The 2014 Mazda Axela is all-new, with edgy styling, a host of tech features, and reworked engines. It drives as good as it looks; with phenomenal steering feel, and smooth engines and transmissions. And last but not least, the Axela's new infotainment system has a newfound focus on smartphone integration, promising to allow its drivers to always be connected on the go.
The 2014 Mazda Axela is a standout, in terms of styling and design, and its long hood and stubby back end design really casts it in a different dimension compared to most other cars in its class. Getting the automaker's Kodo (soul of motion) design treatment, the Axela finally loses the creepy smile that haunted the face of the previous-generation car. The car now features the brand's new blunt nose with a five-point grille leading into thin, slanted, swept-back all the way to the headlamps. An encompassing shoulder line that gracefully blends into the side panel and a slanted roofline creates a somewhat softer but a very distinctive rear-end.
To be honest, after the striking exterior, the interior does feel like a bit of a letdown. There’s the mandatory large colour screen on top of the centre console, a sporty steering wheel, however the instrument cluster does look fairly ordinary. Even though the new car is a lot wider than before the space inside the cabin isn’t quite as generous as you might hope, particularly the headroom in the back (literally form over functionality). However the fabric on the seats are quite lust and they are in fact very comfortable. While there is a lack of space inside the cabin, there is a ton of storage capacity in the boot.
Powering the Axela is a 1.5-litre petrol engine that delivers 100bhp and 110lb ft of torque, and feels very responsive and gives good returns on economy and emissions. It doesn’t have to work hard to pull away from standstill and allows you more time to enjoy the Axela’s very capable chassis.
The Axela really is right up with the class best for control and enjoyment, giving bored Allion-Premio owners a new alternative. The wider stance means that, even on the twisty tarmac, the Axela feels stable and roll-free, while its steering is quick and accurate. In most cases the handling compromises ride comfort but it's not the case here. There’s very little trade off in ride comfort for the Axela's agility. It seems like the manufacturer has cracked that oh-so-tricky balance of comfort and joy.
In terms of safety the Axela is very, as in very, very impressive. It has a blind spot warning system, automatic high-beam headlights, lane departure warning and Mazda's new Smart City Brake Support, which can detect impending objects and initiate automatic braking at speeds below 30 km/h. There is also a forward collision warning system that warns the driver of impending collisions at speeds from 15 to 150 km/h.
The most striking part of the Mazda Axela is the car’s overall value for money and affordability. In comparison, most of the Axela’s competitors are strictly basic at that price range. The 2014 Mazda Axela is drop-dead gorgeous, fantastic to drive, and it’s now more prudent than ever before. If you are in the market for a new sedan, forget the Allions and Premios, this is what you should consider.
House-7, Road-8, Gulshan-1, Dhaka-1212
Price: Starting from Tk25 Lacs and onwards