Our Fleet Test Drive: Mazda 3 - 3rd report
26 August 2014
Author: Jack Carfrae
The Mazda 3's availability as both hatchback and saloon marks a resurgence in small four-door vehicles
Having a conventional lower medium hatchback as well as a small four-door version of the same car is a bit of a rare thing.
UK buyers have historically turned their noses up at compact saloon models to the point where manufacturers trimmed their ranges accordingly and you almost couldn't get one.
The tide is slowly turning though, and the Mazda 3, with it's Fastback four-door model, is one of a number of lower medium cars to spawn a sedan variant - the Audi A3, the VW Jetta (four-door Golf) and the Seat Toledo (four-door Leon) being recent examples.
Small volume though they are, there is a good business case for such models because they tend to be well specced and good value. It's interesting, then, that Mazda fleet boss Steve Tomlinson said the Fastback had accounted for 40% of 3 sales when he spoke to BusinessCar earlier this year. He credited the styling more than anything: "It doesn't look like a [lower medium] car with a boot - it looks coupe-ish despite being a four-door," he said.
Granted, our long-term test car is the conventional five-door hatchback, which is where the volume will come from, but the presence of the two bodystyles suggests Mazda has cottoned on to the small but growing market for such models. It's interesting that the Fastback has slightly lower emissions than the hatchback at 104g/km compared to our car's 107g/km, too.
|Mazda 3 2.2 150 SE-L Nav
||OUR CPM 50.4p
|Our average consumption
|Official combined consumption