Mazda 3 review - talented family hatch, but lacks sparkle - Design

Mazda's C-segment contender should be taken seriously

Evo rating
Price
from £17,095
  • Good refinement, space, tech and diesel engine
  • Question mark about residual values, base models not so attractive

The designer of the Mazda3 used to design shoes for a living - true story - and we reckon there's something of the running shoe about the profile of the hatchback model. Squint and it's a little too reminiscent of the current (and lacklustre) Subaru Impreza hatchback for our liking, but in a bright colour, on 18-inch alloys, it does look smart - especially so in Sport Nav specification, where the jewel-like lights help it stand out, preventing it from falling into the age-old Japanese school of bland car design.

Although the Fastback won't find as many buyers as the hatchback we reckon it's the better resolved shape - and it's more aerodynamic too to the benefit of economy, speed and refinement. And viewed from the front, either car is easy on the eye, replicating Mazda's current family look with its five-point grille and slim headlights.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

It's a pity there's no immediate evidence of an MPS version on the way - given the basic shape is already fairly attractive, a hot model to challenge the Golf GTI and Ford Focus ST could look fantastic. Best save up for that BBR package, instead.

Most Popular

Hyundai i20 N revealed – 200bhp supermini ready for some Ford Fiesta ST baiting
Hyundai i20 hatchback

Hyundai i20 N revealed – 200bhp supermini ready for some Ford Fiesta ST baiting

Long-awaited second N division model set to shake up the junior hot hatch establishment
20 Oct 2020
£153,000 ​Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA enters final stages of development
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

£153,000 ​Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA enters final stages of development

Alfa Romeo has put its F1 drivers behind the wheel of the Giulia GTA and GTAm ahead of production in 2021
20 Oct 2020
Volkswagen Golf GTI 2020 review – eight generations new, the GTI still has the goods
Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf GTI 2020 review – eight generations new, the GTI still has the goods

A very good hot hatch, but a great Golf GTI, the new mk8 excels where required to form a very desirable offering
19 Oct 2020
SSC Tuatara hypercar hits 331mph, making it the world’s fastest production car
News

SSC Tuatara hypercar hits 331mph, making it the world’s fastest production car

Over a decade after SSC last entered the record books, its Tuatara has claimed the title of world’s fastest production car
19 Oct 2020