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Which is better: 2014 Mazda 3 Astina or 2016 Mazda 3 SP25?

Asked by Paul

I'm tossing up between buying a 2014 Mazda 3 Astina ($18000/71000km) or a 2016 SP25 ($20000/83000km). Which would be better buy as I like both?

Answered by CarsGuide

10 Sep 2020 Byron Mathioudakis

As the BM-series flagship back in 2014, the Astina offers more luxury and safety features than the SP25, so we'd settle for that, especially as it's a bit cheaper and has fewer kilometres on the odometer.

But if the newer car is the Series II facelift from August 2016 onwards, then this model - known as the BN - might be a better buy since it brings significant improvements.

These include Autonomous Emergency Braking Reverse (AEB when driving backwards), Blind-Spot Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, as well as revised steering, shock absorber, anti-roll bar, and rear suspension components to improve handling and ride qualities, more sound deadening to eliminate known noise paths (a criticism of the earlier Mazda 3s), larger door pockets, an electronic parking brake instead of a levered handbrake, cleaner instrumentation dial markings, a redesigned and more user-friendly steering wheel and repositioned USB charger. 

Plus, the BN Series II Mazda 3 scores Mazda's G-force Vectoring Control system, which uses the engine to enhance chassis performance by adjusting torque delivery in response to steering inputs, for more stable and relaxed driving. If your SP25's an auto, it scores a Sport mode that adapts the change-up points according to the operator’s style and inputs, its steering and ride qualities are better and the handling is smoother.

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