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Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review:Mazda Mazda3

Overall verdict
Buy without regret: the 3 drives as well as it looks. Very nicely balanced indeed.


Lots of kit, different and fun to drive


Space isn't so clever in the back, down-sized rivals better its emissions


What is it?

Mazda’s Golf, which means that, for recognition in Europe, the 3 has got to try hard. Throw the Ford Focus, the Vauxhall Astra and a host of trickle-down premium upstarts in the small family hatchback category and its job is harder still.

So the Japanese firm has gone bold, the 3’s styling being in the standout sphere, even if the long bonnet and bulbous rear do look a touch clown shoe from some angles. Mazda has thrown everything at it too, bucking the current convention for down-sized powerplants with an engine range that it says is ‘right-sized’, while the standard equipment list on even entry-level cars is extensive.

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
2.2d SE 5dr
8.1s 107g/km 68.9 150
The greenest
1.5d SE-L Nav 5dr
11.0s 99g/km 74.3 105
Continue: Driving