The Mazda3 made its UK debut in January 2004 and is available in two body styles; a 5-door hatchback (which is more popular in the UK) and as a 4-door saloon. Although both body styles share the same DNA, the two models do not share a single body panel, although the interiors are practically the same.
There are six engine options; the petrol line up comprises 1.4 (84ps), 1.6 (105ps) and 2.0 (150ps) and for diesel line up there is a 1.6 (90ps), 1.6 (109ps) and a 2.0 (143ps). There is one other engine in the Mazda3 range, a 2.3 petrol turbo that is exclusively available in the MPS model - see our Mazda3 MPS review.
There are three transmission options, which depend on the engine choice; a 5-speed manual can be mated to the 1.4 and 1.6 petrol engines and both 1.6 diesel engines. The 6-speed manual gearbox is available on the 2.0 petrol and 2.0 diesel models. The 4-speed automatic is only available on the 1.6 petrol Takara model.
Although we have tested a number of hatchback Mazda3s we have not driven the booted saloon version. So for a change we decided to test a 4-door saloon, there are 3 main trim levels, starting with the ‘S’ model Takara which we drove and top end model the Sport. The Takara gives you a few of the luxury touches without the added cost.
We drove the Mazda3 1.6 Takara which is powered by a four cylinder 16 valve 1598 cc petrol engine mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox (also available with an automatic gearbox). It produces 105ps at 6000 rpm and delivers 145 Nm worth of torque at 4000 rpm. The 1.6 Takara is capable of 0 to 62 mph in 11.2 seconds and goes onto a top speed of 114 mph.
The engine is relatively smooth but sometimes it can feel a little underpowered and you have to punch away at the gearbox to climb some hills but it does rev freely and is eager throughout the rev range.
This is a 13-year+ news article, from our Mazda archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
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