The Mazda3 has lost its best-selling Mazda crown to the glorious CX-5 here in Ireland. It is the crossuv for me if I was buying one.
Now we have an all-new Mazda3. It’s Mazda’s offering against the i30, Focus and Golf. It is quite simply, beautiful. The shape of the rear of this car on seeing will convert any doubters.
It is crease free and sculptured. At the front is the cleanest and sharpest bonnet that overhangs the headlights like eyelids for a stealthy look. If it comes in Soul Red Crystal it’s even more appealing.
I drove a 116PS 1.8l GT diesel version that has me questioning the “it’s all about power not cc’s these days” debate. Considering you can this amount of power out of much smaller engines I can’t help note that with that engine I was expecting a lot more go. On the go however, it was hushed and planted and has that easy to drive feel about it. Inside the materials are all black and good but it does make the cabin a bit dark. I think it needs brightening up a bit.
The layout is excellent and has an earnest quality about it. I maintain the control knob navigation of the infortainment system is the best around bar none. This should be the way it is delivered in all cars removing the need for touchscreen control.
I predict legislators will eventually catch up and agree – touch is just too distracting requiring you to divert and focus your eyes for too long.
The fuel economy was good despite the engine size and I returned 6.5l/100km. That compares to our bigger 2015, 1.6l, diesel Mondeo which won’t use more than 5.9l/100kms no matter how hard we try.
This Mazda3 was automatic making the return very acceptable.
Mazda has moved their cars to the more expensive/quality end of any sector they have a car in and buyers appreciate and buy this. Trouble is some of the established premium brands are available at these price levels and it makes the Mazda3 look pricey.
You may not get a specification as high as the Mazda3 but you will have a prized badge.
Still, if you are crossuv averse and want one of the best looking cars on sale at present then check out this Mazda3 and prepare to be smitten.
Model Tested - Mazda3 GT Sport
Engine - Diesel, 1,759cc; 116PS; 270 Nm
0-100km/hr - 12.1s
Top Speed - 199 km/h
Combined Cycle - 3.9l/100 km
Model Tested - €36,705 Diesel
Prices from €26,295