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Mazda 3

(2003 - )  Rating

Mazda 3

The Mazda 3 is good to drive, spacious and well built

Engine Engine power Fuel consumption Fuel type 0-100 (0-60) Top speed
1.4 16V 80 hp 7.1 l/100km Petrol 14.3 s 169 km/h
1.6 16V 104 hp 7.2 l/100km Petrol 11 s 182 km/h
1.6 MZ-CD 110 hp 5 l/100km Diesel 11.3 s 185 km/h
2.0 16V 148 hp 8.2 l/100km Petrol 9 s 199 km/h

Body type Hatchback/Sedan
Number of doors 4/5
Number of seats 5
Engine position Front
Driven wheels Front
Length 4 420 mm
Width 1 755 mm
Height 1 465 mm
Wheelbase 2 640 mm
Ground clearance 140 mm
Weight (normal) 1 150 kg
Weight (max) 1 625 kg
Boot space (min) 300 l
Boot space (max) 635 l
Fuel capacity 55 l


   The Mazda 3 is produced since 2003. It is available as a hatchback or sedan. In some countries this car is sold as the Mazda Axela.

   The Mazda 3 is powered by three petrol engines and one turbodiesel. The 1.4-liter is sweet and thrives on revs, although it has to be worked. Larger engines offer better performance. Even the 1.6-liter diesel accelerates well and gives is fuel efficient, although it is not as good as it's diesel rivals. The 1.6-liter petrol would be the best choice. Engines are coupled with a five-speed manual, or four-speed automatic gearbox and should be trouble free.

   The Mazda 3 shares it's chassis with the Ford Focus. One of the drawbacks of the Mazda 3 is a firm ride, but it becomes smoother as the speed increases. On the other hand it has an excellent body control.

   It is a bit noisy inside the cabin on the motorway. The 2.0-liter petrol and engine is noisy at higher speed itself and in addition you can hear some wind and road noises as well. In the contrary the turbodiesel is noisy in town, but as the speed increases you won't hear much noise from it.

   The Mazda 3 has a decent fuel economy and considering Mazda's reputation for building reliable cars, the 3 would be a good choice. Resale values should be good as well.

   Everything is made of solid plastic inside the Mazda 3. Driver's position is comfy. Steering wheel and driver's seat can both be adjusted and it suits drivers of all shapes and sizes. The dash has a similar layout style to the Mazda 6 with big, clear dials and buttons.

   The Mazda 3 comes with hatchback or sedan body styles. Inside the hatch even tall passengers can get themselves comfortable at the rear, with room to spare for knees and heads. The sedan cannot offer the same space at the rear due to the sloping roofline. In both cars there are three seats at the rear, however it is more comfortable for two. The boot is a good size and is well shaped, while the rear seats are split 60/40 to extend the boot.

   The base S model is completed with twin front and side airbags as standard. Curtain airbags come with other trims. All models have ABS with electronic brake force distribution, while the TS2 model and above are fitted with stability and traction control. Alarm, central locking and deadlocks are standard on all models.

   The S model comes with electric front windows, heated mirrors and radio cassette player. The TS trim adds air-conditioning and CD player, while  the TS2 is fitted with the climate control. The Sport trim comes with a different body kit, better stereo system, and other extras.

   Production of the Mazda 3 still continues.


   Advantages: The Mazda 3 not only looks well, but it's good to drive too. Furthermore it spacious and well-built while the engines are willing performers.

   Disadvantages: A low-speed ride is slightly too firm. Some wind noise is present at the motorway speed.

   Verdict: Looks great, cheap to buy and goes well.

   Also consider: Honda Civic, Opel Astra.


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Mazda 3

Mazda 3

Mazda 3

Mazda 3

Mazda 3

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