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Mazda 3

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Since taking over from the popular 323 back in 2004 the Mazda 3 has been through several iterations. Today we’re taking the latest offering for a spin.

Initially there’s not much of a difference from the last model, this is more of an upgrade that a complete change, but it’s the little things that count. The front end looks a lot smoother, giving it a more sporty feel. The new alloy wheels also boast a sportier existence.

On the inside there have been some updates, most noticeably in the model I was testing were the heated seats and integrated handsfree kit. Actually I was quite impressed with the handsfree kit, it’s one of the best voice activated systems I’ve used in any car. The cabin is spacious with enough room in the boot for a small village! I was very impressed with the handling of car. The Sports Edition suspension holds really well when cornering with very little body roll. The seats have great support and add to the planeted feel as you corner. One other thing I noticed was how quiet the road noise was in comparison to its predecessor, Mazda have put a lot of work into improving this and it shows.

The seating position felt a little high for me and the gear lever has a kink in to to bring it closer to the driver, these two combinations made the drive ever so slightly un-natural for me, but other than that I couldn’t really fault it.

It’s available in both a 4-door saloon and a 5-door hatchback and comes in 4 different specs: Comfort, Executive, Sport and Sport SE. The emissions CO₂ are 115g/km meaning you’re in rad tax bank A and prices start at €19,795.

All in all I enjoyed my time with the new Mazda 3. It’s sporty yet comfortable, practical yet nimble and with a price tag starting from €19,750 it offers great bang for your buck.