NOBODY’S FUEL

Stuart Boyd, via email

Thanks for your comparison of Australia’s bread and butter car segment (Think Small, January).

However, I was bemused by the comment relating to the Mazda 3: “Oz-spec engines feature a 13.0:1 compression ratio rather than the 14.0:1 of other markets…[because] our 91RON petrol is rubbish.” True as that may be, why does Mazda feel it necessary to re-engineer the SkyActiv’s compression based on a market’s lowest octane-rated fuel? Wouldn’t it be easier to recommend 95RON minimum?

That’s the approach taken by the manufacturers of half of your segment cars tested, including the winning Golf 92TSI (compression ratio 10.0:1).

Or is it possible that Mazda’s decision is not about Australian fuel quality, but rather more about public perception and the relative price of fuel?

In any case, Wheels’ Marketplace clearly shows our crap 91RON fuel isn’t hurting Mazda 3 sales.