The Mazda3 made its UK debut in January 2004 replacing the uninspiring Mazda 323. It shares the same platform as the Ford Focus C-MAX and Volvo's new S40 and V50 but do not be mistaken in thinking that the Mazda3 is just a re-hashed Ford Group offering, it is a distinctively different car. Available in both hatchback and saloon guises - uniquely the saloon was designed as a separate model, not the normal compromised re-design of the hatchback variant.
Many of the Mazda3's characteristics have been inherited from the Mazda6 and RX-8 and they all share the unmistakable Mazda family styling. The Mazda3 range encompasses both petrol and diesel variants and starts at £10,650 for the 1.4 5d S - we tested the £15,500 range topping 2.0 5dr Sport.
Mazda claim that the Mazda3 is 'Engineered to work hard - Driven for sheer pleasure'. We test whether Mazda's Zoom, Zoom, Zoom philosophy is enough to make the Mazda3 a credible contender within the C-Segment which includes class leaders such as the Audi A3 and Volkswagen Golf.
This is a 17-year+ news article, from our Mazda archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
If in doubt check with your local Mazda dealer as car prices and technical data will have changed since 2004.
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