Mazda3 - Used Car

Review

Mazda3, 2017, front, action
Mazda3, 2017, side, action
Mazda3, 2017, rear, action
Mazda3, 2017, interior
Mazda3, 2017, rear seats
Mazda3, 2017, boot

WHEN the last Mazda3 was launched the company took a few motoring pundits up to the mountains of eastern Scotland to show us how it performed and I was hugely impressed by its excellent range of abilities.

The 3 has been the company's biggest seller for years and production of that model lasted until 2019 with various updates and changes along the way.

Previous variations had already proved their worth but this one was still a big improvement, with great looks, top-notch safety and an excellent all round driving experience.

Mazda has had an excellent reliability record from its earliest days and some years ago, the MX-5 sports two seater was given the huge accolade of the most reliable car in the world!

While some of the earlier Mazda3's left something to be desired in the driving, this last model is brilliant all round.

That launch drive around the mountains was a great experience, and showed off the car's prowess over every kind of road and surface.

There are five door hatch and four door Fastback models to choose from and where the hatch is more practical, the Fastback is certainly better looking.

All feature the company's Skyactiv technology, which brings light weight from innovative build techniques in both the body and the drivetrain.

This helps towards very good economy and low emissions as well as excellent safety and class leading performance.

They also have a very comfortable ride over rough roads in town or poor surfaces at speed and they hold the road brilliantly with excellent grip, tremendous balance and marvelously informative steering.

There is a choice of three petrol engines and two diesels. The petrol range starts with a 1.5-litre that has 98bhp. That doesn't sound like much, but because of the Skyactiv setup, it's good for 0 to 60 miles an hour in a shade over 10 seconds and 55 miles per gallon.

Next up is a smooth 2.0-litre with 120bhp that can still do 55mpg and drops the sprint down to 8.6 seconds..

The range topper - only available in more expensive models - is the same 2.0-litre engien but now with 165bhp - and this one is a real stormer, with a delicious soundtrack. It brings up 60 miles an hour in 7.9 seconds and still gives very good economy.

The diesel choices are a 1.5 with 105bhp and the same 2.2-litre used in other models from the range with 150. The 1.5d offers better than average performance plus superb 74mpg economy.

Trim levels are SE, SE-L and Sport, each of which has a Nav model alongside with standard - and very good - sat nav.

All have a large display screen at the top of the centre console that's controlled by a rotary wheel, plus an internet connection.

Mid-range SE-L trim comes with alarm, parking sensors, heated mirrors, traction control, audio remote, alloy wheels, cruise control, heated seats and headlamp washers.

Top models also have a head up display for speed and the local limit, optional leather trim, and active safety including automatic city braking, lane departure warning, auto high beam lights and radar controlled cruise.

Pay about £6,150 for a '15 15-reg 1.5 SE petrol, or £10,200 for an '18 18-reg 2.2d SE-L Nav diesel.

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