Mazda3: Downsizing

Mazda 3 shows its versatile side

So can our Mazda 3 prove that downsizing works. It's a good question as I previously ran a Mazda 6 with the 163bhp diesel in TS2 spec. Though for the sake of fair comparisons it is good to stack the 3 up against the 2.0-litre petrol version of the 6.

The 2.0-litre Mazda 3 doesn't feel as sharp on the throttle as the 6 and you certainly need to rev it, though they are both the same in terms of performance. In the 3 I need to drop at least two gears, remember this and it is up to the job.

However, one answer may be to go for the diesel version of the 3 and suddenly you get more low down pulling power, faster acceleration and better fuel economy. The bad news is that it will cost you £1,500 more than the petrol Sport.

The 3 Sport also comes with a lot of kit as standard including heated seats, 6-CD changer, electric mirrors, heated front windscreen and MP3 player connection to name a few. In short, nearly all the goodies you'd get on the 6 TS2.

Space wise you will notice a big difference, especially with the rear legroom so its worth checking that out. Boot space is fine in the 3 and with the rear seats down this provides good carrying space. However, the 6 Hatchback is massive in comparison so the difference is very noticeable. Hopefully the addition of some bars on the 3 could help solve the carrying capacity problem.

Current mileage: 1,782

Average mpg: 33.2mpg