This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Mazda 3 Hatchback review.

Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

The cabin design of the 3 is fairly standard hatchback fare but it seems dated now and is dark and gloomy when compared to more stylish rivals. While there's no doubting the finish, some of the materials are questionable - the standard steering wheel isn't particularly nice to hold and some of the plastics appear cheap with an absence of soft-touch materials.

The stereo is a nice feature with it's red backlighting but this does little to life the atmosphere. On the plus side the driving position is good and there's plenty of adjustment in both the steering column and seat.

The ride is a little on the firm side, which isn't too noticeable on the motorways, but on rougher surfaces the lack of refinement is noticeable, as is engine noise from the smaller petrol engines. The cabin is spacious though and there's decent head and legroom for passengers in the back while the seats are fairly comfortable and those in the front offer good lateral support.

The 2006 facelift saw improvement in noise insulation and although things are better it's still not up to class leading standards.