Mazda 3 2007 Review
This time the best selling Mazda 3 gets the treatment, using the same smooth 2.0-litre turbo diesel that can be found in the larger Mazda 6.
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Based on the Astra hatch, which by comparison looks decidedly frumpy, the Coupe gets its allure from a lower roofline and squint-narrow side glass.
It looks sensational, especially given its $26,990 price tag, though its design, unfortunately, is integral to all that is wrong with the car.
Visibility from the driver's seat, especially to the rear, is so poor that parking without contacting anything else is a practised art.
It will seat four people with rear seats that, once you fold the body into the required shape to get in, are quite accommodating.
Some may find the back seat a bit claustrophobic, which is a byproduct of those narrow side windows and sloping roofline.
But this is hardly a family car.
The need to give access to the rear also means the two doors are long. The first time you notice that is when parking close to a wall and realising the doors don't open wide enough to let you out.
The Coupe does, however, have a level of functionality, the rear seats split and fold and the boot is a decent size. Good news is the full-size spare tyre.
Whether to enhance its sporty looks or because of its Belgian origins, the interior is all black. Yet despite the sombre decor, the Coupe CDX's dashboard controls are simple and easy to use and include a six-disc CD player with seven speakers, trip computer and cruise control.
The Astra range gets a new 1.8-litre engine, though it doesn't feel much different from before.
Performance is adequate, thanks to 103kW, up 11kW on the old engine, but to get this output it needs to drink premium fuel. It loses about 3kW when fed standard unleaded.
More than anything, the engine has a bit more grunt at lower revs to get it off the mark quicker and neater.
It comes with a five-speed manual gearbox (auto is optional) though six cogs would better suit the engine.
Holden claims 7.4 litres/100km, 0.4 litre/100km better than before. But for a bit more performance, it's necessary to factor in the extra cost of premium fuel.
Handling is good, with confidence through the bends and a quick-ratio steering box so it points and shoots with accuracy.
Part of this solidity through the bends is a taut chassis that gives the Coupe a quality feel.
The steering feel is far firmer than, say, the Corolla, which gives the arm muscles a workout when parking. The bonus is the sure-footed steering at cruising speeds.
ABS brakes are standard, but ESP is not available on this model. The SRi and Turbo Coupe versions get ESP as standard.
But the CDX tested gets front, side and curtain airbags as standard.
For its price, the Coupe CDX rates well as a runabout for a couple or a single owner.
More performance is available in the bigger-engined SRi and the Turbo, but at an additional $5500 and $8000 respectively, there are better fish in the water.
|Convertible||2.2L, PULP, 5 SP MAN||$5,400 – 8,360||2007 Holden Astra 2007 Convertible Pricing and Specs|
|Twin Top||2.2L, ULP, 6 SP MAN||$5,600 – 8,690||2007 Holden Astra 2007 Twin Top Pricing and Specs|
|CD||1.8L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO||$2,200 – 3,850||2007 Holden Astra 2007 CD Pricing and Specs|
|CDTi||1.9L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO||$3,700 – 6,050||2007 Holden Astra 2007 CDTi Pricing and Specs|