Mazda3 2.0D: Even More Appealing Than Before | Part Five

Mazda3 upgrade’s MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension were also enhanced for improved steering response, stability and to deliver an even flatter ride.  Suspension updates included optimizing the mounting point of the steering knuckle arm, which reduces understeer during fast cornering and lowers toe-out when driving over bumps.

Also new are rear monotube dampers with a larger piston diameter, for better short stroke damping force, and a new mounting point position for the rear suspension’s lateral link in front of the knuckle, which increases toe-in when driving over bumps.  For models with the new 2.0 MZR-CD, engineers made the diameter of the stabilizers 2mm larger front and rear, and retuned the coil spring rates and dampers to deliver Zoom-Zoom handling that is a good mix of sportiness and drive comfort.  Like the sporty flagship Mazda3 MPS, the MZR‑CD 2.0-litre version utilises a hydraulic power assisted steering for more response and an optimal driving feel.

These enhancements are supported by improvements in Mazda3 upgrade’s aerodynamics that saw the introduction of a centre under floor cover (hatchback only) and flow deflectors ahead of each tyre.  These drag-reducing measures contribute to improved overall handling stability and improved overall fuel economy, especially with the new, high-torque diesel under the bonnet.

Bigger Brakes Enhance Safety

Mazda3 2.0 MZR-CD also has the same, larger brakes as the 2.0-litre petrol version, to deliver reliable deceleration performance.  The system boats 300mm ventilated front discs and 280mm solid rear discs.  These form the basis for a complete package of active safety systems - ABS, Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Traction Control System (TCS) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) are standard, with available auto light and rain-sensing wiper systems available on the Sport only.

On the inside, Mazda3 has seatbelt pretensioners with load-limiters for front occupants, plus front, side and curtain airbags.  Introduced with the Mazda3 upgrade is a new seatbelt reminder system that warns the driver if anyone in the car (front and rear) is not buckled up.  Also new is a safety padding on the steering column that works together with a new steering wheel adjustment lever design to further reduce the risk of injury to the driver’s knees in a frontal collision.

Published 11 April 2007 Melanie Carter

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