Having the underpinnings of the latest Ford Focus the Mazda3 handles very well and is very predictable with high levels of grip.
Having the underpinnings of the latest Ford Focus the Mazda3 handles very well and is very predictable with high levels of grip. Body roll is well under control even through the most demanding of bends. The overall ride is both reassuring and firm and you do feel in touch with the road surface, although the suspension can be a little crashy over poorer road surfaces. The Mazda3 Takara had surprisingly wide tyres 205/55 on 16” wheels which might have contributed to the road noise but is not too intrusive.
Mazda quotes a fuel consumption figure of 40.9 mpg on the combined cycle and a Co2 emissions figure of 162 g/km.
The steering wheel is adjustable for rake and reach and the driver’s seat can be adjusted for height. Visibility is reasonably good all round with few blind spots making the Mazda3 easy to manoeuvre but you do have a boot to look over when reversing, front and rear parking sensors are an optional extra.
The doors are large and open to reveal wide access points which makes it a very easy car to get in and out of for front and rear seat occupants. This is particularly helpful for people with mobility problems. The cabin is spacious with excellent head and leg room in both the front and rear.
The dashboard is ergonomically laid out, simple and uncluttered. All the controls are tactile, stylish and most importantly everything is to hand. The automatic climate controlled air-conditioning was particularly efficient and very easy to operate via large dials. The steering wheel incorporates the stereo controls which keep your hands where they belong safely on the leather bound wheel.
On a practical level the Mazda3 saloon incorporates 4 large door bins, front centre console with storage box, hinged storage tray and lid, 2 lidded cup holders in the front and in all the door pockets. Between the front seats there is a convenient 3.6 litre storage box; there is also a 12v power outlet and an auxiliary socket for plugging in your mp3 player or iPod.
There is an illuminated lockable glove compartment which is one of the largest we have come across in a car of this class. The front passenger seat has a back pocket and there are front map reading lights.
There are isoFix child seat fixing points on the outer most rear seats with top tether points. Making it easy to locate and secure your isoFix child seat without any error.
Mazda Mazda3 Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Mazda Mazda Mazda3 1.6 Takara|
|Body Type||4-Door Saloon|
|Colour||Aurora Blue Mica|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||11.2 Seconds|
|Top Speed||114 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||49.6 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||4|
|Warranty||3-Year/60,000 Mile Warranty|
|Price (when tested on the 01/06/08)||£13,495 (Test car £13,870 includes £375 Mica Paint)|