Set to go on sale early in 2012, the new Mazda3 hatchback will include updates to the exterior and a leap forward in interior quality.
However, its main improvements will come in the form of new, efficient ‘green’ engines designed to reduce CO2 emissions and, as a result, running costs for private drivers and businesses.
Mazda says the new Mazda3 hatchback will boast reduced CO2 emissions of up to 3.5 per cent, depending on the model, and comes with a 1.6-litre Sport Diesel for the first time as the Japanese manufacturer targets UK businesses.
The Sport Diesel version will include lower Vehicle Excise Duty and National Insurance payments for business drivers and lower Benefit-in-Kind tax.
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.”
Prices for the new 2012 Mazda3 range start at £14,995 for the entry-level 1.6 S, rising to £23,395 for the range-topping 2.3 MPS.
The range offers a choice of six trim levels – S, TS, TS2, TS2 Nav, Sport and Sport Nav – when it goes on sale in the UK.