2016 Mazda3 road test and review.
Chances are, if you’re reading this Mazda3 review you are weighing up whether to buy the Mazda, a Toyota Corolla or a Hyundai i30.
These three models are the top-selling small cars in Australia and each is available as hatch or sedan. I have driven the Mazda, the Toyota and the Hyundai and I can give you a clear cut verdict – buy the Mazda3.
The Mazda product feels stronger and more planted on the road, it handles better, has sharper steering and just as nice a ride (if not better) than the Toyota and Hyundai rivals.
Prices start from $20,490 (Mazda3 Neo) and the Touring grade of the Mazda3 starts from $24,790 manual and $26,790 auto (same prices for sedan and hatch variants). The Touring is the top-spec model fitted with a 2.0 litre engine, from here on up you are looking at either the larger 2.5 litre petrol engine or 2.2 litre diesel.
I had a 2016 Mazda3 Touring with an auto transmission and sedan body to test and I have to say I was very impressed.
The engine, which produces 114kW and 200Nm, never really feels like it needs any extra grunt. The power is smooth and the transmission provides seamless changes. Fuel economy? Excellent – I averaged 7.2L/100km.
Nice steering, enjoyable and surprisingly good handling, the Mazda3 really is an enjoyable and pleasing car to drive.
Inside the cabin, again, this vehicle is just better finished off and ‘meatier’ than its rivals. The fit and finish is excellent, the Mazda MZD infotainment system is as good as it gets and there is one big advantage the Mazda3 has over the CX-3 and Mazda2 that I road tested in recent weeks – a centre armrest!
Roomy front and back (for a small sedan), a back seat that folds down almost flat and a decent-sized boot finish off what is a really likeable offering (I also liked that the carpet in the boot wasn’t connected to the rear of the back seat – this makes it easy to pull out and clean off).
Standard features in this grade of Mazda3 include:
- Reverse camera
- Dual-zone climate control
- Tilt and reach steering adjustment
- 16” alloy wheels
- Bluetooth system
- Cruise control (fingertip speed adjustment – a must!)
- Push-button ignition
- Partial leather seats
- Leather steering wheel/gear knob/parking brake surround
- Rain sensing wipers
On the Mazda3 Touring you won’t have to pay extra for premium paint, though there is a $200 additional fee for the popular Soul Red Metallic. There is an optional factory-fitted Safety Pack and for the additional $1,500 you get Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind-spot sensors, Forward (low speed) crash mitigation and an electric anti-glare rear-view mirror.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Mazda3 Touring Sedan
Engine: 2.0 litre petrol producing 114kW and 200Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Safety: Five stars
Warranty: Three years
Price: from $24,790
For further information, please see Recalls and faults: Mazda BM Mazda3.