Mazda 3 2021 front tracking
  • Mazda 3 2021 front tracking
  • Mazda 3 2021 rear cornering
  • Mazda 3 2021 interior dashboard
  • Mazda 3 2021 interior rear seats
  • Mazda 3 2021 interior infotainment
  • Mazda 3 2021 right tracking
  • Mazda 3 2021 front cornering
  • Mazda 3 2021 rear tracking
  • Mazda 3 2021 interior front seats
  • Mazda 3 2021 interior detail
  • Mazda 3 2021 interior driver display
  • Mazda 3 2021 boot open
  • Mazda 3 2021 front tracking
  • Mazda 3 2021 rear cornering
  • Mazda 3 2021 interior dashboard
  • Mazda 3 2021 interior rear seats
  • Mazda 3 2021 interior infotainment
  • Mazda 3 2021 right tracking
  • Mazda 3 2021 front cornering
  • Mazda 3 2021 rear tracking
  • Mazda 3 2021 interior front seats
  • Mazda 3 2021 interior detail
  • Mazda 3 2021 interior driver display
  • Mazda 3 2021 boot open
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Introduction

What Car? says...

There’s plenty of quirkiness to be found in Japan: toilet seats that sing to you and sushi delivered by model trains, for example. Likewise, the Mazda 3 is a family car that does things a bit differently to rival models.

Firstly, there are its looks. Mazda has given this five-door hatchback some of the style of its stunning Kai concept car, with smoothly contoured surfaces and a sloped roofline that tails off neatly into its rear screen.

Things get even more interesting when you look at Mazda’s innovative e-Skyactiv X compression-ignition petrol engine. It’s a clever design that burns petrol a bit like a diesel engine burns its fuel – and, as we know, you get great efficiency with a diesel.

The Japanese car maker reckons that means you can enjoy Mazda MX-5 sports car performance with Mazda 2 small car fuel economy. Does it work? We’ll tell you over the next few pages of this review.

Technology is one thing, but the Mazda 3 needs to be a seriously accomplished all-rounder if it’s to succeed against the best family cars. Read on to find out how it compares with its rivals, what the performance is like, how much it will cost to run and more. We'll also tell you which engine and trim combination is best.

If a Mazda 3 has piqued your interest – or you're in the market for any make and model of vehicle – make sure you check out the savings available through our free What Car? New Car Buying service. It has lots of the best new family car deals.

FAQs

  • The latest Mazda 3 finished 15th out of 24 models in the family cars section of our 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey so it’s fairly reliable but there are quite a few more dependable options. Mazda itself has a good overall reliability record, finishing eighth out of the 30 manufacturers included in the brands section of the survey. Every Mazda 3 comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty. Read more here

  • The Mazda 3 is not available as a fully electric car or as a full or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) but its engines have mild-hybrid technology to improve performance and fuel economy. That means there’s a small battery and electric motor to assist the engine (you can’t run on electric power alone, though). Read more here

  • The 120bhp 2.0-litre e-Skyactiv G petrol engine is our pick of the Mazda 3 line-up because it’s significantly cheaper than the more powerful 2.0 e-Skyactiv X (183bhp). We recommend equipping it with a six-speed manual gearbox (it’s a little cheaper than the automatic) and choosing the SE-L Lux trim. Read more here

  • The Mazda 3 SE-L Lux gets dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and heated front seats, and we think it’s the best value trim. If you go for the more expensive Sport Lux, you get more luxuries, including rear privacy glass, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and 18in alloy wheels. Read more here

  • It’s fantastic. In fact, you won’t find many better infotainment systems. Every Mazda 3 gets an 8.8in screen that’s operated using an intuitive rotary controller and shortcut buttons mounted between the front seats. That’s a far simpler way to use the functions than with the fiddly and distracting touchscreens you get in many rival cars. Read more here

  • The Mazda 3 has 351 litres of boot capacity. By family car standards, that’s not a bad size, and it’s a useful square shape that allowed us to fit in six carry-on suitcases (one more than in the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf). If a large boot is important to you, the Skoda Scala and Skoda Octavia can take seven and 11 cases respectively. Read more here

At a glance
New car deals
Save up to £848
Target Price from £22,632
Save up to £848
or from £259pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Leasing deals
From £256pm
RRP price range £23,265 - £31,105
Number of trims (see all)7
Number of engines (see all)2
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)petrol
MPG range across all versions 47.1 - 54.3
Available doors options 5
Warranty 3 years / 60000 miles
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £1,289 / £1,911
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £2,578 / £3,822
Available colours