It’s been a fair while since our long-term Mazda3 graced my driveway so its appearance stirred some enthusiasm with my stepson, Owen.
In Sport specification it is a great looking hatchback and, much to Owen’s delight, its diesel engine delivers the performance to match.
He and I had both forgotten the fun that this Mazda3 derivative provides.
In fact, it is the more sensible alternative to the tarmac-shredding turbocharged petrol MPS version.
Naturally, the diesel’s power delivery is more immediate than the petrol, making the car feel plenty quick enough although gear changes are more urgent and its fuel efficiency far exceeds the MPS’s 29mpg official combined cycle figure.
Practical as that makes it, our Mazda3 is not ideal for families with young children, except as a second car. Installing a child seat through the rear door aperture is tricky, and due to the low roofline I almost concussed my daughter while loading her into it.
Prospective customers who plan to have more children would be better guided to the Mazda6 or Mazda5 to benefit from the additional space. Both are excellent vehicles with a price point that starts just slightly above our particular Mazda3.