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Road Test

Mazda Mazda3 Fastback Driven

Driven July 2014

Additional Info

This is a good car. It's essentially a Mazda3 saloon - think four-door Audi A3 or Merc CLA - though, in today's world of confusing naming conventions, it's actually called a ‘Fastback', merging the hatch and saloon genres into one, fluid shape.

And it does look fluid, Mazda's design language lending this 3 Fastback a svelte, clean silhouette. Underneath, we're treated to a lovely 2.2-litre diesel engine, producing 148bhp, and you know what? It's a cracking unit.

Relatively quiet and punchy enough to make the Mazda3 NotASaloon feel quick point-to-point. And when it comes down to the business of pointiness, it retains all the lovely hallmarks of the 3 hatch. Which means sure-footed handling, competent, capable and predictable chassis balance and great steering, if lacking a little feel.

The important thing to note here is that though the rear bench still isn't as capacious as you'd like, the boot is cavernous: it's 55 litres bigger than the hatch and therefore much more practical.
With good economy, a smooth and supple ride and a decent interior (if a little so-so in places), this is a great alternative to the Ford Focus and VW Golf. And cheaper than those pesky Germans. Make sure it's on your shortlist.

Vijay Pattni

The Numbers

2191cc, 4cyl diesel, FWD, 148bhp, 280lb ft, 72.4mpg, 104g/km CO2, 0-62mph in 8.0secs, 132mph, 1383kg, £22,145

The Verdict

Good looks, an honest drive and practical, too. We're very impressed with how the Mazda3 Fastback compares with its German rivals.

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