Mazda 3 review - talented family hatch, but lacks sparkle - Interior and tech

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

While the Mazda3's cabin isn't quite as polished an environment as, say, the Volkswagen Golf's, it is massively better than its predecessor's, both in terms of soft-touch tactility and design. Though it is quite a sombre cabin unless you specify beige leather upholstery.

Nonetheless, it's thoroughly modern in its design and technology used. It was the first Mazda to use the new generation MZD Connect infotainment system, featuring a stylish colour display screen high up on the dashboard (it's a touchscreen interface, but one you don't have to use), an easy to work rotary control, extra information read-outs in the main instruments and even a head-up display feature.

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!

Crucially for the modern buyer it interfaces seamlessly with smartphones and its functionality can be extended further depending on apps installed on the connected phone. The layout is neat too - the seats comfortable, the driving environment sporty (some models place the rev counter front and centre, like it is on an MX-5) and a simple layout that keeps distracting buttons to a minimum.

In terms of interior space, the Mazda3 is better than average for the class, despite a reduction in height for this model in comparison to its predecessor. The boot is a bit smaller than the Golf's (364- vs. 380 litres) in the conventional Mazda3 hatchback, but the 'Fastback' model - effectively a stylish take on the four-door saloon genre - swallows a considerable 419 litres of luggage.

Most Popular

2021 Land Rover Discovery 5 updated with fresh tech and engines
Land Rover Discovery

2021 Land Rover Discovery 5 updated with fresh tech and engines

Updated Discovery receives latest JLR engines and re-emphasises its family focus
10 Nov 2020
2021 BMW iX revealed – the next big leap towards BMW’s BEV future
BMW

2021 BMW iX revealed – the next big leap towards BMW’s BEV future

500bhp all-electric SUV leads the charge for BMW’s EV range expansion
11 Nov 2020
BMW M550i 2020 review – the M Performance 5-series has arrived, was it worth the wait?
BMW 5 Series

BMW M550i 2020 review – the M Performance 5-series has arrived, was it worth the wait?

A desirable balance of performance and control, beautifully built and charismatic. One of BMW’s best
12 Nov 2020
Cheap BMW M3? E46, E92 and F80 go head-to-head
BMW M3 saloon

Cheap BMW M3? E46, E92 and F80 go head-to-head

You might require a second mortgage to buy an E30 BMW M3, but fear not, as there are equally appealing M Power options that won’t test your credit sco…
14 Nov 2020