8: Mazda 3 – now offering premium-class cabins for mass-market prices
Top cars for 2020: The 2.0-litre mild-hybrid is the best all-rounder
Mazda has been knocking it out of the park of late and the new 3 is arguably the pinnacle of that process, especially in five-door hatchback form.
It’s good inside too with tremendous quality and comfort. It’s not too much of a stretch to suggest that Mazda is now offering premium-class cabins for mass-market prices. And, yes, it’s fun to drive with talkative steering and the sort of chassis balance you’d expect from a company that also makes the MX-5.
The 2.0-litre mild-hybrid is the best all-rounder, although long-haul drivers will appreciate the extra economy of 1.8 diesel. The jury’s still out on the high-tech ‘SkyActiv-X’ engine which supposedly mixes petrol refinement and cleanliness with diesel economybut it’s definitely promising.
Best model: Mazda 3 2.0 M Hybrid five-door GT for €31,670.
Price range: €28,320 to €37,920. Finance from €279 per month.
Co2 emissions: 131 to 142g/km.
Sum up: Mazda puts it up to premium rivals