Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive Review: Mazda 3 - 15th Report
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Our Fleet Test Drive Review: Mazda 3 - 15th Report

Date: 27 May 2010   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

3 and shiny alloys
Category: Lower medium
P11D price: £18,260
Key rival: Ford Focus

Ettore Bugatti allegedly defended the relaxed braking capacity of his legendary cars by saying: "Bugattis are made to go, not stop."

Thankfully our Mazda 3 does both effectively, with the latter asset demonstrated in extremis recently. A suicidal muntjac deer decided the shrubbery on the other side of an Oxford forest road was appetising and emergency braking plus instinctive swerving avoided damage to animal and car, if not nerves. A more every day form of evasive action, dodging the rash of post-big freeze potholes, is not always possible, though, and the 3's smart 17-inch alloy wheels have survived intact with a minimum of jarring, thumping and bumping over corrugated surfaces.

A recent holiday weekend cruise to and from south Wales via a cluttered M4 demonstrated the refined combination of the six-speed gearbox and 2.2-litre, 150hp diesel, but did not nudge the stubborn 45mpg average upwards. One minor irritant, discovered on the Welsh hillsides, was the high-mounted handbrake, which is offset to the passenger's side.

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