New Mazda3 will be launched in SA in July with an impressive safety rating. Picture: SUPPLIED
New Mazda3 will be launched in SA in July with an impressive safety rating. Picture: SUPPLIED

The new generation Mazda3, which will be launched in SA in July, has been awarded a maximum five-star rating by Euro NCAP in its latest crash tests.

It follows the Mazda6 as the Japanese carmaker’s second car to achieve a five-star rating under the new, more stringent 2018 Euro NCAP crashworthiness ratings.

The 2019 Mazda3 performed impressively in all four Euro NCAP test categories: Adult Occupant, Child Occupant, Vulnerable Road User (pedestrian safety) and Safety Assist.

Mazda says this may be attributed to three key factors: the adoption of the latest Skyactiv vehicle architecture which features a high-rigidity, impact-absorbing yet lightweight bodyshell; a wider range of advanced safety technologies to help drivers identify potential risks and reduce the likelihood of damage or injury; and enhanced pedestrian protection performance.

With a 98% score in the Adult Occupant category, the car achieved maximum points for frontal full width impact, and both car and pole side impacts. Mazda’s Smart Brake Support system also gained full marks in low speed tests, with collisions avoided in all scenarios.

An excellent Child Occupant score includes maximum points for child protection in the dynamic tests, with full marks for both frontal and lateral impact. Vulnerable Road User (pedestrian safety) tests garnered maximum points for pedestrian leg and pelvis area protection. In addition, the Safety Assist category score pays tribute to efficiency of the next-generation Mazda3’s comprehensive suite of safety features.

Mazda has not yet confirmed the model range or pricing for SA, but the initial line-up is unlikely to include the much-vaunted new Skyactiv-X engine, a Spark-Controlled Compression Ignition engine that offers the power of a traditional petrol powerplant with the claimed economy of a diesel.

This “Holy Grail” engine will probably only be added to the Mazda3 line-up at a later stage as its exact specs are still to be revealed, but it’s reputed to have outputs of 133kW and 222Nm from a 2.0l displacement and burns 20%-30% less fuel than a regular petrol engine.

In the meantime, Mazda have three new Skyactiv-G petrol engines to choose from for their local line-up (1.5, 2.0 and 2.5) and one Skyactiv-D 1.8 diesel.

Available as before as a five-door hatch or four-door sedan, the new Mazda3 has an eye-catching design with a blend of geometric lines and swooping curves, and slim A-pillars that reduce blind spots.