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View all Mazda 3 reviews
Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4

Sleek five-door hatchback handles well but isn’t the most practical family car

Mazda 3 Hatchback (19 on) - rated 4.4 out of 5
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PROS

  • Engaging handling
  • Gorgeous looks
  • Well-built interior

CONS

  • Lacklustre engines (for now)
  • Cramped rear seats
  • Large blind spots

PROS

  • Engaging handling
  • Gorgeous looks
  • Well-built interior

CONS

  • Lacklustre engines (for now)
  • Cramped rear seats
  • Large blind spots

Other Mazda 3 models:

Verdict

Mazda is unapologetic about doing things differently, and with this latest 3 it does exactly that. From its range of naturally aspirated (non-turbocharged) petrol engines to its striking styling, the 3 aims to offer buyers an alternative to the usual range of European hatchbacks.

Competing in the family hatchback sector it’s up against some tough rivals - the Ford Focus, VW Golf, Honda Civic and countless others. Mazda here is focusing on the driver, bucking some now industry-wide conventions in the process.

Simple engine line up

Just two engines are available at launch in May 2019 – a 122hp 2.0-litre petrol and a 116hp 1.8-litre diesel. The petrol isn’t turbocharged like most of its rivals but uses mild hybrid technology for a small pick-me-up. Given current trends, both of the 3’s engines are quite large capacity given their low total power output.

We’ll have to wait until the end of 2019 for Mazda’s all-new petrol engine technology to be offered on the 3. Named ‘Skyactiv-X’ the engine has the rough tagline of providing the fuel efficiency and torque of a diesel mated with power and high-revving nature of a petrol engine.

All cars come well-equipped

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

In terms of practicality, the Mazda 3 won’t win any accolades for the most space or most flexible interior. The rear seats are cramped for full-sized adults and the boot (in terms of outright volume) can be beaten by most of its significant rivals.

Should you buy a Mazda 3?

Put aside some concerns about outright practicality and focus on the driving and the 3 has what it takes to lead the class. If that Skyactiv-X engine delivers, too, it’ll appeal on an even more sensible level, too.

The 3 isn’t devoid of any of the technology of its rivals, either, as it has an equipment list some entry-level rivals will be rather envious of.

Read on for the full Mazda 3 Hatchback review

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