Mazda 3: One more for the road…

  • We say a fond farewell to our Mazda 3 hatchack
  • Proved to be the ideal motorway companion
  • Average fuel economy was disappointing though

It’s that time again when we need to say a fond farewell to another member of the Parkers fleet, and this time it’s the Mazda 3 which is leaving the office. 

It’s been an eventful six months with the Mazda with a trip to the Peak District, a flat battery and a battle with its saloon brother among the highlights. Before I handed back the keys to the delivery driver though I decided to take the hatchback for one final spin around the block.

There are a number of features on the Mazda 3 I’ve been really impressed with during its time with us. It’s a spacious, practical and comfortable car to live with. The high quality interior has a few plastics lurking including the cheap looking head-up display, but for the most part it’s a pleasant and refined place to be.

To get the best of the Mazda 3’s qualities you really need to be out on the motorway where the petrol engine is smooth and silent and the car supremely comfortable; ideal for long journeys with plenty of storage options on offer for your personal belongings while on the move too.

The 118bhp on offer is enough power to accelerate quickly, the only real  disappointment is fuel economy - while on test with us we’ve averaged 36.9mpg, quite a way shy of the 55.4mpg official figure.

Its cabin is easy to navigate around and there is enough kit on offer to satisfy most drivers, such as Bluetooth, DAB Radio and the premium surround sound system which we found very good.

The sat-nav is also one of the best I’ve tested, the screen is especially clear and shows the instructions in a timely fashion. It also displays how close you are to services so you don’t need to get stressed if you're running low on fuel.

Another of our favourite features is the keyless entry - I have one of those handbags where once something goes in, it is virtually impossible to find again. With this bit of kit I can enter and start the car without actually needing to find the key – very useful indeed.

As I turned into the carpark for the final time in the Mazda 3 I couldn’t help but feel sad that it's leaving us. The car has so many qualities it’s difficult to see why the Japanese firm is not selling more of them. 

If I was buying one though I would opt for a more exciting colour like the Soul Red Metallic, the same as the Fastback version we had in recently.

Mileage: 5,374

Fuel economy: 36.9mpg