Mazda3 Seat Leon - Leon 2.0 Tdi vs Mazda 3 2.0 Tdi - logger

Looking for a mid size hatchback for my wife that is reasonably quick and frugal and stylish. She likes the Leon and the Mazda3

We have around £3k so for that money I guess it would be probably around 06-08 reg and 80k+ miles on the clock.

Any expert advice on the 2 ( presuming FSH and obvious other checks )


Mazda3 Seat Leon - Leon 2.0 Tdi vs Mazda 3 2.0 Tdi - bazza

Neither are good buys, both diesels have a poor reliability reputation. Mazda's reputation for diesel is very poor indeed. You woud be far safer looking at the petrol options. Diesels of that age can be a big money pit. The best of its generation is the VAG 1.9 tdi, but all cars of that age are likely to come with things that need doing. Check the car by car review section for masses of information on these two models. Most on here would probably advise the Mazda 3 in petrol format, with a decent service history.

Mazda3 Seat Leon - Leon 2.0 Tdi vs Mazda 3 2.0 Tdi - logger

Thanks for that

We certainly do not have an aversion to petrol..more than happy..but 'realistically' would want 40+mpg round town...and my wife says it should look stylish ..haha

Mazda3 Seat Leon - Leon 2.0 Tdi vs Mazda 3 2.0 Tdi - SLO76
If you're on a limited budget I'd advise against a turbo diesel, there's just too much to go wrong and at this age, mileage and price it almost certainly will. Do you really need a diesel? What sort of mileage are you doing in a year and is it mostly distance or local driving?

The VAG 2.0 of this vintage has a poor reputation (and not to be mistaken with the tough earlier 1.9 PD unit) and the 1.6 PSA in 99% of diesel 3's is a nightmare worth avoiding. The 2.0 (also a PSA motor) is often mistaken for the Ford 2.0 in the Mk I Mazda 6 but is a vastly better engine. It does suffer from the same old maladies all modern diesels do particularly DPF problems but it's a nice thing to drive since it shares most of its suspension components and floorpan with the MK II Ford Focus.

I really wouldn't recommend buying anything with a DPF and would suggest sticking with a far less complex and vastly more dependable petrol engine. The 3 is a great wee car to drive, I've bought and sold a few of them without problems and currently have one as a runabout I took as a part ex with 117k that drives great. Not fast but handles brilliantly and has one of the nicest gearchanges.

If you're doing less than 10k a year the difference between a petrol and a diesel will only be £250-£300 a year and not worth the extra risk or initial outlay. You can get a good tidy petrol 3 for £1,000 and if the 1.6 isn't quick enough then look for a 2.0 Sport which isn't much worse on fuel and is no dearer to buy.

There is always the 2.3 MPS which is a monster but again very complex. Rust is the biggest enemy with these and seized brake callipers are common on lightly used cars. If you were near me I'd offer you mine for £600 (it has a bit of rust on the rear arches) and I'd happily drive it round Europe tomorrow. I sold it to the last owner 7yrs ago and it's never went wrong. I'd certainly recommend one to anybody, but not the diesel.

Edited by SLO76 on 07/01/2017 at 21:32


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