Mazda 3 (2014 – 2019) Review

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Mazda 3 (2014 – 2019) At A Glance

Good looking and well engineered. Efficient engines. Excellent steering and handling, better still from 2017 revamp. Compliant suspension.

No DAB radio at launch (DAB arrived for 2017 MY).

Insurance Groups are between 13–25
On average it achieves 76% of the official MPG figure

With its interesting, stylish looks, the latest Mazda3 is bound to draw attention – but it’s not all style and no substance. A well-made cabin, decent practicality, strong engines and excellent driving dynamics combine to make the Mazda3 a strong contender in a busy class, taking on rivals like the Volkswagen Golf and SEAT Leon.

There are more petrol engines than diesels, kicking off with a 100PS 1.5-litre. There is also a 2.0-litre with either 120PS or 165PS, plus one diesel variant – a 2.2-litre with 150PS. This high-tech engine offers official economy of 68.9mpg and emissions of 107g/km, despite its 150PS power output and 8.1 second 0-62mph time.

Performance is impressive across all engines, petrol or diesel. With the exception of the entry-level 1.5-litre engine, all of the manual Mazda3 variants clock impressive acceleration numbers and offer good in-gear performance thanks to useful torque outputs at low engine speeds.

The enjoyable performance pairs with the nicely weighted, accurate steering, well-judged suspension and smooth gear change to make for a very enjoyable car. Through a series of corners the Mazda3 remains comfortable yet controlled, with little body roll and a good sense of connection to the road. Enthusiastic drivers will enjoy it.

Practicality is generally fairly good – rear legroom is plentiful, though headroom could be better. Boot space lags behind the Volkswagen Golf, but it is no means bad at 350 litres. There are plenty of little storage areas in the cabin, while up front the layout is simple and easy to get to grips with. Material quality is very good – the Mazda3 feels like a quality car.

For someone who wants to stand out from the usual crowd of Volkswagen Golfs and Vauxhall Astras the Mazda3 is a great choice. It offers all the impressive quality of rivals like the Golf, plus it has strong engines and excellent driving dynamics, making it easy to recommend. 

Looking for a Mazda 3 (2014 - 2019)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Real MPG average for a Mazda 3 (2014 – 2019)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

76%

Real MPG

30–61 mpg

MPGs submitted

827

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

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Ask Honest John

Could you recommend a ULEZ compliant car?
"We need a ULEZ-compliant car that's comfortable for longer journeys on the motorway. Our budget is £8000. We had been looking at a Ford Focus Ecoboost but now fear these engines are not suited to travelling longer distances. We are open to all suggestions."
If you use your car for lots long journeys then a Euro6 diesel will probably suit your needs best. It will be exempt from the ULEZ charge and provide low fuel costs. Given your budget, I'd recommend the Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC diesel:https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/honda/civic-2012/ If you only use your car for lots of short trips (and only the occasional long journey) then a petrol will be better. I'd go with the Mazda 3 Skyactiv 2.0 petrol: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/mazda/3-2014
Answered by Dan Powell
What's the best medium-sized automatic petrol car for £15,000?
"I am looking for a medium-sized automatic petrol car for £15,000?"
We'd recommend the Honda Civic. £15,000 will get a second-hand example of the latest (2017-) model with the reliable CVT automatic transmission. It's very practical. Also consider a Mazda 3.
Answered by Andrew Brady
The turbo has failed on my car - and despite being replaced it won't go above 60mph?
"A couple of weeks ago my Mazda 3 1.6 diesel died on the motorway. It was towed to a local independent garage, where £800 later the turbo was replaced, the DPF was filled with fluid and regenerated and the oil and oil filter replaced. It ran okay after that for about two days, but then went into limp mode began. The garage attempted a regeneration again but when they came to the final stage of the process, the computer wouldn't allow the regeneration, saying the car does not have a DPF? I am now left with a car that is just about driveable, in limp mode, not revving above 3000rpm or going above 60mph. It also takes far longer than it should do, to gain speed at lower mph and my local garages haven't a clue what to do with it. Three different professionals say they've never seen anything like this before?"
The usual reason for turbo failure is oil starvation to the turbo bearing because the bearing oil feed and oil return pipes have become choked with carbon. So if these pipes were not replaced when the turbo was replaced, the new turbo will fail in the same way.
Answered by Honest John
What automatic petrol car would you suggest for a 70 mile commute?
"I would welcome your advice on what nearly new cars to consider buying. My company is moving and I will have to drive 70 miles to and from work with short journeys the rest of the week. My budget is up to £17k and I want a comfortable reliable economic petrol automatic that I can climb out of after two hours without feeling crippled."
We'd be tempted by a Honda Civic 1.0 CVT but it has a timing belt rather than a chain. The Mazda 3 would be another sensible choice, with a chain rather than a belt. Also consider the Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Golf.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Mazda 3 (2014 – 2019) cost?

Buy new from £18,486 (list price from £21,800)
Contract hire from £199.87 per month