What should I be paying?
The standard kit list for the 3 is impressive. Every model has a head-up display, radar cruise, LED headlights, sat nav and Apple CarPlay/Android auto.
Upgrade one step from base SE-L to SE-L Lux and for another £1,100 you add a reversing camera, keyless system and heated seats. And the quality of all these features is exemplary. It’s not necessarily uncommon to find them on the feature list of cars in this class, but all too often the graphics are poor or the functionality limited. Not here. There’s a sense that Mazda’s engineers and design teams have worked tirelessly to ensure that everything works to the best of its ability.
Overall pricing is competitive. The SE-L Mazda 3 is as well equipped as a Ford Focus costing £1,500 more, and lease costs are likely to be competitive based on the reliability and quality of existing Mazdas. The engines should be just as efficient as the smaller turbocharged Ecoboost motor Ford uses, too. Expect around 40 and 50mpg in daily driving - maybe more still from the SkyActiv-X engine if you're regularly on motorways and in no hurry to overtake.
The question is, who will buy it? Younger buyers will probably want something with more spring in its step, more spark and edge. Families are going to want more space. Which leaves the 3 to exploit an older demographic who want a simpler, more easily understood car.