THE latest, fourth-generation Mazda3 will be hitting our roads in late Spring and the company is promising that it will come with "a level of standard equipment never seen before on a Mazda hatchback."
But there'll be a price to pay for the extra kit, for the starting price of the new 2019 five door hatchback range has shot up by Â£2,600 - from Â£17,995 to Â£20,595.
The new range will be available initially with either a 120bhp. two-litre Skyactiv-G petrol or 115bhp Skyactiv-D diesel engine. The petrol engine now features a cylinder deactivation system and Mazda's 24V mild-hybrid system.
There's a choice of five trim levels - SE-L, SE-L Lux, Sport Lux, GT Sport and GT Sport Tech -and, unquestionably justifying the price hike, even the entry level SE-L model will come with the kind of high-end technology normally associated with prestige models including a windscreen projected, colour head-up display with traffic sign recognition, radar cruise control and LED headlights. Every model in the line-up also features navigation, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and an advanced eight speaker audio system.
From SE-L Lux onwards highlights include a reversing camera, smart keyless entry, heated front seats, while Sport Lux variants benefit from cabin enhancements including additional chrome detailing, a frameless rear view mirror and rear privacy glass.
GT Sport models get black leather seats with power adjustment, a heated steering wheel and Bose audio, while the range-topping GT Sport Tech features a suite of additional active safety equipment, including a 360 camera and driver attention alert featuring an interior camera.
With the exception of the flagship GT Sport Tech model, which is matched exclusively with the two-litre petrol engine, all trims are offered with both diesel and petrol engines, while a choice between manual and automatic gearboxes is offered across the entire range.
The range will expand later in the year with a new, high-tech compression ignition Skyactiv-X petrol engine and saloon variants but dealers are taking orders for the new hatchback now with first deliveries expected in May.