Which used Mazda 3 hatchback should I buy?
There are three petrol engines and two diesels to choose between in the Mazda 3 range.. The 1.6 petrol isn’t fast but is just about adequate for the job; the 2.0 petrol is much faster and not all that less economical, making it the best petrol engine, although it’s rare and was only available on top-spec versions.
At the other end of the scale, the 2.3 Turbo in the MPS is very potent indeed. There is also a gutsy 2.2 diesel, but the 1.6 diesel has all the perkiness you need.
At the start of its life the 3 was reasonably well equipped, though with early examples it’s best to aim for the mid-range TS and TS2 models rather than the slightly scrawny-feeling S. Later, a selection of different special edition versions were offered, with the Takuya being a particular highlight, while trim level names changed and equipment was added.
A late Tamura comes with alloys, remote locking, climate control and electric front and rear windows, but it’s Venture trim that provides the best balance of kit and value, with heated sports seats, sat nav, Bluetooth, cruise control and automatic lights and wipers. Sport Nav models add only a heated windscreen and LED rear lights.
Our favourite Mazda 3: 1.6D Venture