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For The Mazda 3 is available with a range of efficient petrol and diesel engines. It’s also fun to drive and relatively good value, and all models are decently equipped.

Against The petrol engines aren’t turbocharged, so they need to be worked hard if you want to make brisk progress. The Mazda 3 isn’t as refined as some of its rivals, either – there’s plenty of wind and road noise on the motorway.

Mazda 3 Hatchback
33 5stars

The Mazda 3 isn’t far adrift from the best in class. It’s stylish, good to drive, well equipped and relatively cheap to buy and run.

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The full Mazda 3 review


There are 13 Mazda 3 versions available

Hatchback 1.5 100 SE 5dr £16,695
What Car? says:3 stars out of 5
Hatchback 2.0 120 SE 5dr £16,995
What Car? says:4 stars out of 5
Hatchback 1.5 100 SE Nav 5dr £17,295
What Car? says:3 stars out of 5
Hatchback 2.0 120 SE Nav 5dr £17,595
What Car? says:4 stars out of 5
Hatchback 2.0 120 SE-L 5dr £18,495
What Car? says:4 stars out of 5
Hatchback 2.0 120 SE-L Nav 5dr £19,095
What Car? says:4 stars out of 5
Hatchback 2.2D 150 SE 5dr £19,245
What Car? says:3 stars out of 5
Hatchback 2.2D 150 SE Nav 5dr £19,845
What Car? says:3 stars out of 5
Hatchback 2.0 120 Sport Nav 5dr £19,895
What Car? says:3 stars out of 5
Hatchback 2.2D 150 SE-L 5dr £20,745
What Car? says:3 stars out of 5
Hatchback 2.2D 150 SE-L Nav 5dr £21,345
What Car? says:3 stars out of 5
Hatchback 2.0 165 Sport Nav 5dr £21,620 TBA
Hatchback 2.2D 150 Sport Nav 5dr £22,145
What Car? says:3 stars out of 5

Buyer's notes

Target Price team says:

The Mazda 3 is attractively priced, undercutting big-name rivals, including the VW Golf, by a big chunk. Resale values should also be strong, while road tax and insurance costs are competitive.

Go for the 118bhp 2.0-litre petrol if you’re a private buyer – it’s much cheaper than the diesel. True, this engine isn’t turbocharged, so you have to rev it pretty hard when you’re in a hurry, but it’s always smooth.

The 3 also appeals to company drivers, thanks to its relatively low CO2 emissions – especially when you factor in how powerful the engines are. That said, it’s a shame there isn’t a super-low CO2 diesel model to compete with the likes of the VW Golf Bluemotion.

Most buyers will be best off sticking with entry-level SE trim, not least because this retains a big price gap between the Mazda and classier, more complete rivals such as the Audi A3 Sportback.

Reader test team says:

Mazda 3 Hatchback 1.5 100 SE 5dr

I have had the Mazda 3 for 2 months now covering over 1000 miles. I previously owned a Mark 6 Golf 1.4. There are many positives to the 3, possibly…

Mark de Fleury

4 out of 5 stars
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Mazda 3 Hatchback

Read the definitive Mazda 3 Hatchback review from the expert What Car? team. Check specs, prices and compare with similar cars.

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