The Mazda3 is available in six different grades as well as two body styles: a hatchback or a sedan.
The base grade G20 Pure comes with a 2.0-litre petrol engine. Highlights include 16-inch alloys, all-round disc brakes, daytime running lights, LED headlights with auto on/off and taillights, air conditioning, active driving display, radar cruise control, 7-inch multi-information display, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, carpet floor covers, a urethane gear shift knob and steering wheel, cloth seats, electronic parking brake plus a stop-start engine. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, the audio system has 8 speakers, Bluetooth phone connectivity, 8.8-inch infotainment screen, DAB radio, satellite navigation and steering wheel-mounted controls.
Standard safety equipment is impressive, comprising of ABS, blind spot monitoring, driver attention alert, dynamic stability control, electronic brake force distribution, emergency braking assist, emergency stop signals, forward obstruction warning, high beam control, hill launch assist, intelligent speed assistance, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, a reverse camera, smart braking support, smart braking rear crossing, smart braking support (with pedestrian and cyclist detection), traffic sign recognition, traction control system and tyre pressure monitoring system.
All in all, it’s a very impressive spec list, especially when considering this is the entry-level Mazda3. Drive-away prices start at $28,629.
Spending an extra $1,751 will net you a G20 Evolve Mazda3, which starts at $30,380. Notable upgrades include 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control with rear vents, a leather steering wheel and gear shifter and push-button ignition. Automatic-equipped models have paddle shifters.
Why would you plump for the $33,259 G20 Touring model? You get leather seats for a start as well as a power-adjustable driver’s seat and advanced keyless entry. Mazda also attaches an automatically dimming driver side wing mirror to prevent drivers behind you dazzling you with their lights.
Spending $33,774 puts you in G25 Evolve territory. This model has a large capacity 2.5-litre power plant. The engine can stall cylinders to improve efficiency. This model has cloth upholstered seats and automatic models have a drive selector and a kick-down switch that unlocks full acceleration.
The semi-hot Mazda3 G25 GT costs $37,284. Model highlights include an auto-folding exterior mirror with heating elements, a 12-speaker Bose premium sound system with an amplifier plus heated seats and a heated steering wheel.
Buyers who splurge $41,499 get a fully-comped G25 Astina Mazda3. This hatch has attractive black alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlights, a power-sliding and tilting sunroof plus the normally $1,500 Vision Technology as standard.
The Vision Technology system is made up of a 360° around-view monitor, cruising and traffic support, driver monitoring, front cross traffic alert and front parking sensors. The daytime running lights are also upgraded from halogen to more energy-efficient LED units.
Click on the price to compare Mazda3 car loans.
|2.0-litre petrol, six-gear manual, hatchback: $28,629|
2.0-litre petrol, six-speed automatic, hatchback: $29,659
2.0-litre petrol, six-gear manual, sedan: $28,629
2.0-litre petrol, six-speed automatic, sedan: $29,659
|2.0-litre petrol, six-gear manual, hatchback: $30,380|
2.0-litre petrol, six-gear automatic, hatchback: $31,410
2.0-litre petrol, six-gear manual, sedan: $30,380
2.0-litre petrol, six-gear automatic, sedan: $31,410
|2.0-litre petrol, six-gear manual, hatchback: $33,259|
2.0-litre petrol, six-gear automatic, hatchback: $34,289
2.0-litre petrol, six-gear manual, sedan: $33,259
2.0-litre petrol, six-gear automatic, sedan: $34,289
|2.5-litre petrol, six-gear manual, hatchback: $33,774|
2.5-litre petrol, six-gear automatic, hatchback: $34,804
2.5-litre petrol, six-gear manual, sedan: $33,264
2.5-litre petrol, six-gear automatic, sedan: $34,294
|2.5-litre petrol, six-gear manual, hatchback: $37,384|
2.5-litre petrol, six-gear automatic, hatchback: $38,414
2.5-litre petrol, six-gear manual, sedan: $37,894
2.5-litre petrol, six-gear automatic, sedan: $38,924
|2.5-litre petrol, six-gear manual, hatchback: $41,499|
2.5-litre petrol, six-gear automatic, hatchback: $42,529
2.5-litre petrol, six-gear manual, sedan: $40,989
2.5-litre petrol, six-gear automatic, sedan: $42,019
Standard, no cost, paint finishes include the following:
- Sonic Silver Metallic
- Titanium Flash Mica
- Deep Crystal Blue Mica
- Jet Black Mica
- Snowflake White Pearl Mica
Premium paint finishes cost $495 and come in the following colours:
- Polymetal Grey Metallic
- Soul Red Crystal Metallic
- Machine Gray Metallic
The above prices are the recommended delivered price (RDP) for a private buyer living in Sydney postcode 2000. They include 12-months rego, a year's compulsory third party insurance, stamp duty, statutory charges, dealer delivery and admin fees.
The Mazda3 is a crisply styled, fully stocked hatch or sedan with an exhaustive arsenal of safety gadgets. The rear seats are snug and boot space was commonly criticized, but overall, this is a very well built and recommended small car that'll appeal to many drivers.
- Modern design
- Sophisticated interior
- Safety equipment
- Interior noise
- Boot is small
- Heightened prices
- Rear visibility
|"Its positive attributes are manifold. It won't appeal to everyone, but the company knows this, so we'll defer to the market to decide the wisdom of this tactic."|
- Cabin improvements
- Noise levels reduced
- Fun to drive
- Poky boot
- Overeager radar cruise control
- Confined in the rear
|"It's a quality small-car contender that will justifiably appeal to a substantial number of Aussie new car buyers."|
- Standard levels of equipment
- Ride and handling
- Safety equipment
- Boot space on hatch
- Interior space
|"The smart money seems to be on the GP20 Evolve auto (hatch or sedan)."|
- Textbook interior cabin design
- Infotainment system
- Steering is on point
- Design flair over rear passenger/boot space
- Elevated pricing
- Older engine designs
|"Hiroshima has crafted a fine family hatch and the SkyActiv-X engine is the cherry on top.|
Engine and performance
The Mazda3 sells with either a 2.0-litre or 2.5-litre petrol engine.
Mazda 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G
For G20 Mazda3 models like the Pure, Evolve and Touring, Mazda deploys a 2.0-litre in-line four petrol engine. The engine makes 114kW @ 6,000rpm and 200Nm @ 4,000rpm, across all models. This engine has no turbocharger.
Mazda 2.5-litre Skyactiv-G
Higher-end Mazda3 grades use the more powerful 2.5-litre petrol engine. For the Aussie market, this engine develops a standard 139kW @ 6,000rpm and 252Nm at the same 4,000rpm as the smaller 2.0-litre. Like the 2.0-litre, it's a naturally aspirated power plant.
For the Mazda3, the carmaker gives buyers the choice of a Skyactiv-MT manual or a Skyactiv-Drive automatic transmission. Both of these gearboxes have six-speeds.
Car reviewers' impressions of the Mazda3 engine and transmission combo
Some reviewers observed that with no forced-induction ramping up the lower-end torque and power outputs, you really have to spool the engines to get up to speed. Another tester commented that it felt like it was a tad underpowered. The smaller 2.0-litre doesn't inspire confidence when you need some get-up and go, like overtaking or for tackling hills. Others said it was a bit of a noisy power plant. One journo went as far as to say the chosen engine was the Achilles' heel of the Mazda3.
Other evaluators suggested that for town driving, the engine is more than capable and it'll easily handle relaxed highway cruising.
Both transmissions attracted positive comments. The automatic apparently changes gears very neatly.
Mazda3 engine and transmission statistics
|Engine type||In-line, four-cylinder, 16 valve, double overhead cam, Skyactiv-G||In-line, four-cylinder, 16 valve, double overhead cam, Skyactiv-G plus cylinder deactivation|
|Fuel type||Petrol (91 Ron)||Petrol (91 Ron)|
|Cylinders||Four inline||Four inline|
|Fuel tank capacity||51-litres|
|Max power||114kW at 6,000rpm||139kW at 6,000rpm|
|Max torque||200Nm at 4,000rpm||252Nm at 4,000rpm|
|Fuel consumption (combined)||6.4L/100km (Manual)|
|Emissions standard||Euro 5||Euro 6D|
|Top speed (km/h)||N/A||215km/h|
|Transmission||Six-speed manual or automatic gearbox|
|Towing capacity (unbraked/braked)||600kg/1,200kg|
Mazda3 fuel economy
Mazda supplies fuel economy figures for both engine variants in the vehicle's brochure.
2.0-litre I4 Petrol
The smaller of the two petrol power plants uses the following claimed figures when paired with a manual gearbox:
- Combined: 6.4L/100km
- Urban: 8.2L/100km
- Extra-urban: 5.4L/100km
With an automatic transmission, the 2.0-litre uses less fuel:
- Combined: 6.2L/100km
- Urban: 7.8L/100km
- Extra-urban: 5.3L/100km
2.5-litre I4 petrol
The larger engine surprisingly appears to be quite a frugal fuel-drinker. With a manual, it claims the following:
- Combined: 6.3L/100km
- Urban: 8.3L/100km
- Extra-urban: 5.1L/100km
When the larger engine is paired with an automatic, the 2.5-litre motor claims to use the following:
- Combined: 6.6L/100km
- Urban: 8.6L/100km
- Extra-urban: 5.4L/100km
A word on factory fuel figures
In order to determine the fuel usage data of an engine, carmakers have to put their vehicles through a heavily-controlled testing procedure. This evaluation is designed specifically to reduce any variations that may affect the results. However, on public roads, there are a number of factors that impact on fuel economy. Consequently, there can be a margin of difference between the brochure figures and real-world achievable numbers. Only use the brochure data as a way to compare different models.
Sometimes, factory fuel use claims can be a little fanciful. For the Mazda3 though, many of the reviewers found them accurate.
A model hatchback should have agile, athletic handling, and the Mazda3 fulfils these expectations. Apparently, spinning the wheel requires little effort and the steering rack transmits feedback to the driver effectively. Reviewers perceived Mazda engineers have done a good job of keeping the ride and handling nice and tidy. One tester said it offered the perfect blend of low-speed manoeuvrability and high-velocity corner-holding abilities. To sum up, it appears to be a good example of a front-wheel-drive hatch. It has a sharp, tight feel with little body roll. Crucially, the new model improves upon the previous generation too, which shows Mazda's commitment to progressing their product.
The ride hasn't compromised passenger comfort either as testers said the hatch did a good job of smoothing over road imperfections.
Interior and features
Mazda interior stylists took a modern approach to the passenger compartment design. Journalists felt its layout favoured the driver more than previous generations. The majority of reviewers also noted a marked shift towards higher-end materials and assembly.
However, the most common bugbear with the interior was a lack of space. It was felt the car was too tight in the rear and the stingy boot space was picked up on universally. Also, it seems the large scooping C-pillar caused some interference with the driver's view.
Where the car really excels though is in the spec list. Even the basic G20 Pure models have pretty much everything you'd expect on a more premium vehicle. Also, the safety spec sheet is very long with tons of advanced safety systems. The only thing to beware of is that some journalists found the car's driver assists leaned towards being a tad too sensitive.
Ergonomics wise, motoring experts thought the Mazda3 should be held as a pinnacle to aim for. It was obvious to testers that the sculpting of seats and the positioning of controls had been minutely scrutinised and finessed. One other thing to note, while many manufacturers are switching to touchscreens, Mazda is sticking to a more analogue interface built around dials and buttons.
Mazda3 G20 Pure
The base-level car has taken a step forward over the previous iteration of the 3. The standard feature list would place this model pretty high in rival line-ups. You'll get 16-inch alloys, a 7-inch driver LCD display, an 8.8-inch infotainment screen, keyless push-button start, A/C, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB, 8-speakers, a robust safety system, Bluetooth connectivity, LED headlights, parking sensors at the rear, auto-folding wing mirrors, a reversing camera, sat-nav, an adjustable steering column and tyre pressure monitoring as well as rain-sensing wipers. Now that's a well-stocked hatchback!
Mazda3 G20 Evolve
The G20 Evolve does away with the 16-inch alloys in favour of 18-inch rims in metallic grey. It also receives dual-zone climate control and rear air vents as well as leather wrapping on the gear-shift knob and steering wheel. Automatics have paddle shifters.
Mazda3 G20 Touring
If you opt for a G20 Touring model, you'll get advanced keyless entry, an auto-dimming driver's side wing mirror, tilting rear mirrors for reversing, an overhead sunglass storage box, black leather seat trimming, a 10-way power adjusting driver's seat plus vanity mirrors with illumination.
Mazda3 G25 Evolve
This model has a larger, more powerful engine for a start. It also gets cylinder deactivation technology for better fuel economy.
Mazda3 G25 GT
Heated seats up front, heated mirrors, a premium Bose 12-speaker sound system and a heated steering wheel set the GT apart from the rest of the line-up.
Mazda3 G25 Astina
The G25 Astina has black alloy wheels, 360° around-view, adaptive LED headlights, cruising and traffic support, driver monitoring, front cross traffic alert, front parking sensors, a glass sunroof and the ability to optionally purchase burgundy leather seats.
Mazda3 safety and driver assists
|Adaptive LED headlights||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔|
|Advanced keyless entry||✖️||✖️||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Advanced keyless push-button start||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Airbags SRS: front (driver and passenger) side (front), curtain (front and rear), and knee (driver)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Anti-lock braking system||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Blind spot monitoring (BSM)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Cruise and traffic support (CTS)||Option||Option||Option||Option||Option||✔|
|Driver attention alert||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Dynamic stability control (DSC)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Forward obstruction warning (FOW)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Front cross traffic alert (FCTA)||Option||Option||Option||Option||Option||✔|
|High beam control (HBC)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Hill launch assist||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|ISOFIX child restraint anchor points and top tethers||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Lane-keep assist system||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Left-hand-side convex wide-angle exterior mirror||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Parking sensors (front)||Option||Option||Option||Option||Option||✔|
|Parking sensors (rear)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Rear cross traffic alert (RCTA)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Remote central locking (two fobs)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Seat-belt warning (front and rear)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Smart brake support (SBS) with pedestrian and cycle detection||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Smart brake support (rear crossing)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Smart brake support - reverse||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Traction control system (TCS)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Traffic sign recognition (TSR)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
Mazda3 interior and comfort features
|Front seats with: |
- 10-way power adjustment (driver)
- Height adjustment (driver)
- Height adjustment (passenger)
- Lumbar adjustment (driver)
- Rake and slide adjustment
|Rear seats with 60/40 split-fold backrest||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Centre fold-down armrest||✖️||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Active driving display||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Air conditioning (dual-zone climate control with rear vents)||✖️||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Ambient temperature display||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Door bottle holders (front and rear)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Electric parking brake with auto hold||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Leather-wrapped gear shifter||✖️||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Leather-clad steering wheel||✖️||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Paddle shift gear control (automatic only)||✖️||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC) with Stop & Go||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Rear-view mirror with auto-dimming function||✖️||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|8.8-inch widescreen display||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|DAB radio with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Bluetooth phone connectivity and satellite navigation||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Steering wheel-mounted audio controls||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|USB audio input port (iPod compatible)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
Mazda3 exterior highlights
|Daytime running lights - halogen||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✖️|
|Daytime running lights - LED||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔|
|Chrome exhaust extension||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Green-tinted window glass||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Headlamps auto on/off function||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Exterior mirrors (driver side) with auto-dimming function||✖️||✖️||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Exterior mirrors with power adjustment||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Exterior mirrors with auto-folding function||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Exterior mirrors with heating function||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔||✔|
|Power sliding and glass tilt glass sunroof||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔|
|Wipers with two speeds and rain-sensing function||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|16-inch alloy wheels (silver)||✔||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️|
|18-inch alloy wheels (metallic grey)||✖️||✔||✔||✔||✔||✖️|
|18-inch alloy wheels (black)||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔|
No car is perfect, but the imperfections can be minimised. The Mazda3 appears to attract a few key complaints, mainly that the rear seats and boot aren't big enough. Also, the C-pillar is too chunky, prompting most reviewers to long for better rearward visibility. Also, the 2.0-litre Mazda engine was determined to be a little sluggish. But other than those foibles, the Mazda3 was very well-reviewed. It's got an impressive feature list, cutting-edge styling and superb safety features. If you're in the market for a high-end hatch, make sure to shortlist the Mazda3.
Our car loan comparison tools help drivers save hundreds of dollars on car loans.
Updated February 21st, 2020