Mazda 3 video review

Is this the hatchback you should all buy?

By Shahzad Sheikh

Mazda 3

I was supposed to test this car a year ago, but somehow it got sidetracked and it’s only now that we’ve got our hands on it. So was it worth the wait? Well, click below to watch my video review on the Mazda 3 now.

Every time I see it I keep thinking it’s an Italian car – maybe it’s because of the deep red hue of the body, maybe it’s the sinewy lines, or maybe it’s just because it’s a damn good looking car. From its gaping confident front, to its suggestive flange of bonnet, sweeping sides with its twin rather pronounced curves to its pinched pert booty, there’s a sexiness here not normally found in a Japanese hatch.

Mazda 3

It’s a similar story inside with appeal accented with simplicity and style. There’s a floating Mercedes-style central display panel, and an instrument binnacle that looks like it’s off a sportsbike, focussed as it is on key information.

Mazda 3

It’s comfortable and spacious – in both the rear as well as the front even for my long-legged frame – with decent luggage space and the typical flexibility of split folding seats. It is of course as practical as you’d imagine it to be.

Mazda 3

It’s not as fast as you’d imagine it to be though, given the thrusting style, but then it comes with a 150bhp 2.0-litre motor, so it’s a warm rather than hot hatch.

Mazda 3

The Mazda 3 is also available with a 1.6-litre 100bhp unit with prices ranging AED63,900-64,900. The car we’re testing is the top of the range Skyactive R that sells for AED93,900 but comes as standard with, amongst other things, heads-up display, active cruise control, reversing camera, 8-speaker Bose audio, leather upholstery and 18-inch alloys.

Mazda 3

The four-cylinder’s 148lb ft is pushed out through the front wheels via a six-speed auto with paddleshifts and is, nonetheless, good enough to get it from 0-100kph in 7.8seconds and onto 210kph. So performance is plentiful both for around-town scurrying about or inter-city cruising.

Mazda 3

What stands it apart is the handling and poise it serves up. The Mazda 3 attacks corners with relish and minimal understeer, devouring corners like something with far more sporty credentials. And if you feel a lack of power, it’s only because the chassis is clearly good enough to handle considerably more – up to another 100bhp easily I’d happily wager.

Mazda 3

I’d also like slightly weightier steering – but then what I’m asking for is a true hot-hatch, which this does not pretend to be. What it is, is a regular small family runabout that ably serves during its day-to-day chores, but also shows a bit of spirit when keener drivers want to turn up the thrill factor.

Mazda 3

This is certainly the basis for a very good hot hatch, but the Mazda 3 in itself is also an extremely good offering in its segment. The good build quality and refinement add to its appeal and if you’re willing to dig a little deeper into your pockets than some of its rivals might require, it’s a great alternative option that’ll be a very satisfying car to own.

Mazda 3 Review – The Specs

Price: AED93,900 (US$26k)
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder, 150bhp @ 6000rpm, 148lb ft @ 4000rpm
Performance: 0-100kph 7.8secs, 210kph, 7.1L/100km
Transmission: 6-speed auto, front-wheel drive
Weight:  1300kg

4 responses to “Mazda 3 video review”

  1. Vinod says:

    Nice Review.
    I have heard ford has released its 1.5L ecoboost in this region in Ford Focus. Almost same Power specs. A comparison will be very interesting. Looking forward for it.

  2. Billy says:

    I’m looking to buy a new car soon, and the Mazda3 is on top of the list. I am also looking at the 2015 Nissan Juke. I like both their styles, but I’m having a hard time deciding. Everything in the Mazda sings to me except that it seems it lacks power esp during acceleration (too bad 2.5L isn’t available here). This is where I feel the Juke trumps it. But then again, the Juke looks and feels a lot smaller with a more basic interior design. But the supposed power it has is very tempting…

    Please help me decide, thank you.


    Your reviews are awesome!

    • Billy says:

      Oh by the way, if you have any other options I could look into please let me know. My maximum budget is about Dhs.100k… again, thank you!

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