Mazda 3 Saloon review

Category: Executive car

Section: Performance & drive

Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 rear cornering
  • 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
What Car?’s 3 deals
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The Mazda 3 Saloon's 2.0-litre e-Skyactiv X petrol is different to most of its rivals’ engines, producing its 184bhp by combining the best aspects of petrol and diesel engine technology.

Mazda says it behaves like a sporty petrol engine when you need lots of acceleration, then at cruising speeds uses diesel-style compression ignition to reduce the car's fuel consumption. There's also a tiny supercharger, which is there to increase efficiency rather than power.

The Mazda 3 Saloon's suspension set-up is quite firm and doesn’t smother ridges on motorways or potholes around town nearly as well as the Mercedes A-Class Saloon or A4. On the plus side, it’s well tied down, so you and your passengers won't be bounced out of the seats on rolling country roads.

In the dry, it's also grippy enough (less so in the wet) and there’s not too much body lean. The steering is quite slow but pleasingly weighted, with sufficient heft that you feel connected to the wheels and can corner precisely.

Mazda 3 Saloon 2021 rear cornering
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