MAZDA

MAZDA MAZDA3 HATCHBACK 2.0 e-Skyactiv-G MHEV SE-L Lux 5dr

Fuel

FuelPetrol

Transmission

TransmissionManual

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph10.4s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2124 g/km

You need real talent to succeed in the family hatchback sector these days, particularly if you want to make up ground on cars as good as Ford's Focus and Volkswagen's Golf. Does the fourth generation Mazda3 have exactly that? The signs are good: eye-catching looks, cutting-edge engines and one of the best cabins in the segment number amongst the highlights.

THREE-STYLE

The Mazda3 is a car that has underachieved. The latest version looks set to comprehensively rectify that issue. Jonathan Crouch reports.

Ten Second Review

You need real talent to succeed in the family hatchback sector these days, particularly if you want to make up ground on cars as good as Ford's Focus and Volkswagen's Golf. Does the fourth generation Mazda3 have exactly that? The signs are good: eye-catching looks, cutting-edge engines and one of the best cabins in the segment number amongst the highlights.

Background

The development engineer who led up the project to create this car, Kota Beppu, says the MK4 version of this Mazda3 will appeal to 'free spirits'. The sort of person perhaps who might want something stylish and interesting in this class but doesn't want quality or engineering compromises. Think of a car of this type as good to drive as a Ford Focus, as good inside as a Volkswagen Golf and as good to look at as an Alfa Romeo Giulietta. That's what Mazda was aiming at. So many other brands have started out in this sector with similar objectives but we can't help wondering whether this Mazda hasn't nailed them here.

Driving Experience

Mazda has put a great deal of effort in developing the sharp driving dynamics that characterised the previous generation model, though a relatively porky kerb weight - 1,439kgs even in the base petrol version, doesn't help here, nor does it really fit with the whole 'Skyactiv' 'less-is-more' ethos. Overall, we think the Mazda3 in any form is one of the best handling family hatch sector cars you could choose. We'd take it over a Ford Focus; it's that good. And it has the slickest manual gearbox of any car of this kind you could choose. Automatic transmission is optional, but for goodness sake try the stick shifter before you stump up for a self-shifter. Mazda is offering a choice of two petrol engines. Most sales will be based around either a 122PS 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G petrol unit (now a mild hybrid). The second option is the brand's more advanced Skyactiv-X Spark Controlled Compression Ignition engine, a 180PS supercharged unit which runs on petrol but uses a combination of spark ignition and compression ignition to deliver, Mazda claims, the driver appeal of a petrol unit along with the fuel efficiency and torque of a diesel. This Skyactiv-X powerplant is able to switch from compression ignition, which best suits day-to-day driving, to a form of spark ignition, generally when the engine is started from cold or the driver demands maximum power at high revs. The 'X' engine comes paired with four wheel drive for our market, but as you might expect, the cost of all this technology makes it a pricey choice.

Design and Build

The Japanese have finally realised that a car of this kind really has to visually stand out - or Mazda has anyway. And sure enough, the hatch and saloon versions of this fourth generation Mazda3 will certainly make an impression in a car park full of Focuses, Astras and Golfs. The company's ridiculously-named 'Kodo' design language has been evolved into something really elegant here, with a low nose, elegant panel shaping and a sloping roof line that flows neatly into the rear screen. It's quite different from the angular styling of a comparable Ford or Volkswagen and could be almost said to have a 'premium' feel. The interior is even better. There are smart materials crafted with interesting design and button clutter has been well and truly banished. Does any car in the class have a better cabin that this? That's a bold statement but the Mazda designers have set an impressive standard here. It certainly makes the cabin of a Ford Focus feel pretty low-rent. One of the brand's problems in recent years has been the provision of rather small centre-dash screens but in this case, there's a big, clear 8.8-inch display on top of the dash nicely angled towards the driver. And there's a lower rotary controller for it so you don't have to stab away at inexact touchscreen functionality in the kind of way that's necessary with many rival set-ups. We're not quite so impressed by the level of interior space. There are much bigger rear seats in this class and the boot is smaller than before, offering just 351-litres of space in the hatch (or 450-litres in the Saloon) - not much for a car in this class.

Market and Model

Pricing is pitched from just under £22,000 to around £30,000. You can talk to your dealer about either a five-door hatchback body style or a Saloon variant and there are five trim levels - 'SE-L', 'SE-L Lux', 'Sport Lux', 'GT Sport' and 'GT Sport Tech'. All are generously equipped, with features like a windscreen projecting colour head-up display with Traffic Sign Recognition, Mazda Radar Cruise Control and LED headlights. Every model in the line-up also features navigation, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and an eight speaker audio system. From 'SE-L Lux' trim onwards, highlights include a reversing camera, smart keyless entry and heated front seats, while 'Sport Lux'-spec sees the cabin enhanced with additional chrome detailing, a frameless rear view mirror and rear privacy glass. 'GT Sport' trim sees the introduction of black leather seats with power adjustment, a heated steering wheel and a Bose audio set-up, while the range-topping 'GT Sport Tech' variants feature a suite of additional active safety equipment, including a 360o camera and Driver Attention Alert with an interior camera. Offered exclusively on the hatchback, Mazda's newest paint colour 'Polymetal Grey' makes its debut with this car. 'SE-L' and SE-L Lux cars feature 16-inch silver wheels, while from 'Sport Lux' trim onwards, 18-inch Grey Metallic wheels, rear privacy glass and piano black window garnish distinguish higher grade models.

Cost of Ownership

The 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G petrol unit has cylinder deactivation which switches the car to a couple of cylinders under light-to-mid throttle loads. Plus the 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G variant incorporates Mazda's 'M Hybrid 24V' system. This mild-hybrid set-up improves fuel economy by recycling recovered kinetic energy. A belt-driven integrated starter generator (ISG) converts the energy in the 600kJ lithium-ion battery, while the DC-DC converter supplies it to the car's electrical equipment. As a result, this mainstream petrol unit manages decent WLTP figures - 45.6mpg on the combined cycle and 136g/km of CO2. The alternative 180PS Skyactiv-X unit is based on the same 2.0-litre normally aspirated mild hybrid Skyactiv-G powertrain. But it can run far leaner than any ordinary petrol powerplant ever could, improving efficiency by up to 30% over the Skyactiv-G, helped by a supercharger which ensures that there's enough air for the clever 'Spark Controlled Compression Ignition' system to function. The result is a set of WLTP fuel and CO2 readings that should better those of many conventional diesel models in this segment. Think up to 52.3mpg and 122g/km. From a powerful 180PS engine; have cake - eat it. It's as simple as that. This comes courtesy of a ground-breaking 'SPCCI' 'Spark Controlled Compression Ignition' system.

Summary

Mazda's been bold with this car and we can't help hoping that this strategy will pay off. This is a model that's never achieved the success it really ought to have had - but deserves to now. True, it may not be one of those family hatchbacks that grab you on first acquaintance, but the longer you spend with one, the more you appreciate the depth of thought that's clearly been put into the design of the things that matter; like the classy cabin, the exemplary infotainment system and the hi-tech equipment. True, it's not the car you'd choose if family practicality was a priority. Aesthetics have clearly been prioritised here; that sloping roof does affect rear seat room and boot space. But the stylised lines that come with that swept-back silhouette will probably make you feel good about switching to a Mazda3. And that could matter more.

  • Electric front/rear windows with one touch/auto up/down
  • Rain sensing front wipers
  • Speed adjustable rear wash wiper with intermittent wipe

  • Electronic parking brake with auto disengage function and auto hold function
  • EBD - Electronic brakeforce distribution
  • G-Vectoring control plus
  • Hill launch assist
  • Intelligent Traction Control system
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • DSC - Dynamic Stability Control
  • Front smart city brake support
  • Mild Hybrid system with regenerative braking

  • E-call with GPS
  • Integrated bluetooth with steering wheel mounted controls
  • Mobile App interface
  • Apple car play/Android Auto
  • Audio transfer from bluetooth devices

  • Driver attention alert system
  • Blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert
  • Intelligent speed assist
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Reversing camera
  • Emergency stop signalling system
  • Power assisted steering
  • Lane keep assist system (LAS) with Lane departure warning system (LDWS)
  • Mazda Radar Cruise Control

  • Engine start/stop button

  • Service indicator
  • Trip computer
  • Head up Display
  • Digital instrument cluster
  • Mazda Navigation System with european mapping
  • Colour active driving display inc Windscreen projected,Traffic Sign Recognition, turn-by- turn navigation and Mazda Radar Cruise Control information
  • 8.8" Colour centre touch screen display with Mazda Connect infotainment
  • 7" colour TFT display
  • Multimedia Commander

  • Electrically adjustable/heated/auto power folding door mirrors with integrated indicators
  • Automatic dimming door mirrors
  • Automatic dimming rear view mirror

  • i-stop

  • Mazda Multimedia System with AM / FM / DAB radio with 8 speakers

  • Dark metallic finish signature wing
  • Gloss black rear roof spoiler
  • Gloss black mesh grille
  • Front body coloured bumper with black lower bezel
  • Rear gloss black lower moulding

  • Coming/leaving home lighting function
  • LED front fog lights
  • Rear fog lights
  • LED third brake light
  • LED indicator lights
  • LED rear combination lights with LED rear turn lights
  • Dusk sensing headlights
  • LED headlamps with auto levelling
  • High beam assist
  • Daytime running lights

  • Dual zone climate control air conditioning

  • Folding rear centre armrest with two cup holders
  • Storage - glovebox, driver and front passenger door pockets and roof mounted sunglasses holder
  • Cloth upholstery + front heated with 3 stage setting
  • Front passenger seatback pocket
  • 2 x USB input
  • Power outlet in luggage compartment
  • Driver grab handle with coat hooks
  • Front armrest
  • Leather wrapped steering wheel
  • Front centre console with storage box with tray, lid + 2 cupholders
  • Tilt/height adjustable steering wheel
  • Gear shift indicator
  • Reach adjustable steering wheel
  • Illuminated glovebox
  • Leather wrapped gear shift knob
  • Electrical power outlet
  • Front passenger and two rear grab handles with coathooks

  • LED interior light
  • Luggage compartment light
  • Front and rear courtesy lamps

  • Seatbelt reminder for driver/front passenger and rear seats
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS)
  • Front passenger airbag cut-off switch
  • Front and rear curtain airbags
  • 3 point ELR front seatbelts with pretensioners
  • Dual front airbags
  • Front side airbags
  • 3 rear 3 point seatbelts with ELR
  • Drivers knee airbag

  • Three height adjustable rear head restraints
  • Front head restraints
  • ISOFIX child seat anchorage points attached on outer rear seats
  • 60/40 split fold down rear seats
  • Drivers seat manual slide recline and height adjustment
  • Front passengers seat manual slide, recline and height adjustment

  • Thatcham accredited alarm and immobiliser
  • Auto door lock when driving
  • Remote central locking + deadlocks
  • Smart keyless entry

  • Driver/passenger sunvisors + vanity mirrors (drivers side with ticket holder)

  • 16" Silver metallic alloy wheels

  • Emergency tyre repair kit

  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low: 160
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium: 121
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High: 105
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High: 125
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 124

  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Number of Valves: 12
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: MULTI POINT FUEL INJECTION
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Compression Ratio: 13.0:1
  • Transmission: MANUAL
  • Gears: 6 SPEED
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 83.5
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 91.2
  • CC: 1998

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 39.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 53.3
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 60.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 50.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 51.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 7.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 5.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 4.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 5.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 5.5

  • Generation Mark: 3
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Service Interval Mileage: 12500
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 98
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 87
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 81
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 73
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • Badge Power: 122
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Coin Series: SE-L Lux
  • Coin Description: e-Skyactiv-G MHEV
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12

  • Engine Power - KW: 90
  • Engine Power - RPM: 6000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 157
  • Engine Torque - NM: 213
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 4000
  • Engine Power - BHP: 122
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 10.4
  • Top Speed: 122
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 21.7

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2

  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Wheel Style: N
  • Tyre Size Rear: 205/60 R16
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 16" ALLOY
  • Tyre Size Front: 205/60 R16

  • Width (including mirrors): 2028
  • Height: 1435
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4460
  • Width: 1795
  • Wheelbase: 2725

  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1328
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1875
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 51
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 351
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1300
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 600
  • Max. Loading Weight: 547
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 865
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10.6

  • Metallic paint: £570
  • Mica paint: £570
  • Pearlescent paint: £570
  • Solid paint: Included
  • Special Metallic paint: £810
  • Premium metallic paint: £690

  • Metallic - Sonic silver: £570
  • Metallic - Polymetal grey: £570

  • Mica - Jet black: £570
  • Mica - Deep crystal blue: £570

  • Pearl - Snowflake white: £570

  • Solid - Arctic white: £0

  • Special metallic - Soul red crystal: £810
  • Premium metallic - Machine grey: £690

  • Cloth - Premium black + front heated with 3 stage setting: £0

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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