The Mazda 3 continues to demonstrate all-round competence, including the ability to handle wintry road conditions.

The 150PS of muscular diesel power and 17-inch wheels may not seem the ideal combination for packed snow and patches of ice, but a sensitive right foot and communicative steering kept man and machine pointing in the right direction most of the time. It underlines how well Mazda’s development team has harnessed what is basically the next-generation Focus chassis, allowing judicious application of seamless power to make progress in low-adhesion conditions. The flickering yellow symbol on the instrument panel indicated regular and thankfully early intervention of traction control, while the heated windscreen element deals rapidly with external overnight ice and inhibits internal misting up – all of which helps corporate drivers carry on doing business within obvious driving safety parameters.

Mazda 3 2.2d 150PS Sport 5-door manual
Mileage 8109
Claimed combined
Our average consumption 45.0mpg
P11D price £18,260
Model price range £13,500 -£21,500
CO2 (tax) 144g/km/19%
BIK 20/40% per month £58/£116
Service interval 12,500mls
Insurance group 10E
Warranty 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space (min/max) 300/1360 litres
Engine size/power 2184cc/150PS
Top speed/0-62mph 127mph/9.2secs
Why we’re running it Can it step up to its
class mark like the 6?
Positive Stops as well as it goes
Negative Badly placed handbrake