What first attracted me to this car was the look of the sedan. This is the better proportioned vehicle of this design philosophy. Considering the same engine is used in the Mazda 6, this model provides a better performance and economy which is more than adequate without being considered a sport machine.
Economy around town is 9 litres which will drop to 7.5 with effort on the country runs.
The biggest bug bear with the Mazda 3 is road noise. This on coarse chip can even drown out anything other than 75% of available volume. I thought I would get used to this but it can get very tiring.
Motor, stop/start system, gearbox and brakes are all very commendable. Not so commendable are the optional parking sensors which at this time have a fault unfixed by 2 dealers.
Interiors look good but under closer inspection reveal a lot of hard plastics. Heads up display is just a bit of gimmick as it is to close to the main display and becomes irrelevant. Seats are good without being great and has a good range of adjustment on both seat and steering wheel.Front passenger does not get all electric adjustment like drivers.
This a well built town car with a good turning circle easy to park and drive with good mechanicals but has some short comings in materials.
I have found that in the wet front wheel drive understeer is extremely noticeable to the point of being a concern. Standard tyres are good in dry conditions but not in wet.