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
Trim: Sport Lux
Sport Lux adds a selection of further luxuries and styling enhancements. These include bigger 18in alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlights, rear privacy glass, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for the automatic gearbox.
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.