2014 Mazda 3 Review : LT4
  • Automatic transmission a star that gets the most out of the 2.0-litre; good ride quality and broad seats; freeway economy; Pandora apps connectivity with standard nav
  • 2.0-litre engine buzzy and characterless; ride should be more plush on chubby 16s; clacky air-con controls and annoying lights-on beeper; coarse-chip road noise

OUR RATING
8 / 10

Most Recent reviews

2014 Mazda 3 Review : LT4

It couldn’t have worked out any more perfectly – as we concluded our six months with our long-term Mazda 3, we had done almost exactly the average number of kilometres Australians drive in the most popular privately bought car in the country...

Recent Mazda 3 News & Reviews
Mazda 3 Maxx Review
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Mazda 3 Maxx Review

The Mazda 3 is the most popular privately purchased car in Australia and has not only proven itself a dependable performer since going on sale last year – it’s also more comfortable and tech-savvy than ever before.

You can get the Mazda 3 in a sedan, or as we have here, a hatchback...


2015 Mazda 3 SP25 Astina Review
Rating: 910 /10
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2015 Mazda 3 SP25 Astina Review

As one of Australia’s most popular cars, the Mazda 3 has a mighty reputation to uphold. I wasn’t entirely convinced with the last Mazda 3 I drove. I was behind the wheel of the Mazda 3 Touring and, while the interior packaging and fit and finish was excellent, it was let down by a slightly lethargic engine...

Priced At
$36,190

Mazda 3 Neo : Boss defends lack of reverse-view camera; says kids shouldn't be on driveways
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Mazda 3 Neo : Boss defends lack of reverse-view camera; says kids shouldn't be on driveways

The boss of Mazda Australia has defended his company’s decision not to equip the entry-level Mazda 3 with a standard reverse-view camera, saying that drivers need to take more care and parents need to keep children out of driveways...


2015 Mazda 3 pricing and specifications : Features up, prices down by up to $1150
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2015 Mazda 3 pricing and specifications : Features up, prices down by up to $1150

All variants in the 2015 Mazda 3 range have either been repositioned with lower prices or gained extra standard features as the Japanese brand continues its aggressive start to the year. Price cuts of between $600 and $1150 apply to all Mazda 3 sedan and hatch variants from the second-tier Maxx up, while the entry-level Neo gains over $1200 in value while retaining its previous pricing...


Mazda 3 Review : LT3
Rating: 810 /10
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Mazda 3 Review : LT3

If you’ve followed the first two updates on our Mazda 3 Maxx long-termer (read them here and here), you’ll know that the very fact that I’m writing this third instalment rather than the car’s official custodian, Dan, is significant...

Priced At
$24,990

Small car comparison : Mazda 3 v Peugeot 308 v Volkswagen Golf
201
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Small car comparison : Mazda 3 v Peugeot 308 v Volkswagen Golf

Definitions shift over time, none more so in the automotive landscape than with the term ‘people’s car’. What once referred to a German Beetle, French 2CV or an Indian Tata bringing motoring to their respective masses can also be placed in an Australian context...


Mazda 3 Review : LT2
Rating: 7.510 /10
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Mazda 3 Review : LT2

Eight weeks driving a car is usually enough to move from the getting-to-know-you phase of ownership and into the familiar settling-in stage – but not with our long-term Mazda 3. As it turns out so far, the Mazda 3 Maxx automatic hatchback instantly felt familiar, and it continues with no surprises along the way and no disappointing shocks either...


Audi A3 COD v Mazda 3 XD Astina : Comparison review
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Audi A3 COD v Mazda 3 XD Astina : Comparison review

Not long ago the price difference between a Japanese small car and a premium-badged German was sizeable. Not too far into the past, either, diesel engines trumped petrols for fuel efficiency. Yet here we have the Mazda 3 XD Astina that is the flagship of the popular small car range, priced from $42,220 plus on-road costs in automatic form, running a twin-turbo diesel that claims to drink 5...


Mazda 3 Review : LT1
Rating: 810 /10
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Mazda 3 Review : LT1

The Mazda 3 is the most popular privately purchased car in Australia and to the Japanese brand’s forecast around 40 per cent of those buyers will choose the entry-level $20,490 Neo grade.   Apparently only 10 per cent of buyers will make the jump to the $22,990 Mazda 3 Maxx grade, but we implore them to for the step up in connectivity alone...

Priced At
$24,990

Sporty small hatch comparison : Mazda 3 v Ford Focus v Holden Cruze v Hyundai i30 v Nissan Pulsar
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Sporty small hatch comparison : Mazda 3 v Ford Focus v Holden Cruze v Hyundai i30 v Nissan Pulsar

Almost anyone can throw on a pair of gym shorts and runners and look reasonably sporting in the checkout line at Coles, and the same is true with cars – the addition of alloy wheels, a spoiler and foglights can suddenly make your small hatchback look at least a bit athletic. As ever, though, it's the muscles beneath the clothes that counts...


Mazda 3 Review : XD Astina diesel
Rating: 7.510 /10
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Mazda 3 Review : XD Astina diesel

It’s all about red lip gloss on the front grille and a twin-turbo diesel behind it with the Mazda 3 XD Astina, the new flagship of the Japanese brand’s ultra-popular small car. Red signifies sportiness, and the application of it on a front grille has, for example, distanced arch-rival the Volkswagen Golf GTI from more prosaic models for decades...

Priced At
$40,230 - $42,230

Mazda 3 XD Astina : 420Nm diesel launches from $40,230
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Mazda 3 XD Astina : 420Nm diesel launches from $40,230

Mazda Australia has launched a new flagship grade of its small car and most popular model, the Mazda 3 XD Astina, priced from $40,230. That’s for the six-speed manual version of the 2.2-litre twin-turbocharged diesel model that is available in a single range-topping grade and hatchback variant, with a six-speed automatic the only ($2000) option...


Mazda 3 SP25 v Renault Megane GT-Line : Comparison review
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Mazda 3 SP25 v Renault Megane GT-Line : Comparison review

Getting warmer… warmer… warmer. Perfect. Not everybody wants a hot hatch. But at the same time, a run-of-the-mill small car that ticks all the practical boxes but lacks a little zing doesn’t do it for some either. Luckily there are a host of small hatchbacks that straddle between these two markets, offering a few cheap thrills without going overboard...


Mazda 3 Diesel Review : XD Astina
Rating: 8.510 /10
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Mazda 3 Diesel Review : XD Astina

The Mazda 3 diesel will start to nudge Mazda’s small car into the premium pricing territory when it arrives locally in September/October of this year. Based on the top-spec Astina ($36,190), the diesel should demand a price close to $40,000 (Mazda generally charges a $3000 premium for diesels), which puts it dangerously close to the likes of BMW 1 Series and Audi A3 sportback (both from $35,600 in petrol guise)...


Mazda 3 diesel coming to Australia in September
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Mazda 3 diesel coming to Australia in September

A diesel-powered Mazda 3 hatchback has been confirmed to go on sale locally in September. Mazda had previously ruled out an oil-burning variant due to an apparent lack of demand, but the Japanese company has now confirmed the new diesel model - known as the Mazda 3 XD Astina - will make it to market after all. The new model is powered by the same 2...


Mazda 3 celebrity challenge race proves a winner
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Mazda 3 celebrity challenge race proves a winner

This year’s Mazda 3 celebrity race challenge played an important part of the Japanese company’s plans for the popular small car’s launch in Australia. Following on from the carnage-riddled 2013 Mazda 6 celebrity race challenge, Mazda Australia this year opted to pit a bunch of celebrities against one another at Albert Park in the newly launched Mazda 3...


Small Car Comparison : Toyota Corolla v Mazda 3 v Holden Cruze v Hyundai Elantra
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Small Car Comparison : Toyota Corolla v Mazda 3 v Holden Cruze v Hyundai Elantra

Small sedans are generally not quite as popular as small hatchbacks in Australia. The newly released Toyota Corolla sedan is expected to snare only a 20 per cent share of the nameplate’s sales this year, while the Hyundai Elantra is outsold by its i30 sibling five-to-one...


2014 Mazda 3 Neo Review
Rating: 810 /10
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2014 Mazda 3 Neo Review

The 2014 Mazda 3 could be the country’s best-selling car this year, and the entry-level Neo model tested here is the one that most buyers will choose. Mazda says about 40 per cent of purchases will buy the Neo, which starts at $20,490. The vast majority of those will be optioned with a six-speed automatic transmission (which adds $2000 to the price), but we tested the price-leading six-speed manual five-door hatchback...

Priced At
$20,490

Mazda 3 v Volkswagen Golf : Comparison Review
111
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Mazda 3 v Volkswagen Golf : Comparison Review

The new third-generation Mazda 3 has arrived, and there's little doubt it will be a hit with buyers. The question harder to answer is whether it can topple the Volkswagen Golf as the top-rated small car in the class. With Volkswagen claiming almost half of all Golf buyers choose the most affordable 90TSI Trendline variant, and Mazda citing a 40 per cent slice of the total pie for its entry-level 3 Neo, it took little time to decide that a base-model showdown would be best...


Mazda 3 : Kuroi pack sports up small car
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Mazda 3 : Kuroi pack sports up small car

Fans longing for an all-new Mazda 3 MPS face an indefinite wait for a new-gen hot-hatch, but in the meantime can order a racy Kuroi styling pack to sport up regular variants of the small car. Available on all grades in both sedan and hatchback body styles, the Kuroi pack (‘black’ in Japanese) adds a number of exterior styling enhancements to the third-generation Mazda 3...


2014 Mazda 3 Review
Rating: 8.510 /10
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2014 Mazda 3 Review

The Mazda 3 lost the title of Australia’s best-selling car in 2013, and the Japanese car manufacturer wants it back. That will mean overtaking the Corolla from Toyota, while to be considered the best small car as well as the most popular, it must better the Volkswagen Golf. This is the third-generation Mazda 3 since the 323 was replaced here in 2004...

Priced At
$20,490 - $38,190

2014 Mazda 3 : The Quick Guide
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2014 Mazda 3 : The Quick Guide

The Mazda 3 has been one of Australia's highest-selling cars since the nameplate emerged in 2004, and was the country's number one vehicle in 2011 and 2012. A decade on, it's looking to reclaim that title after a run-out phase allowed the Toyota Corolla to take victory in 2013...


2014 Mazda 3 : pricing and specifications
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2014 Mazda 3 : pricing and specifications

The third-generation Mazda 3 small car starts a fraction higher than the immediate outgoing model but generally applies lower prices and more equipment throughout the new range. A $20,490 sticker kicks things off for a base model Neo with a manual gearbox, with the furthest end of the spectrum the range-topping SP25 Astina auto that costs $38,190 before on-road costs are added...


Mazda 3 Video Review 2014
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Mazda 3 Video Review 2014

Jez Spinks takes an in-depth look at the all-new Mazda 3 hatch and sedan.


Mazda 3 MPS could get diesel power
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Mazda 3 MPS could get diesel power

A next-generation Mazda 3 MPS could be powered by a diesel engine. Mazda continues to say a hot-hatch version of its third-generation small car is not a priority, though the brand's global boss told Australian media on the eve of the Tokyo motor show that going away from turbo petrol power was an option...


Mazda reveals four-car SEMA show line-up
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Mazda reveals four-car SEMA show line-up

Mazda has previewed four concept cars it plans to unveil at next month's SEMA aftermarket show in Las Vegas. Comprising hatch and sedan versions of the all-new Mazda 3 and two Mazda 6 models, the cars' styling changes can be seen in the images, though the car maker has revealed few other details at this stage...


Mazda 3 Video First Drive
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Mazda 3 Video First Drive

Swap out of the old Mazda 3 and into the new Mazda 3 and it feels as though the fast-forward button has been pressed through not one, but two generations...


Mazda 3: 4.7L/100km natural gas model set for Tokyo
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Mazda 3: 4.7L/100km natural gas model set for Tokyo

A natural gas-powered Mazda 3 will make its world premiere at next month's Tokyo motor show. Set to take its place on Mazda's stand alongside its petrol, diesel and hybrid siblings, the Mazda 3 Skyactiv-CNG concept can run on both petrol and compressed natural gas (CNG). A response to increasing global demand for CNG-powered vehicles, Mazda says the Skyactiv-CNG concept’s dual fuel system utilises the existing 2...


2014 Mazda 3 v old Mazda 3: Comparison Review
Rating: 910 /10
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2014 Mazda 3 v old Mazda 3: Comparison Review

Swap out of the old Mazda 3 and into the new Mazda 3 and it feels as though the fast-forward button has been pressed through not one, but two generations. The new Mazda 3 sedan and hatch range are identical length to the five-year-old models they replace, but the wheelbase extends by 60mm and overhangs are reduced by 35mm front/25mm rear on both bodystyles...