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Mazda 3 (2009–2013)

Last updated 26 December 2018

Stylish looks. Excellent steering and handling. Good quality interior. Impressive 2.2-litre chain cam diesel engine. Facelifted for 2012 and even better.
Slightly less spacious inside than old Mazda 3. 1.6 petrol gives ordinary performance. Lot of injector problems occurring with Ford 1.6 turbodiesel. ATE/Teves Mk 60 ABS/ESP module problems.
Updated 23 December 2018

Report of engine management light on in 2009 Mazda 3 1.6 petrol at 88,000 miles. Suspect maybe a failing oil pump. Happily, when put through diagnostics showed Fault Code P2187: fuel mixture lean. Caused...

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Development of the Mazda 3 and the Ford Focus always went hand in glove. They share engines, suspension and steering, though not mutually inclusively. Sometimes Ford has been ahead with one component. Sometimes Mazda. What can't be denied is that both cars have been steadily improved. And now, for the new Mazda 3, it's Mazda's turn to be first with the upgraded suspension.

Upfront, the mounting span is increased by 20mm, a stronger crossmember tower has been introduced, the cross arm made thicker and the crossmember bushing optimised for better lateral rigidity. Round the back the multilink ‘control blade' suspension has acquired a stronger centre member.

The result is a car that not only rides better, but also steers and handles better than it did before. Better, even, than my Focus III ECOnetic, which I reckon previously set the standard. And vastly better than the Golf Mk IV, particularly in the steering department.

Mazda talked a lot about styling, and while you may have your own opinion about the smiley new front, I think most eyes will be pleased with the profile of the hatch, the rear end of which remains unmistakably Mazda 3. The slightly more rigid, more aerodynamic saloon isn't quite as rumptious, but it's fine in profile.

Mazda 3 2009 Road Test and Video

Mazda 3 MPS 2010 Road Test and Video

Mazda 3 2012 Facelift Road Test

Owners' reviews

Excellent to drive, average mileage. Awful sat nav and other quality issues..
Generally very pleased , comfortable and lots of little extras for me to play with.
Great fun car to drive, lots of extra's and pretty good fuel economy
Suitably impressed so far, but the year is still young.
A potentially good car with reliability failings and very bad dealer experience over nearly 19 years.
Worthy but Uninvolving
List Price from £20,590
Buy new from £18,073
Contract hire from £184.80 per month

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