Mazda 3 targets company car drivers

  • Mazda is gaining momentum in the UK
  • New Mazda 3 offers low emissions and strong performance figures
  • Can it take on the likes of the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf?

It has been a challenging couple of years for Mazda, with the value of the Yen significantly denting company profits and an aging product range failing to turn many heads.

However, the Mazda brand is now gaining momentum and looks set to turn its fortunes around. It's doing this with the launch of a fresh line-up of cars, starting first with the CX-5 launched last year closely followed by the Mazda 6 and now the new generation Mazda 3.

The Mazda 3 is a car that, in the past, has sometimes been overshadowed by its rivals in what is a fiercely competitive sector.

So does this new model have what it takes to steal customers away from the likes of the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf?

Mazda UK managing director, Jeremy Thomson, certainly thinks it does and a key string to the Mazda 3’s bow is being able to offer drivers no compromise when it comes to performance.

“It’s not about downsizing – it is about right sizing and offering no compromise on engine performance while still keeping costs down,” he said.

One of the key elements helping Mazda to achieve this is the brands efficiency boosting SkyActiv technology, enabling up to 74.3mpg official fuel consumption and CO2 emissions that start from 104g/km.

The new Mazda 3 is on sale in January with prices starting from £16,695. You get a choice of three engines and five trim levels; SE, SE Nav, SE-L, SE-L Nav and Sport Nav.

Standard equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, leather steering wheel, radio/CD with six speaker audio system, seven-inch colour touch screen, USB connectivity and Bluetooth. Also included is new connectivity technology which by downloading an app enables the car to read out the driver’s emails and Facebook posts amongst other things.

Mazda head of fleet Steve Tomlinson said: “Mazda 3 represents a fantastic cost-effective alternative to the perceived mainstream models in the lower medium sector.

“With fresh styling, great vehicle dynamics, low CO2 emissions, excellent fuel economy and now first-class residual values, we expect the all-new Mazda 3 to secure its own niche on the fleet map alongside the ever popular new Mazda 6 and the increasingly in-demand Mazda CX-5.”

Find out what we made of the petrol Mazda 3 when testing it in the UK for the first time here.

Read our full review of the Mazda 3 here.