This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Mazda 3 Hatchback review.

Parkers overall rating: 3.8 out of 5 3.8

The Mazda 3 achieved a full five-star crash test rating with EuroNCAP.

While designing the new Mazda 3, particular attention was paid to pedestrian protection; there’s a variety of deformable structures at the front, the engine is positioned well back behind an energy absorbing block (which helps explain the car’s rather long nose) and the windscreen cowl is designed to cushion rather than crack a human's head in the event of an incident.

Of course there’s a full host of electronic safety systems, and on the Sport Nav model you can specify the optional safety pack. Rear vehicle monitoring ensures you don't pull out into the path of a following car while a lane departure warning system keeps you on the straight and narrow should your concentration lapse.

If it does wander and the vehicle in front slows dramtically or even comes to a halt the family car will alert the day-dreaming driver with an audible and visual signal, and if no reaction is generated then apply the brakes. By the time it closes in on the car in front the brakes are applied even harder to optimise the point of any inevitable impact so as to protect the occupants of any vehicles involved in the event of the accident.

There’s a penalty to be paid for that dramatically sloping rear roofline (and sleek tailgate) of the hatchback, and Mazda 3 practicality is ultimately what suffers for design's sake. Officially the boot can hold 364-litres of luggage with the seats in place, rising to 1,263-litres with them folded flat, but while the space is lengthy enough it’s not as deep as some of its rivals.

Choosing the fastback (saloon) appeases matters slightly, offering a maximum of 419-litres for baby buggies and other family paraphernalia. However there’s no split-fold rear seat so there’s no way of increasing this capacity on the odd occasion you might need to visit the local refuse centre.

Shoulder room is impressive, front and rear, but the back bench doesn’t feel as capacious as that of a Golf, Leon or even Focus – though this may be partly down to the sleek and steeply rising side windows. At least the front seats sit high enough up to allow for adult feet to slip neatly beneath them.

Under the driver’s elbow there’s a lidded cubby with inputs for USB, iPod and SD card media, but while it’s deep enough the unit felt flimsy when opened, displaying plenty of flex in its hinge

Basic equipment

The basic equipment list includes equipment that is standard across all versions of the Mazda 3 Hatchback (13-19).

  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • ABS
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • CD
  • Driver`s airbag
  • Electric mirrors
  • Folding rear seats
  • Front electric windows
  • Heated mirrors
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Isofix child seat anchor points
  • Lumbar support
  • PAS
  • Passenger`s airbag
  • Rear electric windows
  • Remote locking
  • Service indicator
  • Side airbags
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
  • Traction control

Equipment by trim level

To view equipment options for a specific trim level, please select from the following list:

Equipment included on some trim levels
  • Air conditioning
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Cruise control
  • Electric driver`s seat
  • Electric passenger`s seat
  • Front fog lights
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Parking sensors
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Sat Nav

SE equipment

SE standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Cloth seat trim
SE optional equipment
None available

SE Nav equipment

SE Nav standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Sat Nav
SE Nav optional equipment
None available

SE-L equipment

SE-L standard equipment
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Cruise control
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Parking sensors
SE-L optional equipment
  • Front fog lights
  • Sat Nav

SE-L Nav equipment

SE-L Nav standard equipment
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Cruise control
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Parking sensors
  • Sat Nav
SE-L Nav optional equipment
  • Front fog lights

Sport equipment

Sport standard equipment
  • Cruise control
  • Electric driver`s seat
  • Electric passenger`s seat
  • Front fog lights
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Parking sensors
  • Sat Nav
Sport optional equipment
None available

Sport Black equipment

Sport Black standard equipment
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seats
  • Metallic Paint
  • Parking sensors
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Sat Nav
Sport Black optional equipment
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Front fog lights
  • Headlight washers

Sport Nav equipment

Sport Nav standard equipment
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seats
  • Parking sensors
  • Sat Nav
Sport Nav optional equipment
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Electric driver`s seat
  • Electric passenger`s seat
  • Front fog lights
  • Headlight washers
  • Leather seat trim