There is no-one home down low but the party starts happening big time from about 2,500 rpm.
Transmission: 3 out of 5…. The Six Speed manual offers sweet shifts and a delightfully flexible third gear.
Handling: 3 out of 5… There is more weight in the nose so it is not as sharp as the petrol however there are no obvious disadvantages.
Safety: 3 out of 5 … Dynamic stability Control ccomes as standard.
Value 3 out of 5.. Diesels are more expensive than petrol maybe too much more for the smaller car segment
Body: Four door sedan
Engine: 1998cc, four cylinder, DOCH turbo diesel
Transmission: 6 – speed manual
Torque: 360Mn at 2,000 rpm
Power: 105 kW at 3,500 rpm
For: Long Haul between fills
Against: Noisy at idle and the sticker price premium over petrol.