Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
The Mazda 3 is fairly keenly priced compared with, say, the VW Golf and Mercedes A-Class, but rivals such as the Skoda Octavia, Skoda Scala and Vauxhall Astra are cheaper still. The automatic gearbox is a pricey addition, while the e-Skyactiv X petrol engine is a bit costlier than the less powerful e-Skyactiv G.
If you're a cash buyer, it's worth remembering that the 3 is predicted to resist depreciation better than the Octavia, Astra and Ford Focus. That makes its PCP finance and leasing rates lower, too, so it's worth gathering quotes for all the cars you're interested in.
Equipment, options and extras
Helping to justify the 3’s fairly high price, Mazda is relatively generous with standard equipment. We've mentioned in previous sections that you get a comprehensive infotainment system, parking aids and LED headlights on all models, and entry-level SE-L trim also has adaptive cruise control, power-folding door mirrors and air conditioning. If you can, we'd suggest aiming for SE-L Lux, though; it adds dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and heated front seats for a small premium.