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Our Fleet Test Drive Review: Mazda 3 - 7th Report

Date: 22 December 2009   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

3 interior design
Category: Lower medium
P11D price: £18,260
Key rival: Ford Focus

In a market where other worthy anonymous Japanese offerings have bordered on the invisible, the Mazda 3 has style and presence, even if it is not as aesthetically assertive as brand's sleek and balanced 6.

The sombre cabin, though, is not quite up to the standards of finish, materials and tactility now the norm among the car's Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and VW Golf rivals, which dominate the lower medium fleet sector. The blanking off fascia switches for functions not optioned, for example, produces the effect of missing teeth. However, after nearly 5400 hassle free miles our muscular five-door hatchback continues to prove its worth as a credible and handsome alternative to the usual high volume suspects, and what the interior lacks in ambience and ergonomics, it makes up for in terms of driving feel through the communicative well-weighted steering and chunky leather-bound wheel.

Without conscious effort, the amount of fuel consumed is edging up to an average of nearly 46mpg, and the 150PS, 2.2-litre diesel's flexibility encourages 'box changes from fourth to sixth without losing momentum. The computer, however, is claiming a shade above 50mpg over the last 550 miles.

Mazda 3 2.2d 150PS Sport 5-door manual
Mileage5400
Claimed combined
consumption
52.3mpg
Our average consumption45.6mpg
P11D price£18,260
Model price range£13,500 -£21,500
CO2 (tax) 144g/km/19%
BIK 20/40% per month£58/£116
Service interval12,500mls
Insurancegroup 10E
Warranty3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space (min/max)300/1360 litres
Engine size/power2184cc/150PS
Top speed/0-62mph127mph/9.2secs
Why we’re running itCan it step up to its
class mark like the 6?
PositiveDependability and long
range fuel economy
NegativeLack of cabin class



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