The Mazda 3 is a Japanese small car that has for a long time been one of Australia's most popular vehicles. It is considered one of the most fun cars to drive in its class, with great steering and handling. There have been several generations since the model replaced the 323 in 2004.
It continues to be offered in both sedan and hatchback body styles. A 2.2-litre turbo diesel model was introduced in 2014 but axed two years later owing to slow sales, leaving a choice between two smooth and efficient petrol engines in 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre form, with a standard manual gearbox or optional automatic. The first- and second-generation Mazda 3 range featured a performance variant called the MPS.
Mazda 3 places emphasis on driving enjoyment.
Good build quality.
Broad model range and prices.
Roomy cabin. Hatch body style particularly practical.
Road noise has been a constant issue for Mazda 3 generations.
Interior quality generally not on a par with VW Golf.
Lower trim grades can be missing convenient features.
Mazda no longer offers an MPS performance variant to rival the VW Golf GTI.
This is general information and should not be relied on as purchasing advice.