Cars, Local News, Mazda

Mazda MX-30 to arrive in Malaysia Oct 2020; CX-30 Kulim CKD assembly to commence in 2021 – report


The Mazda MX-30 is due to arrive in Malaysia in the fourth quarter of this year, according to a report by AmInvestment bank on Bermaz, the importer and distributor of Mazda vehicles in Malaysia.

This will arrive on our shores as a fully imported (CBU) model, though being a fully electric model, the MX-30 could also be one of the four models to come from CKD assembly between now and 2021 as any locally-assembled hybrid or fully electric vehicle is fully exempt from excise duties, the report said; this also enables Berjaya Auto to set the MX-30 at a reasonable price point while covering its margins, according to the report.

The MX-30’s entry into the Malaysian market is projected with an eye on the expansion of Mazda’s CKD model line-up in the country, as Berjaya Auto’s manufacturing associate Inokom is set to invest a total capital expenditure of RM200 million towards increasing the total production capacity of its Kulim manufacturing plant from 30,000 units to 80,000 units annually, according to the AmInvestment Bank report.

The other model likely for local production is the CX-30, with AmInvestment Bank stating that channel checks indicate that the crossover – recently launched in Malaysia in CBU guise – could commence CKD assembly at the Kulim plant in 2021.

Unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show last year, the Mazda MX-30 is the Japanese marque’s first fully electric vehicle that is nearly the same size as the internal combustion-engined CX-30, measuring 4,395 mm long with a 2,655 mm wheelbase, 1,795 mm wide and 1,570 mm tall. The MX-30 is built on the same SkyActiv-Vehicle Architecture which underpins the Mazda 3 and CX-30, though with reinforcements around the battery and floor to increase stiffness.

Dubbed e-Skyactiv, the MX-30’s EV powertrain is comprised of a single electric motor driving the front wheels with 141 hp and 264 Nm of torque. This is fed by a 35.5 kWh battery that supports both AC and DC charging, the former accepting a maximum input of 6.6 kW via a Type 2 connection. This offers a range of 209 km, while a range-extender version with a rotary engine is set to debut later on, the company said.

The rotary engine was selected for the range extender role due to its compactness, lack of weight and quiet operation, said Mazda, and this will run of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). This offering of powertrain options mirrors that of the BMW i3, which was introduced with both options, though the range extender has reportedly been sent to the retirement queue.

GALLERY: Mazda MX-30

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Cars, International News, Isuzu, Mazda

Next-gen Mazda BT-50 to get completed Isuzu D-Max as base, but promises more masculine Kodo design


It appears that the upcoming Mazda BT-50 will be largely based on the new Isuzu D-Max, at least from the mechanical side of things. An Isuzu executive told CarsGuide that Mazda had no involvement in the development of the D-Max, and that Mazda will be handed a finished pick-up truck instead.

Back in 2016, Mazda announced a commercial vehicle partnership with Isuzu, a deal which included a jointly-developed pick-up truck to replace the outgoing BT-50. As it turns out, Mazda’s involvement in the development phase isn’t quite as extensive. Isuzu global spokesperson, Eiji Mitsubishi told the publication that the new D-Max was “developed solely by Isuzu,” and that the finished truck would be provided to Mazda.

“This was developed solely by Isuzu, and we have decided to supply or provide this vehicle to Mazda as an OEM. But it was developed purely by us,” he said at the 2019 Tokyo Auto Show. “We independently developed this D-Max. We tried to strike a balance between passenger use and more off-road demand. We understand the increasing demand on the D-Max as a passenger car.”

In terms of engine choices, the D-Max is powered by a 1.9 litre and 3.0 litre four-cylinder turbodiesels, with the former RZ4E-TC mill making 150 PS at 3,600 rpm and 350 Nm of torque from 1,800 to 2,600 rpm.

The larger 4JJ3-TCX 3.0 litre engine, which has been heavily revised with items such as a diamond-like carbon coating on the piston pins, an electronic variable geometry turbocharger, and a double-scissor timing gear, produces 190 PS and 450 Nm of torque. That’s a modest increase of 13 PS and 70 Nm over the older 4JJ1-TCX.

So far, Mazda hasn’t revealed much about the upcoming BT-50, but did promise that its pick-up truck will look substantially different. Mazda’s chief designer Ikuo Maeda said the BT-50 will be tougher-looking and more masculine than the outgoing model, although it’s unclear how much of its Kodo design philosophy will be featured.

In 2018, Maeda told CarsGuide that “the rear area of the truck itself is very difficult to use this [Kodo] design language, but I could try. I myself think the truck should look masculine and strong, and really like a truck. It might be difficult to try this kind of design, with all the light reflections, to a truck. It’s tough.”

Maeda went on to promise that, despite the Isuzu partnership, Mazda’s version will have it’s own unique design and presence. “It will have to,” he said.

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Cars, Local News, Mazda

GALLERY: 2020 Mazda CX-8 2WD Mid Plus – RM186k


Just recently, Mazda Malaysia launched the locally assembled CX-8, a three-row SUV that seats up to seven individuals. Prices start from RM180k to RM218k, and the car you see here is of the 2WD Mid Plus (RM186k), which is the third rung model positioned above the entry-level 2WD Mid.

Out of all four CX-8s available, only the base 2WD Mid comes with a seven-seating configuration. The remaining three are six-seaters, though both the 2WD Mid and Mid Plus get fabric upholstery – the pair also gets silver 19-inch alloys as opposed to the dark chrome units on the more expensive 2.5 2WD High and 2.2D AWD High. No roof rails here, too.

Speaking of which, there are two engines available, starting with the 2.5 litre four-cylinder SkyActiv-G engine (no 2.5L Turbo mills here, unfortunately), producing 192 hp at 6,000 rpm and 258 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm.

The range-topping 2.2D AWD High is the only one that gets a turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive system. Power comes from the 2.2 litre SkyActiv-D engine making 188 hp at 4,500 rpm and 450 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm. A six-speed SkyActiv-Drive automatic is standard across the board.

For equipment, this 2WD Mid Plus gets LED headlights with LED DRLs, LED fog lamps, LED combination tail lights, and keyless entry with push-start button. Inside, it gets the same updated instrument cluster with an integrated 4.6-inch digital info display, three-zone climate control (no vents in the third row), seven-inch MZD Connect infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, as well as six speakers as standard.

For safety, there’s ABS with EBD, dynamic stability control, hill launch assist, emergency brake assist, traction control system, six SRS airbags, as well as Isofix child seat anchoring points with top tethers. The CX-8 was also awarded five stars in the ANCAP crash safety test.

The 2WD Mid also gets several functions in the automaker’s i-ActivSense advanced safety system, notably front Smart City Brake Support (SCBS; otherwise known as AEB) with pedestrian detection (more expensive models get rear SCBS also), adaptive front lighting system, blind spot monitoring, and rear-cross traffic alert. Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC, active cruise control) is not available, unfortunately.

Lastly, included in the price list are add-ons such as window tinting (RM2,000), illuminated sill plates (RM400), optional leather seat upholstery for the Mid and Mid Plus variants (RM4,500), as well as a RM3,000 option for premium metallic colours such as Soul Red Crystal, Machine Grey, and Snowflake Pearl White. Bundled with the price is a five-year or 100,000 km manufacturer’s warranty with five-years free maintenance.

GALLERY: Mada CX-8 2WD Mid Plus – RM186k

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Cars, Local News, Mazda

GALLERY: Updated 2020 Mazda MX-5 RF – RM260k


In August, Mazda Malaysia launched the updated MX-5 RF, with prices starting from RM259,154 for the manual transmission and RM260,354 for the automatic. That’s nearly RM37k more than the original sticker price, though included is a five-year/100,000 km warranty and a five-year/100,000 km free service package.

Now, the 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated SkyActiv-G four-cylinder petrol engine features redesigned pistons, connecting rods, crankshaft, throttle body and intake valves, and now revs 700 rpm higher at 7,500 rpm. The output has been raised to 184 PS at 7,000 rpm (up from 160 PS), while torque gets a slight bump to 205 Nm (up from 200 Nm) 4,000 rpm.

Mazda claims that torque has been increased across the entire rev range, and top-end torque gets boosted by as much as 15%. The engine sounds better too, thanks to a reworked exhaust system. Other minor tweaks include telescopic steering adjustment (previously omitted due to weight) in addition to the existing tilt adjustment, along with cruise control and a 4.6-inch colour TFT LCD multi-info display. The seven-inch touchscreen also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Standard equipment includes adaptive LED headlights with a matrix high beam, LED daytime running lights, 17-inch alloy wheels in a new black finish instead of gunmetal grey, reverse sensors, keyless entry with walk-away lock, push-button start, auto lights and wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, auto air-conditioning, leather upholstery, and a nine-speaker Bose sound system (including headrest speakers).

Safety-wise, there’s four airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, stability control, hill start assist and lane departure warning, but unfortunately we don’t get autonomous emergency braking that was also introduced globally with this model year update, nor the reverse camera.

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Cars, Mazda, Videos, Walk-Around Videos

FIRST LOOK: 2020 Mazda CX-30 in M’sia – fr RM143k

As you know, Mazda Malaysia just added the CX-30 to its local line-up of cars, with this slotting between the CX-3 and CX-5 in terms of price and size. Three variants are available, starting with the base 2.0 at RM143k, 2.0 High at RM164k, and the range-topping 1.8D at RM173k. Included is a five-year/100,000 km manufacturer-backed warranty and a five-year free maintenance package.

Powering this car is a 2.0 litre Skyactiv-G powertrain that makes 162 hp at 6,000 rpm and 213 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm, driving the front wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox. The range-topping 1.8 litre diesel, on the other hand, produces 116 PS at 4,000 rpm and 270 Nm of torque from 1,600 to 2,700 rpm. Like the Mazda 3, the front gets MacPherson struts, and the rear a torsion beam setup.

Equipment for the 2.0 High includes LED headlights with auto-levelling function (standard for all CX-30s), LED DRLs (mounted lower down as LED strips), keyless entry with push-start button, 18-inch wheels shod with 215/55 tyres, LED combination tail lights, and powered boot. Inside, it’s almost identical to the Mazda 3 hatch, but gains an additional dash trim with brown leather inserts.

There’s also the latest 8.8-inch full-colour infotainment display, complete with the new user interface and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A head-up display is available as well, as are 10-way powered driver seat (front passenger seat is manual), eight-speaker sound system, and reverse camera. Boot volume is rated at 430 litres, which expands to 1,432 litres with the rear seats folded.

For safety, the 2.0 High variant gets seven airbags including driver’s knee airbags, hill start assist, emergency stop signal, ISOFIX child seat mounts, and the usual three-lettered acronyms. There’s several i-ActivSense advanced safety systems here too, with adaptive front lighting, high beam control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, driver attention alert, smart city brake support (autonomous emergency braking) and radar-guided cruise control.

GALLERY: 2020 Mazda CX-30 2.0 High in Soul Red Crystal

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Cars, Local News, Mazda

GALLERY: Mazda CX-30 2.0L Skyactiv-G in Malaysia – High spec variant with keyless entry, AEB; RM164k


Mazda importer and distributor in Malaysia, Bermaz now has the Mazda CX-30 on display. The CX-30 is positioned in between the CX-3 and the CX-5, and is available in the Malaysian market in three variants – the 2.0 petrol, 2.0 High and the 1.8D High diesel. The variant seen here is the 2.0 G High and is priced at RM164,119.20 on-the-road without insurance, for private registration.

Here, the 2.0 litre Skyactiv-G powertrain outputs 163 hp at 6,000 rpm and 213 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm, driving the front wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox. By comparison, the 1.8 litre diesel for the Malaysian market produces 116 PS at 4,000 rpm and 270 Nm of torque from 1,600 to 2,700 rpm, putting power to the road via the same driveline.

The higher-specification petrol variant here and diesel roll on 18 x 7J alloy wheels on 215/55R18 tyres; the base 2.0 petrol CX-30 is fitted with 16 x 6.5 J alloy wheels on 215/65R16 tyres. Here, the 2.0 High variant gets LED headlights and tail lamps with signature illumination; automatic headlamp operation and levelling is standard across all three CX-30 variants.

The driver’s seat features 10-way electric adjustment with two memory banks, and the show car here is trimmed in brown leather upholstery, along with dual-zone automatic climate control with rear seat vents and controls. Luggage capacity is 430 litres with all seats in place, and 1,432 litres with the rear seats folded.

Infotainment comes courtesy of Mazda Connect with voice control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, full-colour 8.8-inch display, multi-function Commander Control, 3.5 mm auxiliary audio input, Bluetooth, eight-speaker audio and reversing camera with width and length guide lines.

Safety kit in the 2.0 High variant includes front, side, curtain and driver’s knee airbags, ABS, DSC, EBD, BA, traction control, hill start assist, emergency stop signal, auto hold, auto door lock, ISOFIX child seat mounts, engine immobilisers and seat belt warning for all occupants.

Added here which the base 2.0 model lacks is the advanced safety kit comprising adaptive front lighting, high beam control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, driver attention alert, smart brake support (autonomous emergency braking) and radar-guided cruise control.

Pictured here is the Soul Red Crystal paint finish, while other exterior colour options include Machine Gray, Snowflake White Pearl, Deep Crystal Blue, Sonic Silver, Polymetal Gray, Titanium Flash and Jet Black. Coverage for the Mazda CX-30 includes a five-year/100,000 km manufacturer-backed warranty and a five-year free maintenance package.

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Cars, International News, Mazda

Mazda to shift Thai CX-3 production to Japan due to strong baht, forex affecting carmakers’ profits


Mazda may be planning to allocate around one billion baht (RM137.1 million) to upgrade its factory in Thailand next year, but future production at the AutoAlliance Thailand (AAT) plant in Rayong won’t include the BT-50 pick-up truck (next-gen will be based on the D-Max and made at Isuzu), and now, the CX-3 SUV, Nikkei reveals.

According to the Japanese publication, the shifting of CX-3 production in Thailand to Mazda’s Hofu plant in Japan is due to the strong Thai baht, and its continued appreciation against major currencies. Currently, AAT also makes the Mazda 2, Mazda 3 and BT-50. CX-3 production, which started in Thailand in 2015, will be shifted in stages as early as this month, it adds.

Mazda’s portion of the AAT plant, which is shared with Ford, has production capacity of 135,000 vehicles a year. The CX-3’s share of this is 25,000 units, of which 14,000 are exported to Australia, the report notes.

According to Nikkei, the Thai baht has been a top performer among emerging market currencies, largely due to the kingdom’s current account surplus. In 2019, the currency gained 8% versus the Australian dollar and around 6% against the US dollar. Thai bankers expect the baht to continue rising, raising concerns that other car manufacturers may follow Mazda’s lead.

What’s not in doubt is that forex has dented profits for the Japanese carmakers who produce in Thailand and export from there. The report reveals that exchange rates shaved 37.5 billion yen (RM1.4 billion) from Mazda’s operating profit in the April-September 2019 period.

The Hiroshima-based carmaker has cut its projected full-year operating profit to 60 billion yen from an initial forecast of 110 billion yen, with forex losses of nearly 80 billion yen anticipated.

Forex also cut 90 billion yen from Toyota during the period, and about 50 billion yen for Honda. Mitsubishi’s profits dropped 22.2 billion yen over the six months. “We have shipped 80% of our cars made in Thailand overseas, but will [need] efforts to sell out locally,” Mitsubishi’s CFO Koji Ikeya told Nikkei Asian Review.

Like MMC, Isuzu’s global hub for pick-up truck production is Thailand. “We export Thai products to about 120 countries. The profitability of the business has declined significantly due to the appreciation of the baht,” president Masanori Katayama said.

Reduced production will affect vendors as well. Nippon Steel, which supplies high?tensile steel plates to Japanese automakers including Mazda, has reduced output at its Thai factory. Last year, car factories in Thailand rolled out 2.16 million vehicles, with half of those headed for export.

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Car News, chevrolet blazer, electric cars, electric trucks, Ford Ranger, General Chat, Mazda, mazda cx-5, mazda3, Mustang mach e, New Cars, Nissan, Porsche, subaru outback, Tech + Cars, Tesla, toyota supra, United States

CarGurus: Our Automotive Highlights of 2019 – The CarGurus Blog


Few could argue that 2019 has been a fascinating year in the world of motoring – but what are your automotive highlights of 2019? We’d love for you to tell us in the comments section below this article, or via the CarGurus Facebook page. To get you started, below our writers have put forward their own automotive highlights of 2019, from pickups to Porsches.

Chris Knapman, Editor, CarGurus UK

Will time show that 2019 was the year the electric car broke through? There’s certainly been no shortage of new products using battery power, from the Porsche Taycan and latest Nissan Leaf to the impossible-to-ignore Tesla Cybertruck.

Combine these new cars with an improving charging infrastructure and you’d expect the tide of public opinion might start showing signs of softening towards EVs. That was certainly the case according to our own research, which revealed that the number of consumers who consider themselves as likely to own an EV in the next five years jumped to 26% in 2019, up from 15% in 2018. This is most likely just the start, too: Who would bet against that number having grown significantly by this time next year?

Back in the world of internal combustion, my honorable mention for 2019 must go to the latest generation of Porsche 911, the 992. Not only does it masterfully update the legendary 911 format for this hi-tech age with its fabulous interior and ultra-sleek exterior, but in terms of performance, the 992 moves even the basic, non-GT or Turbo models firmly into supercar territory. In fact, if I had to narrow down my automotive highlights of 2019 into just one, fleeting moment, it’d be the surreal three-point-something seconds it took our four-wheel drive, PDK-equipped 911 test car to fire from 0-62 mph.

Electric vehicles might be coming, but internal combustion is still more than capable of taking your breath away.

Megan Hennessey, Editor, CarGurus US

I’m struck by the number of performance wagons and SUVs we saw introduced in 2019. Fans of the Audi S4 Avant rejoiced when the German automaker revealed it was bringing its RS 6 Avant to North America. It packs a 4.0-liter V8 that makes 591 hp and 590 lb-ft, hits 60 mph in about 3 seconds, and reaches a top speed of 189 mph.

Just as exciting was the introduction of the RS Q8, a performance SUV packing the same power as the RS 6 Avant. We had a chance to take a closer look at the 2020 RS Q8 at the 2019 LA Auto Show, and it adds plenty of features aside from the engine, like 23-inch wheels and an RS-specific gloss-black grille.

And in the EV space, electric trucks took center stage: Bollinger brought us a production-ready version of its B2 electric truck, Tesla unveiled its unique Cybertruck, and Rivian gets closer to its production-ready model of the R1T. But are truck shoppers willing to make the switch from gas-powered to electric? It’s hard to say. In our yearly Truck Sentiment Survey, we found that 70% of shoppers were willing to switch brands, which is good news for these startup truckmakers. However, their high prices may keep shoppers away.

Steve Halloran, Editor, CarGurus US

With one colleague celebrating electric vehicles and another performance wagons and SUVs, I feel obliged to mention one 2019 highlight they didn’t: Ford’s live-streamed debut of the 2021 Mustang Mach-E just before the LA Auto Show. Ford’s decision to put the name and badge of its mighty Mustang on an electric crossover generated controversy, of course, but a pony-equipped vehicle with up to 300 miles of range, usable seating for 5, almost 60 cubic feet of cargo room, and a 0-to-60 time of less than 4 seconds sounds great to me.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

But my 2019 highlights came from two automakers CarGurus has found compelling for years, Mazda and Subaru, in the form of strong new versions of proven models. The redesigned 2019 Mazda3 earned rave reviews from almost everyone who drove it, including George Kennedy, and the updated 2019 CX-5, which we sampled in the snow at the end of last year, also earned praise from a wide variety of reviewers.

2020 Mazda3

A new version of our favorite Subaru model also arrived in 2019. We got a chance to drive the 2020 Subaru Outback back in September and enjoyed it quite a bit. The new edition of this wagon/crossover finally offers a turbocharged engine under its hood, which drivers living at high altitudes should particularly appreciate. Our recently published review of the 2020 Outback found it strong from functionality and cost-effectiveness standpoints, which we consider hallmarks of the Subaru brand.

2020 Subaru Outback

Matt Smith, Editor, CarGurus US

This time of year, everyone’s talking about electrification and progress and the hot new thing. But as anyone with their eyes open can clearly see, 2019 was the year of the throwback.

First, Chevy resurrected the Blazer as a stylish, sharp, and sexy crossover complete with nearly $1,400 worth of 21-inch tires. Sure, the new 2019 Blazer had its detractors, namely those bemoaning its lack of off-road performance, but I, for one, welcome our new crossover overlords.

And it’s not as if 2019 didn’t bring us plenty of rugged capability, either. Carrying on with the throwback theme, both Ford and Jeep returned legendary truck nameplates to the market, with the 2019 Ranger and 2020 Gladiator.

Finally, the highlight of the year for this writer was the long-awaited return of the Toyota Supra. Partnering with BMW gave the new coupe a brilliant Bavarian heart and soul (or engine and chassis, for our more literal readers) to pair with its stunning exterior styling. Sure, the 2020 GR Supra’s interior might feel a bit familiar, and the lack of a manual transmission will cut it off some enthusiasts’ shopping lists, but it’s safe to say that no other car on CarGurus’ 2019 test-drive review roster received as much attention at gas stations, grocery stores, race tracks, or anywhere else we drove it.

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Car Reviews, Cars, Mazda, Video Reviews, Videos

FIRST DRIVE: 2019 Mazda CX-8 CKD – from RM180k


The locally-assembled Mazda CX-8 was just recently launched in Malaysia, and it’s available in four flavours. Kicking off the range is the 2.5G 2WD Mid (RM180k), followed by the 2.5G 2WD Mid Plus (RM186k), 2.5G 2WD High (RM201k), and 2.2D 4WD High (RM218k).

Included in the price list are add-ons such as window tinting (RM2,000), illuminated sill plates (RM400), optional leather seat upholstery for the Mid and Mid Plus variants (RM4,500), as well as a RM3,000 option for premium metallic colours such as Soul Red Crystal, Machine Grey, and Snowflake Pearl White. Also standard is a five-year or 100,000 km manufacturer’s warranty with five-years free maintenance.

Just two powertrain options are available, starting with the 2.5 litre SkyActiv-G petrol engine whici makes 192 hp at 6,000 rpm and 258 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. The top variant gets a 2.2 litre SkyActiv-D turbo, making 188 hp at 4,500 rpm and 450 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm. Petrol-powered models are strictly front-wheel drive, whereas the diesel is only available with all-wheel drive. A six-speed SkyActiv-Drive automatic transmission is standard across the line-up.

For equipment, all variants get auto-levelling LED headlights with LED daytime running lights (only the base model gets bulb-type DRLs), LED tail lights, keyless entry, powered tailgate, and 19-inch alloys wrapped with 225/55 profile tyres.

The cabin gets a seven-inch Mazda Connect infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, three-zone automatic climate control with rear air vents, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and electronic parking brake. Only the most expensive pair benefits from a 360-degree surround view camera and windshield-projected colour heads-up display.

Safety-wise, there’s the usual three-lettered acronyms, six airbags, and Mazda’s i-ActivSense (level of features depend on variant). Items such as Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC, active cruise control) remain unavailable, though it’s worth noting that the CX-8 was awarded five stars in the ANCAP crash safety test. So, watch the video, and let us know what you think!

GALLERY: 2019 Mazda CX-8 CKD at the Inokom plant in Kulim

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Cars, International News, Mazda

2020 Mazda 2 facelift launched at Thailand Motor Expo – 1.3L petrol and 1.5L diesel; 7 variants; from RM75k


Thailand has welcomed the new Mazda 2 facelift, with both hatchback and sedan body styles making their launch debut at this year’s Thailand Motor Expo. The former was first unveiled globally back in July this year, while the sedan version was revealed just earlier this month.

Both versions share the same styling revisions at the front, which appear to be inspired by the much larger (and also facelifted) Mazda 6. The new face features a thicker chrome grille surround that no longer cuts into the headlamps, allowing the clusters to be reshaped to be more slender and sharper than before. To along with this, the grille insert also gets a new mesh design that isn’t unlike that on the Mazda 6.

With the new grille shape, the lower apron has been simplified to accommodate a slimmer air intake that is flanked by two chrome strips. The strips are repeated at the rear bumper of the hatchback, and are part of a lower apron that now has a smaller matte black plastic area.

This sees the number plate being placed on a body-coloured section, while other changes include new taillight graphics. Meanwhile, the sedan gets a more expressive bumper design that sports a wide-width chrome trim piece atop a mesh insert, which is flanked by a pair of reflectors.

For the Thailand market, the Mazda 2 is available with two engine options, starting with a SkyActiv-G 1.3 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol unit that makes 93 PS at 5,800 rpm and 123 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm.

The second option is a SkyActiv-D 1.5 litre turbodiesel four-cylinder with 105 PS at 4,000 rpm and 250 Nm from 1,500 to 2,500 rpm. Both comes with a SkyActiv-Drive six-speed automatic transmission as standard, with drive going to the front wheels.

In terms of fuel economy, the petrol engine provides a rated consumption of 23.3 km/l, while the diesel offers 26.3 km/l. As a result, the Mazda 2 meets Thailand’s Phase 2 Eco Car framework, which requires cars to have a fuel consumption not exceeding 23.25 km/l (4.3 litres per 100 km).

Both engines also feature Mazda’s i-Stop idling and i-ELOOP regenerative braking systems, while other driving related items include a drive mode selector and G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus), which is part of the brand’s SkyActiv-Vehicle Dynamics umbrella.

As for variants, both body styles have an identical line-up, with five options (1.3 E, 1.3 C, 1.3 S, 1.3 S Leather and 1.3 SP) available with the petrol engine and two (XD and XDL) with the diesel, although it should be noted the hatchback adds on a “Sports” designation to each variant name.

Starting with the 1.3 E (priced from 546,000 baht or RM75,366), the list of standard equipment includes auto-levelling LED projector headlamps, 15-inch wheels, bulb-type DRLs, fabric seats, manual air-conditioning, a standard head unit with four speakers, keyless start, two front airbags, traction control, ABS, EBD, BA, DSC and hill start assist.

The 1.3 C (priced from 602,000 baht or RM83,106) adds on keyless entry, reverse sensors. a Mazda Connect infotainment system with Apple CarPlay support, two more speakers, a navigation function and automatic air-conditioning.

Next up, the 1.3 S (priced from 627,000 baht or RM86,539) gets LED DRLs, power-folding side mirrors, cruise control, a head-up display, as well as a leather steering wheel and gear knob. The 1.3 S Leather (priced from 648,000 baht or RM89,426) throws in leather/suede upholstery.

The range-topping petrol variant, the 1.3 SP (priced from 690,000 baht or RM95,203) sees an upgrade to 16-inch wheels, a 360-degree view monitor, a blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, front parking sensors and paddle shifters.

The diesel XD variant (priced from 782,000 baht or RM107,932) shares the same equipment as the 1.3 S Leather, whereas the XDL’s (priced from 799,000 baht or RM110,307) kit list mimics that of the 1.3 SP.

Customers will have eight colours to choose from – Soul Red Crystal, Machine Grey, Polymetal Grey, Snowflake White Pearl, Titanium Flash, Jet Black, Ceramic Metallic and Sonic Silver. There’s also a range of accessories on offer, including a front bumper lip, side skirts, black door mirror caps, a wind visor, rear roof spoiler, aluminium pedals, a rear boot shelf, exhaust finisher and boot liners.

2020 Mazda 2 Hatchback XD Sports (Thailand-spec)

2020 Mazda 2 Hatchback XDL (Thailand-spec)

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