The modelRead full review
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. Plus, the fuel-efficient e-Skyactiv X engine offers low CO2 emissions that’ll help with company car tax.
The trimSee full equipment
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.
The engineSee full engine specs
Without a turbocharger the Mazda 3's entry-level 2.0 Skyactiv-G petrol engine produces 120bhp. That's about the same as the 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engines you get in rivals like the Ford Focus and Skoda Octavia. What does that mean in performance terms? Well, the Octavia 1.0 TSI 115 feels a little more flexible in the mid range, but the 3's engine still has enough shove so you're not constantly shifting gears to keep up with the traffic. And in our tests it proved faster from a flat-out standing start than a Kia Ceed 1.0-litre or Skoda Scala — 0-60mph took a creditable 9.4sec.
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