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
Sport Lux trim upgrades the entry-level SE-L Lux trim by adding 18in alloy wheels, some black trim elements, adaptive LED headlights, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and rear privacy glass. SE-L Lux is quite well-equipped already, so we’re not sure the Sport Lux’s extra equipment justifies the added cost.
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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