Mazda Mazda 3 Review: 2014 Model | Mazda 3 | Car Buyers Guide


This week we took the all-new Mazda3 for a spin, and when I say all-new I mean it! Mazda has been showing us the future of the Mazda range through the Kodo design which they have proven extremely successful with through the Mazda6 and the CX-5. I brought this car into the city pretty much every day for a week and then brought it to see the family down in Wexford. It proved, to me, to be an efficient and economical car with nice power and great style.

Mazda are all about Kodo design these days, and I am a fan. The Mazda6, which we reviewed here during 2013 was among the most stylish cars that came out last year and Mazda3 is based on the same design concept. Everything from the lines along the sides of this car to the curves in the rear oozes style. The front of the vehicle is exceptional, it's got an amazing chrome surrounded front grille and it's chunkier, bigger and meaner than before.

The only down side to this design change is that it is far from the design of the outgoing model. Although it is much nicer looking it is too often, in my opinion, that Mazda change their designs, I fear that this will depreciate the outgoing models too much. A good example of subtle style changes is Volkswagen's Golf or even the Audi A4. I can't believe I'm giving out about a car being too stylish, but I feel I am qualified to comment on this because I come from a family that has had many Mazda vehicles, we've had two 626 Coupés, two Mazda 323s, a Mazda MX3 (actually, that was a Japanese import so it was an Autozam AZ-3) and a Mazda3.

The inside of the Mazda3 is very well laid out with functionality being key. To the front the seats are comfortable and the seat warmers are sure to keep you cozy during those cold winter mornings. The infotainment system is accessible from a 7" touch screen, through a centre console device and through the steering wheel. And as if that wasn't enough you will also find that many of the features can be voice activated.

This car also comes with a flip-up heads-up display called "Active Driving Display". Initially, and until after I gave back the vehicle, I actually found this to be a bit of an annoyance because from my seating position I had to duck my head any time I wanted to look at it instead of the odometer to check my speed. I've since been informed by Mazda Ireland that this screen is adjustable from the infotainment system. It is a nice touch, and in hindsight I should have done what a lot of people refer to as RTFM, or to put it nicely I should have read the manual!

To the rear I found the space to be sufficient and there was certainly plenty of room for two baby seats. I found the head room for adults to be fine also, but only just. Legroom to the rear is also adequate, provided those in front move forward just a small bit.

The boot of the Mazda3 offers 364 litres of cargo space and the rear seats can be lowered completely or in a 60/40 split if extra load space is required. Other things which stood out to me about the interior were the BOSE speakers which were available in the model I was driving - nice touch. The only thing lacking to this regard is that there was no DAB available in the car I was driving - and if there was I couldn't find it! I'm not fully sure why DAB hasn't caught on in Ireland but it's nice to see the likes of Opel are bringing it here in their Intellilink system.

To drive
Firstly, I found the steering of this vehicle to be perfect, it was very precise. In terms of suspension its Macpherson strut front and multi-link rear definitely didn't bring up too many issues for me. I found the gears to be a bit stiffer than I was hoping, but it's not far off the mark. 

One thing you'll read a lot about this car is that it is fun to drive, and I won't argue with that, I was driving the 2.2litre Skyactiv D Hatchback with manual transmission and it offered 150hp, this car has a lot of power and this is felt straight away. It's very smooth on the road and handles a bit of pressure from the foot very well. On paper this particular model will give you 0-100kmph in 8.1 seconds - not too shabby at all.  The 1.5 litre Skyactiv-G petrol model isn't too slow either, giving 0-100kmph in 10.8 seconds. According to Mazda the top speed of the diesel model is 210kmph, where as the petrol model offers 182kmph.

Fuel efficiency, CO2 emissions, etc.
According to the brochure, what I was driving should offer a combined driving cycle of 4.1l/100km. I made an extra special effort this week and I came out with a combined driving cycle of 6.4l/100km - this by the way is a figure I am very proud of and impressed by. Although I didn't achieve what is on paper 6.4l/100km is realistically a good figure to achieve.

The Mazda3 I drove burns 107 g/km of CO2, which means that this car will be inexpensive to tax at current tax rates. The reason for the good fuel economy and low CO2 emissions is down to the Skyactiv engines which are used and developed by Mazda.

This vehicle comes with a lot of safety technology. Most notably available to the Mazda3 is the "Smart City Break Support" which uses lasers to measure the gap between the car and traffic in front and can help avoid collisions at speeds of up to 30kmph. Also available is an "Adaptive Front Lighting System" which moves the Bi-xenon lights when you are cornering so drivers can see more of the road - I enjoyed showing my father how this works, my parents live off the beaten track and are surround by very windy roads, I can report that he was suitably impressed. Other safety features include Dynamic Stability Control and a Traction Control System.

Depending on the spec and engine you desire you will be looking at paying between €21,595 and €31,195 for the all-new Mazda3.

The verdict
This is a car which I have really enjoyed driving. As I'm sure I've mentioned when writing on Mazda in the past, I am a fan. I think that the Mazda3 is a great competitor for the Golf, but I don't think the sales figures will reflect same, at the moment the Golf is running ahead of the rest in terms of sales.

Thankfully I can mainly report positives on this car. I would prefer a slightly smoother gearbox. I hope Mazda stick to their Kodo design and that changes into the future will stay subtle.

Compare specs to an alternative car!
€ 26,945 when New

Key Facts

New Price
€ 26,945


Mazda 3
First Launched
Engine & Transmission
6 Speed
Fuel type
Body Type

Running Costs

Tax Band
Average L/100km
Fuel Tank Capacity (L)
Fuel Tank Range (km)
CO2 emmissions (g/km)
Emission Standard EU


Driven Wheels
Engine (L)
Break Horsepower
Top Speed
Acceleration (0-100 km/h)
Fuel Tank Capacity (L)

Space & Practicality

Boot capacity (L)
Tyre Size Back
205/60 R16


Euro NCAP Star Rating


ColmBarker 30 Nov 2016 10:40

Glad to see your videos have improved.


Laura Smithy 27 Jan 2017 15:15

Good video


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