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by Daniel DeGasperi

Mazda Australia has launched a new flagship grade of its small car and most popular model, the Mazda 3 XD Astina, priced from $40,230.

That’s for the six-speed manual version of the 2.2-litre twin-turbocharged diesel model that is available in a single range-topping grade and hatchback variant, with a six-speed automatic the only ($2000) option. No sedan version of the diesel is available.

It’s a price that not only adds $4040 to the Mazda 3 SP25 Astina petrol model on which the XD Astina is heavily based, but this diesel also surpasses the $39,990 pricetag of the old Mazda 3 MPS hot-hatch.

Mazda 3 XD Astina-15

The only equipment additions for the XD Astina include 18-inch ‘bright’ alloy wheels, LED fog-lights, a leather and suede combination interior trim, SkyActiv-D badge (the first diesel Mazda in Oz to wear the badge) and red trim around the front grille – the biggest clue that Mazda believes this 420Nm diesel is the closest thing to a new-generation of hot-hatch.

The Astina grade is already well-equipped, however, with a sunroof, active cruise control, dual-zone climate control, Bose audio with satellite navigation and apps connectivity and a full suite of safety acronyms standard – Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM), Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW), High Beam Control (HBC), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), and Smart City Brake Support (SCBS).

Shared with the CX-5 and Mazda 6 range, the Mazda 3 XD Astina produces 129kW of power at 4500rpm and 420Nm of torque at 2000rpm.

Mazda 3 XD Astina-22

The manual uses just 5.0 litres of diesel for every 100 kilometres travelled, while the auto asks for 0.2L/100km more. These figures are 1.5L/100km and 1.1L/100km more frugal than the cheaper petrol 3 Astina, respectively.

Although the Mazda 3 XD Astina weighs 106 kilograms more than the petrol variant of the same name, the auto’s 1465kg kerb weight (manual: 1448kg) leaves it 76kg lighter than the auto-only front-wheel drive Mazda 6 diesel equivalent.

With the new-generation Volkswagen Golf GTD not set for our shores, the XD Astina has few competitors.

Mazda 3 XD Astina-18

On the diesel front there’s the 110kW/320Nm, $34,490 Golf 110TDI Highline or $42,500 Audi A3 TDI, but they are both pitched as a semi-luxury grades with auto-only. There’s always the 105kW/320Nm BMW 118d that sells for the same price as the Audi, but again you’re getting a lesser level of equipment with an engine focused on economy rather than performance.

Interestingly, Mazda toys with the idea of the XD Astina competing with the petrol-engined Golf GTI and Ford Focus ST.

Mazda Australia says the XD Astina will initially contribute just two per cent of total Mazda 3 sales locally, with an expected 300 units sold to the end of the year – an average of 75 per month.

Mazda 3 pricing (plus on-road costs):
Mazda 3 Neo 2.0-litre petrol – $20,490 manual; $22,490 auto
Mazda 3 Maxx 2.0-litre petrol – $22,990 manual; $24,990 auto
Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-litre petrol – $25,490 manual; $27,490 auto
Mazda 3 SP25 2.5-litre petrol – $25,890 manual; $27,890 auto
Mazda 3 Sp25 GT 2.5-litre petrol – $30,590 manual; $32,590 auto
Mazda 3 SP25 Astina 2.5-litre petrol – $36,190 manual; $38,190 auto
Mazda 3 XD Astina 2.2-litre diesel – $40,230 manual; $42,230 auto




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