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The New Mazda 3

The new Mazda 3 The 2014 Mazda 3 is the manufacturers update to their previous successful 3, updated with sleeker curves and a better interior in order to compete with similar hatchbacks, directly taking on the likes of the Vauxhall Astra, Kia Ceed and Seat Leon.  Updated from the ground up, the new Mazda 3 uses similar sleek styling cues from the recently launched Mazda 6, described as the “signature Mazda face”, which uses a wider stance and winged grills.  Weight has also been reduced to offer better handling and better performance from both the five door hatch and four door saloon versions and will be available from the GK Group at their dealership in Mansfield.

The 2014 Mazda 3 interiorThe spacious interior is classier than previous incarnations, using low slung torso hugging seats with result in generous headroom.  It’s interior dials and controls and feel solid when used and look uncluttered and robust.  Taller rear passengers will have comfortable leg room but may suffer from limited headroom due to the sloping roof at the back.  The Mazda 3′s boot is a good size (350 litres) and only a fraction smaller than that of a Golf hatch with the seats up or folded down.

Mazda claims to offer internet access in the car via a connected smartphone, accessed via a floating central screen and controller.  The rotary controller, similar to that of the BMW iDrive, might be set a little too far back to feel comfortable and natural to operate for some though.  Mazda also offers a collision detection system and active cruise control to help keep the vehicle a safe distance from the car in front, incorporating a forward warning system and blind spot monitor.  All Mazda 3s models come with six airbags and ESP as standard.

The new Mazda 3 will come in four engine flavours:

  • a new 99bhp 1.5-litre petrol
  • a 2.0 litre petrol (with either 118 or 162bhp)
  • a 148bhp 2.2 diesel

The new Mazda 3's signature Mazda faceThere will be a six-speed manual gearbox on all cars in the range, with a six-speed automatic box will be available as an option on the turbo diesel and the 118bhp 2.0-litre petrol.  The 2.2 litre turbo-diesel offers the balance compromise between economy and performance, a great drive due to its extra grunt, capable at most revs (especially mid-range) and avoids the need to excessive gear changes.

When driving, the Mazda 3 handles well due to its reduced weight and steering that’s tight and sharp, but similarly light for parking in tight spaces.  Well balanced suspension and wider chassis offer good grip when cornering add to a car that feels solid and agile on the road.  Although the ride is pretty firm, the suspension damping does a good job of easing the lumps and bumps on the UK’s roads when combined to higher profile types.

The 2014 Mazda 3's boot is a good size (350 litres) The new Mazda 3 is larger than its previous model (approximately 4 inches longer than the Ford Focus) also offering a more spacious interior however it can’t match the Volkswagen Golf on interior space and overall build quality.  However the improved interior design, good looks and the great way the car eats up the roads with a fun drive more than compensate for the cheaper feel.  The Mazda 3 has generally been considered a bit of an outsider historically but this latest model has the looks, the technology, the quality and the driving experience to really take on its leading competitors.

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