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Mazda 3 Review

November 26, 2015

It’s nearing the end of the week and what better way to see in the weekend than with a review of a top-class hatchback from Mazda. At the Car Loan Warehouse, we’re taking the Mazda3 out for a test drive to see what this rakishly styled family hatch has to offer.

With stiff competition from the likes of the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, it’ll be interesting to see how this car performs in our full Mazda 3 Review. We’ll be covering everything from performance and handling through to design, trim levels and finance options.

Mazda 3 front

Original image by Kārlis Dambrāns


The Mazda3 perfectly blends sleek lines and a sloping roofline with sweeping headlights to deliver an incredibly stylish hatchback. Yet despite the sloping roofline, there’s still bags of room inside the cabin, comfortably seating four adults with legroom to spare.

With its well-built and smart interior, the Mazda3 is fairly practical too – there’s plenty of useful storage throughout the cabin, including a lidded central storage compartment and an air-conditioned glovebox. In the standard hatchback you’ll get a 364-litre boot. Opt for the Mazda3 Fastback saloon and you’ll get a colossal 419-litres of space to fill to your heart’s content.

Performance & Handling

There’s no denying that the Mazda3 is a fun car to drive, but it’s economical too – with all models coming fitted with Mazda’s SKYACTIV technology to improve fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The six-speed manual gearbox delivers smooth transmissions, whilst the light steering and strong grip give the Mazda fantastic handling characteristics – agile in the city and stable on the motorway.

For petrol heads, there’s the choice of three petrol engines. The 1.5-litre petrol engine actually delivers the same 55.4mpg and 119g/km CO2 emissions as the 2.0-litre, so we think it’s worth paying a little extra for more power. The third version is a more powerful 2.0-litre, but you’ll need to bear in mind that fuel economy comes down to 48.7mpg and CO2 emissions go up to 135g/km, so you’ll be paying £130 a year for road tax in comparison to £30 for the other versions.

If you’re a distance driver and expect to rack up the miles, opt for the frugal, yet powerful diesel engines. The cheapest to run is the 1.5-litre, which is tax exempt thanks to its low CO2 emissions of just 99g/km and will return 74.3mpg. However, if you want a little more power the 2.2-litre version will deliver a respectable 68.9mpg and CO2 emissions of just 109g/km.

Mazda 3 interior

Original image by Kārlis Dambrāns


There’s three core trim levels on the Mazda3 – SE, SE-L and Sport, which can all be upgraded to ‘Nav’ for a built in sat-nav system. Standard equipment is comprehensive across all models, with the entry level SE including 16” alloy wheels, air-con, cruise control, rear parking sensors, all-round electric windows, a 7” touchscreen infotainment system and stop-start technology. However, for LED daytime running lights and dual climate control, you’ll need to go SE-L and above. Or why not jazz things up with the Sport-Nav trim, where you’ll get 18” alloys, front and rear parking sensors, a jet fighter-style head-up display and an upgraded Bose stereo.

Mazda3 Finance

Mazda 3

Original image by Kārlis Dambrāns

Are you loving the idea of the Mazda3? With a new Mazda3 for sale from £16,995, you could own one sooner than you think. The Car Loan Warehouse has a number of Mazda finance options whether you want new or used, so why not head to our car finance calculator for a quick estimate on what you could borrow. Ready to buy? Dive straight into our online application form for a finance decision within the hour.


About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.