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10 things we learned about the Mazda 3

Date: 12 May 2017   |   Author: Alisdair Suttie

Category: Lower medium
Key rival: Ford Focus
Model tested: 2.0 120 Sport Nav
Price as tested: £20,845

Subtle changes keep Mazda's small hatch in the hunt, says Al Suttie

1 - It's all too easy to overlook the Mazda 3 when the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and VW Golf hog the limelight.

2 - Seek out the Mazda, though, and you find a mildly facelifted and very stylish small lower medium sector hatch.

3 - Aside from the looks, the cabin quality has been improved, and it was from shabby beforehand, so it's absolutely top notch now.

Inside

4 - We did find the infotainment's rotary control could take a minute to wake up and work at full speed.

5 - And we also became frustrated with our test car's habit of locking the doors between getting out of the driver's seat and attempting to open the boot.

6 - Otherwise, this is a very fine car that offers excellent comfort and a drive every bit the equal of any in this class.

Rear

7 - In fact, I reckon the Mazda 3 is the most fun small hatch when you have a quiet stretch of road in front.

8 - The 2.0-litre petrol engine of this car isn't the obvious fleet choice, but 119g/km is decent. 43.5mpg average economy is less so.

9 - However, refinement is superb and there's a lot to admire about Mazda's approach to design and build.

10 - Pick the 2.2-litre diesel instead of this petrol engine and you have one of the very best cars in this class.



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