0 to 100 km/h: 12,20 sec Top speed: 188 km/h Power: 77 kw Torque: 145 N.m CO : 164 g/km CAR fuel index: 8,30 L/100 km
2 Mazda’s renaissance began in the mid-2000s with fresh, impressive designs. Somewhat overshadowed by siblings 2 and 5, the previous-generation 3 found itself competing with the likes of the formidable Volkswagen Golf. The Sport moniker was later introduced and this simply meant it was the five-door hatchback as opposed to the Sedan.
The 1,6-litre engine (mated with a five-speed gearbox) is not as advanced as the one in the Toyota and so has less power but, then again, less complicated engine internals help in containing long-term maintenance costs.
Model variants are Original, Active and Dynamic, with quite a difference in spec between them. The wheel sizes, for example, increase from 15 to 16 to 17 inches; cloth turns to leather; manual window winders to electric.
Both suspension and steering comfort/feel are not quite up to Auris standards, but both are class competitive.
Boot space is identical to that of the Auris (the Mazda3 sedan offers much more; then again, so does a Corolla) and there is sufficient interior space for five adults.
Mileages are sometimes lower than expected for a car that is usually used on a daily basis, so you may score a bonus here and find one with few kilometres under the belt.
Should you want a newergeneration Mazda3, shop round; values have dipped below R200 000.