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Mazda 3 review

2019 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 53.0
” Sleek five-door handles fabulously, but it isn’t the most practical family car “

At a glance

Price new £23,955 - £33,205
Used prices £8,556 - £24,697
Road tax cost £190
Insurance group 15 - 24
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Fuel economy 40.9 - 56.5 mpg
Miles per pound 6.0 - 8.3
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types



Pros & cons

  • Engaging handling
  • Good fuel economy
  • High quality interior
  • Cramped rear seats
  • Large blind spots
  • 122hp model is gutless

Written by Jake Groves Published: 6 October 2023 Updated: 9 October 2023


Mazda has always done things differently – and the 3 lives up to the company’s nonconformist mantra. It offers buyers something different to the usual family hatchback suspects, sporting low-slung design and a range of non-turbocharged engines. Its rivals favour boxier (more practical) styling and more efficient turbocharged and electrified engines.

So, who does it best? Mazda certainly thinks it’s on the right side of the fence, but there’s no denying the strength of the opposition. The Ford Focus is equally fun to drive, but it offers way more space in the back for passengers. The Volkswagen Golf is also great all-rounder – and it can be specified with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. If that’s not eco-friendly enough for you, the latest Vauxhall Astra is available with a pure-electric powertrain.

Every Mazda 3 available in the UK is armed to the teeth with safety technology – and every model even has a head-up display as standard, as Mazda says it means there are fewer distractions for the driver. Higher-spec cars have equipment such as larger 18-inch alloys, a 360-degree parking camera system and electrically adjustable front seats.

If you’re looking to buy a Mazda 3, the model range is strikingly simple. There are just two mild hybrid petrol engines to choose from – the super-efficient e-Skyactiv G with 122hp and the more powerful e-Skyactiv X, which pushes out a more performance-friendly 186hp.

You have a little more choice on the equipment front, with five specifications to comb through. They’re called Prime-Line, Centre-Line, Houmra, Exclusive Line and Takumi, and they’re all available with either a manual or automatic gearbox. Want a diesel or a proper hybrid powertrain? Look elsewhere…

If you’re smitten by the Mazda 3, click through the next few pages to see if it can suit your lifestyle. In this review, you’ll learn everything you need to know, with insights on the car’s practicality, interior, running costs, driving experience and whether we recommend buying one.