The modelRead full review
The Mazda 3 Saloon comes very well equipped, with a premium-feeling interior and a fine Euro NCAP safety rating. The 2.0-litre e-Skyactiv X engine is also pretty efficient, but it's not a plug-in hybrid, so if you're a company car driver you're better off with one of those to reduce your tax bill. The Mazda 3 Saloon's engine doesn't offer sparkling performance and, overall, the package isn't as strong as its premium rival, the Audi A3 Saloon.
The trimSee full equipment
The entry-level SE-L Lux is all you need, with 16in alloy wheels, power-folding door mirrors, automatic lights and wipers, keyless entry, heated front seats, adaptive cruise control, two-zone climate control, a head-up display, front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera, LED headlights, blind-spot warning, lane assist, traffic-sign recognition, e-Call emergency response, Apple CarPlay/ Android Auto, an 8.8in infotainment screen, DAB radio, Bluetooth and sat-nav all part of its inventory.
The engineSee full engine specs
At low revs, you'll wish you were driving a turbocharged petrol or diesel because they're much more flexible and require fewer gear changes. At least the manual gearbox is great to use, with a lovely, precise shift. The Mazda 3 is relatively lethargic until you get to 3000rpm and the automatic gearbox that’s available adds to the frustration with its reluctance to kick down. Once the revs are past 3000rpm it pulls fairly healthily and 0-62mph is dealt with in 8.1sec. There are much quicker cars in the class than that, though. It's noisy, too, but the average fuel economy of around 55mpg is good.
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