Mazda 3 Saloon review

Category: Executive car

Section: Costs & verdict

Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 interior infotainment
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 front right tracking
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 rear cornering
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 interior dashboard
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 interior rear seats
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 interior infotainment
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 front right static
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 front tracking
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 front cornering
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 right tracking
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 headlight detail
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 rear light detail
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 alloy wheel detail
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 interior front seats
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 interior driver display
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 interior detail
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 interior detail
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 boot open
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 front right tracking
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 rear cornering
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 interior dashboard
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 interior rear seats
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 interior infotainment
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 front right static
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 front tracking
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 front cornering
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 right tracking
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 headlight detail
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 rear light detail
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 alloy wheel detail
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 interior front seats
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 interior driver display
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 interior detail
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 interior detail
  • Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 boot open
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

The Mazda 3 Saloon is priced keenly compared with the Audi A3 Saloon and Mercedes A-Class Saloon, as well as the BMW 3 Series and other larger cars.

The fact that the larger Mazda 6 and Skoda Superb both start at around the same price makes it seem pricey, though. True, running costs will be more expensive on those cars and the 3 Saloon tends to be cheaper on a PCP finance deal, but the extra space might be worth it, depending on your needs. 

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 and a head-up display all part of its inventory. That's a lot more than you get with the entry-level A3 Saloon and BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé.

Walking up the trim ladder brings more trinkets, but they're not must-haves. 

The safety kit is also generous. As standard, you get automatic emergency braking (Mazda calls it smart city brake support), blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance and a system that alerts you to traffic crossing your path when you’re reversing.

On top of that, you get traffic sign recognition and an emergency response service (eCall). GT Sport Tech, the top trim, adds even more active safety aids.

The Mazda 3 Saloon is also rated highly by Euro NCAP. It gets five stars out of five overall and scored very well for adult and child occupancy protection and pedestrian protection.

Mazda came an impressive eighth out of 30 manufacturers in the 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey. That puts it above BMW (13th) and Audi (18th), and way above Mercedes-Benz in 22nd. Every 3 Saloon comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, which is pretty standard for the class, although the Hyundai i30 Saloon beats that with five years of cover.

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Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 interior infotainment

Overview

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.

  • Efficient petrol engine
  • Generously equipped and smart interior
  • Excellent safety rating
  • So-so handling and gutless low-end performance
  • Lumpy ride and not as quiet as best rivals at speed
  • Rear space is tight
New car deals
Save up to £1,723
Target Price from £25,549
Save up to £1,723
or from £257pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Nearly new deals
From £27,000
Leasing deals
From £278pm