2019 Mazda 3 - reader test team review
Mazda is aiming to enter the premium ranks with its all-new £20k family hatchback. Our readers give their verdict...
Michael Docker Age 56 Job Software developer Drives Mazda CX-5
“I generally see cars simply as things that get you from A to B, but the 3 is more appealing as an object; it’s clearly design-led.
“I’m a fan of the tech features that come as standard – both the infotainment features and the active safety systems, such as the automatic emergency braking.
“I like the software’s clarity of labelling and that the icons follow what we’re all used to on the web. It’s a very user-friendly interface and a step on from Mazda’s previous infotainment.
“That’s enhanced by the fact that controllers and buttons have been moved to places that are easier to reach for the driver.
“I felt as if I were going down into the rear and banged my head on the way out, but I don’t see why the 3 couldn’t function as a family car, because I found plenty of room in all of the seats.
“The driving position makes me feel more ‘locked in’ than I’m used to, which is neat, but I doubt I’d now be able to clamber across if I couldn’t get out of my door.
“The introduction of mild hybrid tech is excellent, because it should enhance efficiency with no effort from the driver – even more so the Skyactiv-X engine.”
Rated 5 out of 5
Suzanne Carr Age 51 Job Quality assurance manager Drives Mazda CX-5
“The 3 is beautifully styled, and its Soul Red paint is stunning. I love the front end, but I’d have to get used to the rounded rear. Partly for that reason, I’m keener on the new 3 Fastback saloon.
“I’m very short, but the driving position is good for me; it can be adjusted so that I can reach the pedals without feeling too close to the wheel. It’s much better than most cars in that regard.
“The infotainment system in my CX-5 has both a touchscreen and a rotary controller, but I invariably use the latter, so I’m pleased to see it again in the 3; it’s easier to use as well as safer.
“What’s more, the 3’s screen is bigger and far clearer. The menus are very easy to work out and the car’s manual is actually stored on the system, which is a great idea.
“Plus, the parking cameras are higher definition, and I’m very impressed by the 360deg view.
“The leather on the dashboard and the seats feels very nice. For that reason, plus the top build quality and the standard kit, this car is very good value for money.
“A sporty feel is very important to me; the cocooned driver’s seat reminds me of the Mazda MX-5 [roadster], and I’d hope the handling would match.”
Rated 4 out of 5
Matt Stamps Age 47 Job IT engineer Drives Citroën C4 Cactus
“I’m not a fan of the trend for busy design, but the 3 is smooth. I like that the grille is big but not to a silly, Lexus-like extent, and the rear reminds me of a coupé.
“I really like the 3’s driving environment, especially because Mazda has stuck to physical controls; having loads on a touchscreen is plain distracting.
“Also, all of the materials used inside are top quality, so it feels an upmarket product – definitely a step up from the previous 3.
“I often have passengers in the rear, so I need lots of space. Head room is fine for me despite the sloping roofline – but not in the middle seat, yet I’m only 5ft 9in tall. It’s quite dark, too, due to the shape of the windows.
“I do a lot of motorway miles but have never liked diesels, so the apparently super-economical Skyactiv-X compression ignition petrol engine is really exciting.
“The adaptive cruise control sounds great, because it would take away some of the strain during long journeys. The same goes for lane-keeping assistance.”
Rated 4 out of 5
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