The Mazda3 is a medium sized family hatch competing with popular car models like the Ford Focus, VW Golf and Vauxhall Astra all of which are pretty much household names in the UK. So why should you consider the new Mazda3 as an option? Read on for the full low-down:
The Mazda3 Exterior
The Mazda3’s exterior design sets it apart from the competition and immediately catch’s the eye. The new design which Mazda call the ‘‘KODO Soul of Motion’, features a strong, sculpted design that leaves the older Mazda3 design in its wake. Updates to the latest 2018 model include a new grille, LED signature lights and a new premium ‘Machine Grey’ metallic paint.
The Mazda3 Interior
Despite its sporty/sleek appearance, cabin space is pretty good inside the Mazda3, driver and front passenger in particular benefit from plenty of leg-room whilst rear passenger space is adequate. Despite its fairly low design head-room doesn’t feel adversely affected although the boot is a little shallower than some rivals and falls short in overall space. Unless you’re frequently packing a full set of luggage for family holidays though, it shouldn’t be a consideration or issue.
The interior build quality of the Mazda3 feels solid and of good quality and one of Mazda’s strong point is the level of equipment you get as standard across the range.
The Mazda3 Model Range
The new entry-level Mazda3 SE Nav model gets a generous list of standard equipment, tech and safety equipment, including a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with the ‘Aha’ and ‘Stitcher’ apps which brings internet radio and social media integration with platforms like Facebook and Twitter, there’s also a DAB radio, Bluetooth, sat nav and steering wheel mounted Bluetooth and audio controls, front and rear electric windows, engine start/stop button, electric parking brake, heated folding door mirrors and 16-inch alloy wheels.
Move up to the Mazda3 SE-L Nav and you’ll get just about all the equipment and tech you’ll ever need. The SE-L Nav model offers over the entry-level model; cruise control with speed limiter, dual zone climate control, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, LED front fog lights, privacy glass, rear parking sensors, smart city brake support and heated front seats.
At the top of the range is the Mazda3 Sport Nav, which adds to the SE-L Nav model with larger 18-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, LED headlights and rear signature lights, front parking sensor, reversing camera, premium Bose sound system, head-up display, keyless entry and traffic sign recognition system.
The Mazda3 range benefits from their revolutionary SKYACTIV technology, first announced back in 2011, it is a combination of efficient/cleaner engine technology and refinements to the chassis and body resulting in lighter, more efficient vehicles without sacrificing performance, safety or build quality.
The Mazda3 Engine Line-Up
The Mazda3 engine line-up is uncomplicated and offers a good mix of performance vs efficiency, there’s no automatic transmission option with entry-level SE Nav model. You get a choice of either the 120PS SKYACTIV-G petrol or the 105PS SJYACTIV-D diesel unit. The petrol unit offers impressive performance vs efficiency figures, you should be able to achieve 0-62mph in under 9 seconds if you put your foot down, emissions are 119g/km and combined fuel economy figures is around 55pmg. The diesel obviously offers better running costs with emissions at just 99g/km and combined fuel economy around 74mpg, performance is down to around 11 seconds for 0-62mph. Both engines offer something for potentially alternative audiences and cover pretty much all of the bases.
If an automatic transmission is a must then you need to look at the SE-L or Sport Nav models. The SE-L Nav offers the 120PS petrol engine with automatic transmission although it’s not as nippy as the manual (0-62mph in 10.4 seconds). There is also a more powerful diesel option the 150PS SKYACTIV-D diesel, we recommend this engine with manual transmission and you should be good to go with some oomph yet great economy figures. 0-62mph is achievable in just over 8 seconds whilst CO2 emissions are a respectable 107 g/km and official combined fuel economy figures are a fraction under 69mpg. The Sport Nav has the option of a more powerful 2.0 (150PS) petrol engine but we think the 150PS diesel is still a better option.
It should also be noted there is also a 4 door fastback option, the hatchback and fastback are both very good looking cars in our opinion.
If you have the budget go for the SE-L Nav with the 150PS diesel engine (manual transmission).
You can compare a wide range of new Mazda3 models and deals here.