Latest Mazda3 to tempt fleet and business drivers

Improved styling is only part of the story for Mazda’s upgraded 3 range.

MAZDA says its upgraded 3 range will offer fleet operators and company car drivers worthwhile financial savings.
The line-up includes a Mazda3 1.6 Sport Diesel for the first time, which Mazda believes will find favour with fleet operators and company car drivers alike.
The upgraded range features 16 standard models with a choice of two petrol and two diesel engines (three power outputs).
Combined CO2 emissions cut by up to 3.5 percent depending on model, alongside improvements in fuel consumption, mean reduced petrol and diesel bills and savings in benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax for company car drivers.  For fleet operators this means lower Vehicle Excise Duty and National Insurance payments.
The 1.6 Sport Diesel and 1.6 Sport Nav Diesel cost respectively £19,095 and £19,945 on the road and have been given a 30 percent residual value at three years/60,000 miles by CAP forecasting experts (December 2011). The models offer competitive CO2 emissions (115g/km), combined cycle fuel economy of 65.7mpg and a specification that includes a Bose audio system, heated sports seats, 17-inch alloy wheels and side skirts.
The CO2 figure means that the new models fall within the lowest company car BIK bracket for diesel models (13%) in 2011/12.
Meanwhile, the upgraded £20,095 Mazda3 2.2 Sport Diesel (150ps) and the £21,195 2.2 Sport Nav Diesel (185ps) each drop a company car BIK tax bracket after Mazda engineering development work.
The 150ps model now emits 139g/km – reduced from 144g/km – putting the model into the 20 percent tax bracket in 2011/12, while the 185ps model also benefits from a 5g/km emissions drop to 144g/km putting it in the 21 percent tax bracket in 2011/12.
The MPG benefits for the 105ps 1.6-litre petrol engine range add up to a £25.92 per year saving based on travelling 12,000 miles a year and fuel costing 135p per litre, while drivers of the 151ps 2.0-litre petrol engine model will see identical cash savings based on similar mileage and pump prices.
Drivers of the upgraded 1.6-litre diesel range will save £26.88 per year based on travelling 12,000 miles a year and fuel costing 140p per litre, while those with the 2.2-litre 150ps and 185ps models will benefit from financial savings of £53.76 per year.
On the road prices for the Upgraded Mazda3 range start at £14,995 for the entry-level 1.6 S and top out at £23,395 for the flagship 2.3 MPS. The range offers a choice of six trim levels – S, TS, TS2, TS2 Nav, Sport and Sport Nav – as well as from launch the special edition 1.6 Tamura and 1.6D Tamura.
Mazda Fleet and Remarketing Director Steve Jelliss said: “The Mazda3 has more potential in the fleet sector and the upgrade will further boost demand.
“Improvements in emissions as well as fuel economy on most models have been coupled with the addition of a new 1.6 Sport Diesel model.  This, alongside Mazda’s established core fleet strengths of excellent vehicle reliability, strong residual values and fun-to-drive characteristics, means Mazda3’s corporate appeal has been strengthened even further.”