Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive: Mazda 3 - 17th report
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Our Fleet Test Drive: Mazda 3 - 17th report

Date: 03 February 2015   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

Within an ultra-competitive lower medium sector our Mazda 3 diesel hatchback is unusual in having a four-door sibling, accounting for 19% of the 3's fleet sales last year, although the company confuses
the issue by calling the more attractive saloon a 'fastback'.However, Mazda lacks a 3 estate, a derivative included in many rivals' model portfolios.

We recently borrowed an identically specified 2.2-litre SE-L Nav diesel saloon, which at 120mm longer, 12kg lighter but £400 dearer, shares dimensions including wheelbase and occupant space.

Significantly, those business drivers running the 3 saloon benefit from a 104g/km CO2 rating, 3g/km below its dominant counterpart, and a better, by 3.5mpg, combined fuel consumption figure at 72.4mpg.

Some corporate drivers consider a separate boot as a more secure option, particularly when carrying company wares. The saloon offers a handy 419-litre capacity against the hatch's basic 364 litres, which admittedly expands to 1470 litres with the rear seats folded down.

The saloon has a quieter cabin, insulating some of the tyre noise that compromises the hatchback. It shares strong handling and ride dynamics and, on unrestricted autobahns, would justify that 'fastback', as in 'faster-back' in this case, moniker, with a 132mph max speed that is 2mph more than the less aerodynamically efficient hatch.

Mazda 3 2.2 150 SE-L Nav

Mileage                                              10,138
P11D price                                          £21,290
Our average consumption                 52.5mpg
Official combined consumption          68.9mpg
Forecast/actual cost per mile    49.0p/49.4p


  • More spacious and practical than dearer saloon
  • Saloon generates lower CO2 and cheaper fuel