Toppling the Toyota Corolla? A Mazda 3 Review
Holding the prestigious title of the best small car of the year in 2020 should put the Mazda 3 at the top of everyone’s minds when it comes to a well rounded small car that’s purposefully designed for the urban city landscape. With both a five-door hatchback and four-door sedan model available, these front-wheel-drive cars are an affordable option for those looking for a dynamic and comfortable drive. Being in some seriously tough competition with the likes of the Ford Focus and the universally popular Toyota Corolla, the Mazda 3 can now be seen as a top contender in its class.
If you’re thinking about whether this car might be for you, sit back and read on for our full Mazda 3 review.
Stripping back some of the “visually noisy” complexity in other models, the interiors of the Mazda 3 are now tastefully minimal, giving off a more attractive and well-constructed appearance. The comfortable front seats of the Mazda 3 offer great support and even rival those in the bigger model of the Mazda 6. The positioning of the driver’s seat is terrific, and the adjustable steering column gives taller drivers the chance to pull the wheel in closer to them. You’ll also be happy to find that the backrest is comfortable and supportive for a more relaxed driving experience.
The centre console and instrument panel offer great practicality and usability in their design, with the large multimedia screen positioned in a safer position. The heads-up display gives you a sleek projector system, providing clarity for easy navigation. For the price that you’re paying you’ll be getting stylish interiors that make you think you’re driving in something a lot more expensive.
The first thing that you may notice when getting behind the wheel of the Mazda 3 is how smooth and responsive the steering is. Hitting that sweet spot behind slow speed maneuvers and responsive handling at higher speeds, you won’t need to worry about choosing a different steering mode when you’re driving a Mazda 3.
The city lifestyle is well suited to the Mazda 3, with the 2L engine giving you easily enough power for your usual highway or freeway commutes. The six-speed automatic transmission gearbox is generally the more popular option and it provides you with the necessary rev when you need it to.
You’ll also benefit from Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control which works to adjust the engine when you’re turning the steering wheel, transfers the load to the front tyres as it decelerates. Rest assured that you don’t actually notice it working as you’re driving, but you will feel like changing directions is more fluid and smooth.
The manual model of the Mazda 3 is a great option to consider as the gear shift is very satisfying and smooth to use.
5-Star ANCAP Safety Rating
The Mazda 3 is fitted with a comprehensive safety package that has led to it being awarded the maximum 5-star safety rating from ANCAP. The usual features are all present here, including rear parking sensors, stability control, six airbags and seatbelt reminders on all of the Mazda 3’s seats.
All Mazda 3 models also come with Mazda’s Smart City Brake Support Forward feature, which is a substantially more enhanced type of autonomous emergency braking found in other vehicles. This feature is really tested in more built-up areas and traditional city streets where pedestrians, cyclists, cars and all sorts of other obstacles are more prevalent. This feature uses a near-infrared laser which is mounted on the windscreen and will take control of your brakes when it detects that there is a high risk of a collision.
The handy blind spot monitor is also great for when you’re changing lanes on the highway, as it’ll provide you with a little warning when a car is creeping up in your blind spot. The rear cross-traffic alert again is super useful in more urban environments such as reversing from a busy shopping centre car park. This feature detects if there’s another vehicle approaching from either side of the back of your car so you don’t have an accident that could’ve been avoided.
The Mazda 3 features a couple of different engine types depending on the trim model you decide on. For the standard 2L four-cylinder petrol engine in the hatchback model, you’ll be able to get as little as 6.2litres/100km in the fuel economy. For the Mazda 3 G25 Evolve, GT and Astina models, you’ll have a 2.5L petrol engine under the bonnet, giving you considerably more thrust on the roads. You’ll only notice a small increase in your fuel consumption with this engine compared to the 2L.
Both of these engines also have a fuel-saving feature for city driving, shutting down the engine when you stop and starting back up automatically as you take your foot off the brake pedal. Mazda also boasts that the engine emits a low level of CO2 emissions at 127g/km.
Mazda Connect Infotainment System
The 8.8-inch colour infotainment system has your usual radio connectivity, sat-nav and reversing camera displayed on the screen. Adding the latest technology to match the driver’s lifestyle, the Mazda 3 also has smartphone capability with the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto mirroring features.
If you are someone that truly values sound quality in your drive, the GT and Astina models of the Mazda 3 feature a Bose sound system with 12 speakers and a top quality Bose amplifier. You’ll be able to enjoy some stunning audio clarity in the car thanks to the careful placement of these speakers.
While other competitors like the Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Golf continue to dominate the small car market, you can expect to see the Mazda 3 more and more on the roads in Perth. The quality you get for its price point is incredible, particularly with the number of features that come standard across all models. If you’re looking for a reliable and simplistic driving experience, perfect for city driving, the Mazda 3 is certain to deliver.