Fleet operators and company car drivers could cut their costs when the Upgraded Mazda3 goes on UK sale this year.
The upgraded range features 16 standard models with a choice of two petrol and two diesel engines (three power outputs) and for the first time the line-up includes a Mazda3 1.6 Sport Diesel which Mazda believes will find favour with fleet operators and company car drivers alike.
Combined CO2 emissions cut by up to 3.5% depending on model, alongside improvements in fuel consumption, mean reduced petrol and diesel bills and savings in benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax for company car drivers. For fleet operators this means lower Vehicle Excise Duty and National Insurance payments.
The 1.6 Sport Diesel and 1.6 Sport Nav Diesel cost respectively £19,095 and £19,945 on the road and have been given a 30 percent residual value at three years/60,000 miles by CAP forecasting experts (December 2011). The models offer CO2 emissions of 115g/km, combined cycle fuel economy of 65.7mpg and a specification that includes a Bose audio system, heated sports seats, 17-inch alloy wheels and side skirts.
Meanwhile, the upgraded £20,095 Mazda3 2.2 Sport Diesel (150ps) and the £21,195 2.2 Sport Nav Diesel (185ps) each drop a company car BIK tax bracket after Mazda engineering development work.
The 150ps model now emits 139g/km - reduced from 144g/km - while the 185ps model also benefits from a 5g/km emissions drop to 144g/km.
Virtually the entire upgraded range also benefits from fuel economy improvements with the Mazda3 2.2 Sport Diesel (150ps) receiving a 2mpg boost to record a combined cycle figure of 54.3mpg and the 185ps derivative getting a 1.9mpg improvement to 52.3mpg.
On the road prices for the Upgraded Mazda3 range start at £14,995 for the entry-level 1.6 S and top out at £23,395 for the flagship 2.3 MPS. The range offers a choice of six trim levels - S, TS, TS2, TS2 Nav, Sport and Sport Nav - as well as from launch the special edition 1.6 Tamura and 1.6D Tamura.
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."