Aug 4 2009 Steve Hughes
Mazda on Zoom Zoom trail
THE all-new Mazda3 is spearheading the Zoom Zoom stable's summer offensive by providing new levels of driving enjoyment.
The Japanese company's latest compact car follows in the footsteps of the first-generation model - launched in 2003 - that quickly became Mazda's best-selling vehicle and won more than 90 international automotive awards.
Half a dozen engines - all tailored for the European market - are offered, the petrol options being a 1.6-litre a 2.0 and a 2.3.
There is also a pair of newly-developed 2.2-litre turbodiesels delivering 150 and 185bhp plus a 1.6-litre oil burner too, costing £15,760.
The range starts with the 1.6 S at £13,500, rising to £19,900 for the flagship 2.2D 185 Sport.
Also doing well and being especially suited to the current climate is the smaller Mazda2 model, which costs from £8,899 in 1.3-litre petrol guise complete with air conditioning.
There is also a 1.5-litre Sport version plus a pair of diesels. The 1.4D TS2 costs £11,153 and the 1.6D Sport five-door is £13,317.
A model that has already won legions of fans is the family-size Mazda6, a car blessed with terrific dynamics, bags of usable space and magnificent engines.
There is no doubt that the '6' is a terrific car and the 2.2-litre diesel engine is a cracker.
In fact businesses taking delivery of this version will be making the value-for-money choice with strong used car values putting the car into premium badge territory when compared with key rivals.
Data from used car valuation experts at CAP Motor Research reveals that at the fleet benchmark period of three years/60,000 miles the model is worth up to 39% of its cost new.
This puts the model ahead of other recent arrivals such as the Toyota Avensis and Vauxhall Insignia and comfortably ahead of the likes of the Citroen C5, Peugeot 407, Renault Laguna and Volkswagen Passat in the residual value stakes.
The iconic MX-5 sports car not only boasts proven reliability but attained a remarkable owner satisfaction record of 97% in Which? Car's satisfaction survey.
Along with the latest RX-8 sports coupe, with its low slung style and rotary engine, the MX-5 ensures thrill lovers won't be disappointed.
Ideal for families on the move is the upgraded Mazda5 multi-activity vehicle, a car designed from the inside-out rather than the other way round.
Its regular seating features a six-seat layout over three rows - with a flexible stowable seventh seat in the middle of the second row - which can be folded into position when needed.
Prices are from £15,770 for the 1.8-litre TS model.