No. I haven’t forgotten that the all-new Mazda 3 2.0 was just launched in Malaysia. The reason is that I did not have the time to get myself over to One Utama where they had launched it and I have not made it to any showrooms to have a look at it. Anyway, Mazda seems to have only brought in one fully imported CBU model – the 2.0 Skyactive sedan at RM138,935 OTR with insurance (with no hatchback in sight at the moment). It comes with a 3 year /100,000km warranty and a 3 year / 60,000km free servicing packages.
Expect the CKD model by the third or fourth quarter of 2014 (which I presume would be RM10,000 cheaper at the very least). The CBU Mazda 3 2.0 Skyactive sedan gets a high compression 2.0liter 4 cylinder engine to get a whole lot of efficiency (and power). 162hp and 210Nm torque via a 6 speed automatic gearbox. It only weighs 1295kg too! Impressive figures and this could now be the performance C segment car to get here in Malaysia….. IF and WHEN they assemble it locally. Only then.
Why did I just say that? Well, at almost RM140,000 you could just go and buy the entry level CKD Honda Accord 2.0VTI (something like the one in the pic above). Of course, throwing around an Accord through high speed corners may be unbecoming but the Accord is a whole lot of car for the price. It is very well built and it also handles very well but compared to the Mazda 3 CBU weighs 200kg heavier and at least 20hp down in power and 20Nm down in torque. But you get a D segment instead of a C segment car. Think of the image boost it may be able to give you at the office car park. Of course, The Mazda 3 is actually quite large for a C segment car these days. And it is good looking too. I somehow think the lines flow better here than in the larger Mazda 6.
No, I am not suggesting merely for the sake of image and style. The thing about the Malaysian market is that prices are so screwed up that an imported Mazda 3 costs as much as a Mazda 6 competitor that is locally assembled. Sometimes it would be wiser to just buy the bigger car – which incidentally has a longer warranty too (5 years unlimited mileage warranty).
And if you are patient, RM10,000 in savings could be had if you just wait for the CKD version of the Mazda 3. So whilst the Mazda 3 looks promising on paper, in terms of price, I’d wait awhile for the CKD version.