The Mazda 3’s classy cabin is one of its major plus points. The design is simple, sporty and sophisticated while the quality of the materials and finish is a match for that of premium badge rivals. It’s very impressive.
It’s also comfortable, with supportive seats and a wide range of adjustment for the seat and steering wheel. The infotainment system is user-friendly, too. The 8.8-inch screen on top of the dash is, unusually, not a touch-screen but is instead linked to rotary controller behind the gear lever. It’s refreshingly intuitive and easy to use.
Cabin space is fine up front, with plenty of legroom and headroom. If there’s a price to pay for the 3’s sporty styling it’s in the rear seats, where things are a bit cramped compared with most rivals. The low roofline means getting in and out isn’t as easy as with some rivals, either, while the small rear windows can make it feel a bit claustrophobic.
The boot is a good size and shape, but the load entrance itself is rather small and many rivals offer a larger capacity outright. If you want a 3 with a larger boot, you could always go for the Mazda 3 saloon
. Or you could opt for what is essentially the same car with a more practical, SUV-shaped body: the Mazda CX-30
Stick with the 3 hatchback and you’re getting one of the best cars in its class to drive. It’s very impressive, striking an excellent balance between sharpness and comfort, with a smooth ride and responsive handling. It’s quiet, too, which helps to make this a fine car for long journeys. While the small rear windows limit rear visibility somewhat, reversing sensors are standard for the cheapest models and higher trim levels also have a reversing camera.