Although Mazda trades on a sporty reputation, the 3 doesn't get anywhere near to a Ford Focus in terms of handling. However, it's not without serious strengths. It comes very well equipped, the infotainment system is great, the interior quality is top-notch and it's refined and reasonably priced. The lack of rear seat space is something to consider if you regularly carry adults in the back, and don't forget if you want more power the more powerful Skyactiv-X petrol engine is due to arrive later this year.get the best price
Helping to justify the 3’s high-ish price, Mazda has been relatively generous with standard equipment. This entry-level trim comes with a well-kitted-out infotainment system that includes sat-nav, a DAB radio, Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Other features include digital dials, a head-up display, rear parking sensors, LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, power-folding door mirrors and air conditioning. There's also a huge amount of safety features, from automatic emergency braking, lane assist, blind spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition and SOS e-Call.
Engine: 1.8 Skyactiv-D
The 114bhp 1.8-litre diesel engine needs to be worked quite hard and only gives its best from higher revs – uncharacteristically for a diesel. It's noisier than the petrol but not coarse, and you get a choice of a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox.