Our Fleet Test Drive Review: Mazda 3 - 11th Report
04 March 2010
Author: Hugh Hunston
|Category:|| Lower medium|
|P11D price:|| £18,260|
|Key rival:|| Ford Focus|
After eight months in our custody the Mazda 3 still gains second glances with its sculpted good looks.However, its form does have some negatives. For example, the thick rear three-quarter pillars restrict over-the-shoulder vision at junctions, where extra care is required, and the hefty aft overhang highlights the lack of standard parking sensors.Solidly built and minus rattles despite Oxfordshire's increasing pothole-littered roads, the 3's fuel economy has been dented by one snowy, sludgy week spent commuting into and out of Reading. Over that period it tumbled to 40mpg, but a return to more varied running has maintained the 45mpg average, a reasonable 7mpg shy of the official combined official figures. The computer, though, insists on registering an indulgently optimistic 50.5mpg.
On a recent trip to Wales the 2.2-litre diesel/six-speed combination eked out a couple of mpg better than the return journey along the same route despite extensive use of cruise control. Perhaps the return journey involved a sustained uphill gradient on the M4?That kind of motorway slog usually highlights any shortcomings in driving ergonomics but supportive sports-style seats and a good driving position relative to pedals and steering wheel do not inflict discomfort and twinges.
|Mazda 3 2.2d 150PS Sport 5-door manual|
|Claimed combined |
|Our average consumption||45.0mpg|
|Model price range||£13,500 -£21,500|
|CO2 (tax) ||144g/km/19%|
|BIK 20/40% per month||£58/£116|
|Boot space (min/max)||300/1360 litres|
|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|
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