Mazda 3 variants
Total price
Monthly payment
Figures are based on a 20% deposit

Finance representative example (PCP)

Total cash price £16,999. Borrowing £13,599 with a £3,400 deposit at a representative APR of 12.9%.

49 monthly payments
£228.73
Fixed interest rate
12.9%
Total amount payable
£22,494.27
Cost of credit
£5,495.27
Optional final payment
£8,115.00
Annual mileage limit
6000 miles

Mazda 3 buying guide

What Mazda 3 trim levels are there?

The entry-level trim level is the Mazda 3 SE-L, which includes 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, radar cruise control, a host of active safety kit and an 8.8-inch media screen with sat nav, Bluetooth, DAB radio and Apple/Android phone mirroring. Next is SE-L Lux, which adds a reversing camera, heated front seats, two-zone air conditioning and keyless entry.

Sport Lux sits on 18-inch wheels, and also comes with upgraded headlights and daytime running lights, privacy glass and an automatically dimming rear-view mirror. Pick the most powerful engine and you also get a panoramic sunroof.

GT Sport is pretty much the top trim level, adding a heated steering wheel, a powered driver’s seat with leather upholstery and a Bose sound system. The very top-spec GT Sport Tech brings additional driver aids such as a 360-degree camera and rear auto emergency braking.

Mazda 3 interior and technology

You’ll notice that the Mazda 3 doesn’t come with a huge bank of screens like the Mercedes A-Class and Audi A3. There are analogue dials and a screen that almost looks like it’s sinking into the dashboard. It’s not even a touchscreen – you control it using the dial this side of the gear lever. There are lots of physical buttons and dials that feel great to use.

All this is because Mazda thinks touchscreens are distracting – and that is definitely true in cars with poorly thought-out infotainment systems. The Mazda 3’s interior is designed to keep your eyes on the road. From the same school of thought, there aren’t hundreds of drive modes to cycle through. Instead, the car is set up for you to just get in and drive it. It manages to feel both simple and premium.

Mazda’s infotainment system looks crisp and is easy to use, although the standard-fit Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are designed to be touch-operated so they might take some getting used to. The CD player put in earlier examples is something of a retro touch these days.

Mazda 3 engine range explained

(Most popular) Mazda 3 2.0 Skyactiv-G petrol

All recent Mazda 3s come with a 2.0-litre petrol engine, but there are two power outputs to choose from. The Skyactiv-G engine offers 122hp and a respectable if not rapid 0-62mph time of 10.4 seconds. Drive carefully and you can get up to 51mpg, thanks to the car’s relatively light weight and the engine’s cylinder deactivation tech.

Mazda 3 2.0 Skyactiv-X petrol

Mazda’s Skyactiv-X engine uses tech borrowed from diesel engines to make it very economical. So despite being a supercharged 2.0-litre petrol engine with 186hp, it’s capable of 54mpg. It knocks nearly 2.5 seconds off the lower-powered engine’s 0-62mph time, helping the 3 feel much more eager.

Both engines come with a choice of manual and automatic gearboxes. The auto is a little slower and a little less economical, but it’ll probably be the preferred option if you spend a lot of time in stop-start traffic.

FAQs

The latest Mazda 3 is the fourth-generation car, and has been on sale since 2019. The vast majority of cars sold in the UK are five-door hatchbacks, although Mazda also sells a four-door saloon version. The saloon comes with nearly the same trim level line-up as the hatchback but only comes with the more powerful engine.

At over 4.4 metres long, the Mazda 3 is one of the longer cars in the family hatchback class. But it’s not one of the most practical choices – blame its pretty styling for that. Taller adults will find their heads brushing against the roof in the rear seats, and they may find their knees brushing the front seatbacks. The 330-litre boot is around 50 litres down on a VW Golf or Ford Focus, but slightly more than a 2.0-litre Toyota Corolla.

If you can stretch to the slightly higher insurance costs, we’d recommend going for the Skyactiv-X petrol engine. It’s faster, cleverer and more economical than the Skyactiv-G engine, and suits the Mazda 3’s premium feel.

Yes, the Mazda 3 is a really interesting alternative to the likes of a Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. It's not the most practical choice but is one of the most stylish, and has a premium interior with (whisper it) better build quality than a Mercedes A-Class. The engines are a little different, too, and the range-topping Skyactiv-X petrol engine is both powerful and very economical.

The Mazda 3 is a reliable choice, especially if you pick a car with Mazda's proven Skyactiv-G petrol engine. Mazda finished as the seventh best-rated brand in the 2023 Driver Power survey, with reliability and styling among the strong ratings.

The Mazda 3's petrol engines have a maximum braked towing capacity of 1,300kg, so they're only suitable for towing a very small caravan.

Data suggests that the Mazda 3 will retain between 46% and 49% of its initial value after three years or 36,000 miles, which is on a par with the Cupra Leon but a little lower than the Audi A3.