A class act in harmony with you

The Mazda3 is a car that has never quite sold in the numbers its talents would suggest.

The latest revised MK2 model looks sharper, is better equipped and is still priced very keenly. It has one of the best chassis in the family hatch class and some great engines too, especially the 150PS 2.2-litre diesel on test here.

Modest luggage capacity and an unadventurous dashboard layout aside, there’s not really much to find fault with. It’s a class act.

We tried the 150PS 2.2-litre MZ-CD diesel version, which is rapid enough, managing 60 from rest in 9.2s on the way to 127mph flat out.

Only the rather bulky manual gearshift was disappointing. As for economy, this variant returns 54.3mpg on the combined cycle and 139g/km of CO2. Insurance is group 23.

The Mazda3 only comes in a single five-door bodystyle and this 150PS 2.2-litre diesel is only offered in a single plush Sport trim level, priced at around £20,500.

Up-spec models like this one include features like Bluetooth, sat nav, a heated windscreen, 17-inch alloy wheels and a premium Bose stereo.

There’s also the option of cruise control and automatic lights, wipers and mirrors.

The main aspect that sets the car apart from many of its rivals is the way it flows down a road. Keen drivers will know what I’m talking about when I say that some cars seem to want to fight your inputs and are a constant battle to drive whereas others just work in harmony with you.

The Mazda3 is one of the latter.

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