Available in Hatch or Saloon, the Mazda 3 combines style, a quality interior and a fun drive to make one of the best value options on the market today
The Mazda 3 comes with a choice of two diesel engines and one petrol option. The diesel engines consist of a 1.5 SKYACTIV-D with 105bhp and a 2.2 SKYACTIVE-D with 150bhp. The petrol engine is the 1.5 SKYACTIV-G with 100bhp and comes with the option of a 5-speed manual only. The more powerful diesels come with a choice of a 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions. If you want the ultimate power and performance from your 3, then the 2.2 is the best option. It is smooth and delivers the power impressively.
Mazda’s have always been good fun to drive and the Mazda 3 is no different thanks to unique characteristics that have filtered through the engineering process from the iconic MX-5 roadster. It’s lighter than ever thanks to the Skyactive construction making it stiffer more agile. Its steering is sharp and responsive and provides a very involving and fun drive. One of the best parts of the driving experience is the short throw in the 6-speed manual gearbox that really lends to the sporting feel and character of the 3.
The Mazda 3 is available with the choice of three trim levels. These are Executive, GT and Platinum. Defined by the KODO design ethos, the 3 gets an instantly recognisable front grille and a flowing desirable exterior design. Inside, the driving position is low but very comfortable with a centrally mounted rev counter in the instrument binnacle reinforcing that sporty feeling. All models are fully colour coded, get alloy wheels with higher level specs getting daytime running LED’s and bi-xenon headlights.
The build quality and finish in the Mazda is in a class of its own and it is hard to believe the finish considering the very respectable price tag. There is an obvious use of quality materials combined with a streamlined dashboard that features a 7 inch touchscreen and infotainment system that connects to your smartphone with ease. The combination of soft-touch stitched leather materials, contrast aluminium and carbon fibre style materials give the Mazda a premium feel and a robustness that will stand the test of time.
The Mazda 3 scored top marks in Euro NCAP safety crash testing with a full five star rating. Mazda’s have always had a good reputation of being well built and the new Skyactiv engineering reinforces that further. All models come with a good standard of safety kit including a full set of airbags, electronic stability control, smart city safe intelligent braking that will autonomously brake in the anticipation of a collision in traffic scenarios.
The Mazda 3 saloon and hatchback are the exact same price, but the saloon comes with a bigger boot offering additional practicality. Both cars are suitable for five adults but rear legroom is a little tight for taller occupants. Storage throughout the cabin is good with large door pockets, a decent glovebox and cubby under the centre armrest. Boot space comes to 364 litres in the hatch but 419 litres in the saloon, but the hatch packs folding rear seats which opens the cabin up to 1263 litres.