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Mazda 3 Saloon review

2019 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 53.0
” Compact saloon with a superb interior but limited engine choice “

At a glance

Price new £29,255 - £33,205
Used prices £9,757 - £23,698
Road tax cost £190
Insurance group 17 - 24
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Fuel economy 45.6 - 56.5 mpg
Miles per pound 6.3 - 8.3
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types



Pros & cons

  • More passenger space than 3 hatch
  • Lovely, high-quality interior
  • No compromise in the driving experience
  • Just one engine available
  • Smaller tailgate opening
  • Fidgety ride on bigger wheels

Written by Tom Wiltshire Published: 16 June 2023 Updated: 9 October 2023


Mazda is a brand that’s known for doing things a bit differently. So it’s perhaps no surprise that it continues to offer the Mazda 3 Saloon in the UK market at a time when saloon cars could hardly be less fashionable and buyers are turning elsewhere for the best family cars.

The proliferation of SUVs hasn’t escaped Mazda: it offers a handsome and expansive range of them. But even having stopped importing the larger Mazda 6 saloon it is persisting with the smaller and newer 3.

It uses the latest Mazda 3 hatchback as a base, and looks very similar. But it shares just two exterior panels with its five-door sibling – the bonnet and the roof. Whether you should go for the hatch or the saloon will depend on your priorities. The former offers more flexible interior space as you can create a larger, more practical load space with the rear seats folded; the latter offers more room for passengers and a larger overall boot volume on a day-to-day basis.

Both benefit from Mazda’s high-quality, intelligently laid-out interior design, which would put the Mazda 3 at a level above workaday rivals – if there were any. For this is the last non-premium compact saloon on sale in Britain, with the last competing Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic models now discontinued.

To find an alternative you’ll therefore have to go upmarket to the Audi A3 Saloon. The Mercedes-Benz CLA might also be an option, for although that calls itself a coupe it has the same layout as a four-door saloon. You might also consider the Skoda Octavia – and probably should, given the value, space and competence this represents – even if it is actually a five-door hatchback.

Mazda 3 buyers get the choice of only one engine – the firm’s fiendishly complex 2.0-litre SkyActiv X petrol, which provides 180hp but does so with a slightly odd character. A diesel also offered early in the Saloon’s life cycle swiftly disappeared from pricelists following a general lack of buyer interest.

The are two trim levels: Exclusive-Line and Takumi. Both offer a generous roster of standard equipment.

Keep reading to find out how we rate the Mazda 3 for practicality, interior space, safety, running costs and driving experience before delivering our final expert verdict.