What's the used Mazda 3 like?
Underneath, the Mazda 3 shares its running gear with the Ford Focus, which is among the best small hatches to drive and strongly built, too.
So, as you'd expect, the Mazda responds sweetly to the steering and brakes. The ride, although firm at low speed, is rarely jarring. Once on the open road, this smooths out, and you can appreciate the car's superb body control.
Inside, it's bland but pleasant, resembling the bigger Mazda 6 family car with its big, clear dials and buttons. Things are very comfortable for the driver because the seat and wheel adjust every which way, and the cabin is roomy, although shoulder space is tight for three adults in the back.
The boot is fair-sized for a small hatchback and it's a good shape, with rear seats that split 60/40 and drop to create a flat floor.
Everything fits and feels well screwed together, which is no more than you'd expect from a manufacturer that sits consistently near the top in reliability surveys.