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92 The cabin upgrade delivers a classy look, with gloss black


and silver detailing and standard leather seats. Five adults can be comfortably seated and the generous bootspace of 559 litres can be boosted to a massive 1,848 litres with the rear seats folded. The load floor is flat and has no obstructive lip, so loading is very easy. Standard features are extensive and include auto lights and wipers, sunroof, rear spoiler, roof rails, powered and heated front seats, powered tailgate, adaptive cruise control, dual-zone air-conditioning, multi-function touch-screen with digital radio, sat-nav, connectivity features, and hill-descent control. Safety features have been enhanced and include pre-collision braking, lane keep assist, steering-responsive LED headlights, rear, side and front cameras and rear cross- traffic alert. The Outback is a big seller in America though is perhaps a little under-rated in some European markets. Yet it is a very strong contender in a niche market sector which includes the Volvo V90 Cross Country and the Audi A6 Allroad which are both significantly more expensive. With Subaru’s noted reputation for dependability and


backed by a five year warranty, the Outback should attract wider attention and significantly increase its sales.


Autoservices • MOT Testing


• Servicing & Repairs • All Diagnostics • 4 x 4 Specialist • Air Conditioning


Unit 12, Nelson Road Inds. Estate, Dartmouth TQ6 9LA


Tel: 01803 833181 www. frlautoservices.co.uk


MAZDA 3 SPORT LUX


THE NEW MAZDA3 BRINGS A MORE SPORTY LOOK TO THE OFTEN RATHER STAID HATCHBACK SECTOR, AND TOGETHER WITH A NEW RANGE OF ENGINES AND CABIN UPGRADES GIVES THE MODEL A DISTINCT EDGE IN THE TOUGHEST MARKET SECTOR. Also available in saloon form, the Mazda3 starts at £20,595 and there are petrol, diesel and mild hybrid options, along with manual and auto gearboxes. With its low road stance, sleek body, wide front grille and narrow headlights, the car has strong visual presence in a sector which includes the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. My test model was a mid-range Sport Lux version, priced at £22,795 with a 120 hp 2.0 litre petrol engine and 6-speed manual gearbox. That combination delivers a crisp 0-60 mph time of 10.4 seconds, top speed of 122 mph and average fuel economy of 45.6 mpg. Emissions are 117 g/km. First driving impression is that car is very smooth and quiet, and it has notably precise steering which gives excel- lent feedback. The suspension is a little firmer than many


in the class but that does enable the Mazda3 to corner with minimal lean and reassuring composure. On urban roads, the suspension set-up still provides a comfortable ride and only on rougher surfaces will you notice any mild vibration. The car is neatly and simply designed and the slightly un-


derstated appearance enhances the quality ambience. Mazda says the cabin design is ‘human-centric’ which I think means the main emphasis was on making everything easy to use. Despite the sloping roofline towards the rear, there is still ade-


quate headroom in the back and while the bootspace of 351 litres in not the largest in the sector, it meets normal everyday requirements. The rear styling of the Mazda3 is very eye-catching with


discreet spoiler, wide tail-lights and twin exhausts. The narrow rear screen does restrict the view when reversing but all models have reversing sensors and many have a rear- view camera. Other features on the test model include adaptive LED headlights, central infotainment screen, sat-nav, connectiv- ity including smartphone mirroring, adaptive cruise control and dual-zone air-conditioning. Safety kit includes hill-start assist, blind spot monitoring, city


auto-emergency braking and a head-up display which projects key driving information onto the windscreen so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road. The Mazda3 impresses as a great overall package which will tick all the must-have boxes of most potential buyers and its cool new look also delivers additional visual cachet.


VEHICLE REPAIRS & MOTS TEL.01803 834234


CARS • MOTORCYCLES • LIGHT TRUCKS The Old Abattoir, Jawbone Hill, Dartmouth TQ6 9RN


All quoted prices were correct at time of going to press


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