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Mazda3 Skyactiv-G — long-term review

Where's my calculator?

Specification:
Skyactiv-G GT Sport
Engine:
1998cc, 4cyl, FWD, 120bhp, 157lb ft
Claimed MPG:
44.8mpg, 119g/km CO2
Performance:
0-62mph in 10.4secs, 122mph
Weight:
1439kg
Price:
£24,595 OTR/£25,385 as tested/£237pcm

What’s the point of tyre pressure sensors if everytime the ambient temperature dips below 10 degrees celsius (we’re in England, in winter. That’s EVERY day), they insist that one or more of your tyres are punctured? Yep - much in the same way it thought it was averaging 31mpg, the Mazda is very much of the opinion I’m driving around on several flats. I’ve spent all of this month searching out the TPMS reset button, only to discover there isn’t one. 

On my travels around the infotainment system, though, I did discover something rather interesting buried deep in a settings menu: the option to turn off the bong if you depress the brake and accelerator pedals at the same time. Most ordinary cars either have a bong or just cut power if you try and left-foot brake. With this option disabled the Mazda does neither. Were this a proper performance car or even a hot hatch, that would make us very happy indeed. In a family hatchback? At least it shows Mazda’s commitment to building cars for people who enjoy driving. 

Anyway - the results of our fuel experiment are in, and the news is good. After 2,000 miles of meticulous maths, the 3 averaged a TG-verified 44.1mpg - pretty much exactly what Mazda claims it’s capable of. The best mpg we’ve seen is 50.2mpg - after an especially motorway-y week - and the furthest we’ve managed to run on a single tank of fuel, before bottling it and topping up, is 443 miles. In town it does around 35mpg.

Good numbers, which prove that a), the 3’s trip computer was having a bit of a moment (it seems to be behaving itself again) and b), Mazda’s decision to steer clear of small but highly-strung turbocharged engines is totally valid. 

This is my last report on the 3. Next month I’ll be handing the keys to TG TV’s Script Editor Sam Philip, who has actual children and can therefore report on the rear seats, boot and other such practical things I have of course neglected. The plan was for us to swap into a more or less identical Skyactiv-X car, but of course Mazda has just launched its CX-30 crossover, a car that could well become its best-seller. It too is available with the Skyactiv-X motor, so we’ll be running one of those instead. Watch this space. 

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