Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive Review: Mazda 3 - 11th Report
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Our Fleet Test Drive Review: Mazda 3 - 11th Report

Date: 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 consumption45.0mpg
P11D price£18,260
Model price range£13,500 -£21,500
CO2 (tax) 144g/km/19%
BIK 20/40% per month£58/£116
Service interval12,500mls
Insurancegroup 10E
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?
PositiveStops as well as it goes
NegativeBadly placed handbrake