Mazda has updated the 1.6-liter four-cylinder diesel engine offered in the Mazda3 hatchback and sedan models, making it Euro 5-compliant, more powerful (115 hp vs 109 hp) and even more economical. The new version needs just 4.4 lt/100 km (64.2 UK mpg or 53.5 US mpg) and it's mated for the first time to a six-speed manual transmission.
The five extra horses won't rock your world, but the 1.6 MZ-CD delivers 30 more newton-meters (22 lb-ft) of torque, which should definitely count. Engineers achieved this by using a new common-rail fuel injector system, with piezo injectors, and a variable-geometry turbocharger, which not only increased the torque to 270 Nm (199 lb-ft), but also made it available between 1,700-2,700 rpm. Peak power is delivered 400 rpm lower than before, at 3,600 rpm.
The extra oomph doesn't really translate into better acceleration figures - at least not on paper- but the Mazda3 1.6 MZ-CD is no slouch either. It accelerates from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 11 seconds, matching its predecessor, and can reach a top speed of 186 km/h (116 mph).
Also new is the maintenance-free diesel particulate filter (DPF), which no longer needs an additive to burn off the particulate matter, thus reducing running costs. Also thanks to the DPF, the new engine emits just 117 g/km of CO2 in the combined cycle.
Mazda hasn't provided any information on pricing and availability yet.
By Csaba Daradics