24 Mazda 3: Subtle facelift improves familiar model

The latest 3 combines the quality of the Golf with the reliability of a Toyota Auris

The 1.5 diesel is a peach of an engine, with equal amounts thrust and silence and it’s pretty handsome for a family car

The 1.5 diesel is a peach of an engine, with equal amounts thrust and silence and it’s pretty handsome for a family car

 

Here’s another Mazda that pops back into the plastic surgeon more often than the late, great Joan Rivers and yet we never seem to notice.

The 3 has been just recently updated again, and yet you’ll need a magnifying glass and a degree in anorak wearing to spot the visual changes. Mazda’s torque-sensing G-Vectoring Control, which makes subtle interventions to grant the 3 sharper handling, and systems to make the diesel engines more quiet will need a Haynes’s guide to fully decode.

None of that matters. What matters is that the 3 was and is a really impressive family hatchback, one that combines the quality of the Golf with the reliability of a Toyota Auris and the sharp chassis of the Focus. The 1.5 diesel is a peach of an engine, with equal amounts thrust and silence and it’s pretty handsome (albeit a bit pricey too) for a family car.

Price range: €22,995 to €31,465

Co2 emissions: 99 to 127g/km

Which one? 1.5 diesel is the one to have, although 2.2 diesel is seriously torquey.

PCP: from €249 per month