This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Mazda 3 Saloon review.

Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The Mazda3 feels rather more upmarket inside than the previous version with more soft-touch plastics, while the dramatic curve along the top of the dashboard gives the impression of the interior focusing on the driver. The driver's seat has height adjustment and lumbar support on all models, while the steering also adjusts for reach and height. Visibility is pretty good, and the Mazda3 can be specified with a rear-view monitoring system which alerts the driver when approaching vehicles are in the blindspots.

Mazda has redesigned the seats in the second-generation Mazda3 for improved comfort on longer journeys, while noise intrusion has also been reduced. There is reasonable comfort on board for up to five adults at a squeeze but four would feel happier. Air conditioning is fitted across the range and all models have electric front windows. Most impressive, however, is the ride quality which irons out rough surfaces with minimal fuss, making it great for long distance travel.