2018 Mazda 3 Maxx Sport 2.0 petrol from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

A great all-rounder

Faults:

Nothing yet except a squeaky indicator stalk (will mention at the next service) and the floor mat on the driver's side slips and needs to be re-adjusted.

General Comments:

Great car with many safety features at this price point. The car has plenty of power and is quite economical, especially on the open road.

Handling is great, as is the ride, and the engine noise is subdued.

The MZD Connect system is great to use with the wheel; easy to use on the move and the display is really clear and informative. Phones are easy to connect and the USB ports are great as well. Rear seat legroom is OK and cupholders in the centre armrest are great.

There are some small things that could be made better, and one of these is the white instrument needles on white numbers. Here a digital speedo would be great as the top of the needle can be hard to see in some light. I am still getting use to the electronic park brake and sometimes find the automatic transmission a little slow to kickdown unless you give it a shove, then it works really well.

The hatch is easy to use, especially the fold down seats, but sometimes it could do with being a little bigger.

Overall, I am happy with the car, it does what it needs to do very well, and the active and passive safety, along with great handling and ride, make this an excellent car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th February, 2019

2018 Mazda 3 1.5 Skyactiv from Turkey

Summary:

Good car all overall.

Faults:

Nothing. It's brand new.

General Comments:

Having owned an 626 previously, I will say that the so called compact category has grown a lot dimension wise, so that I do not see the need to have a Mazda 6.

Over the almost 20 years which separates my old 626 from this 3, I would say that Mazda made a huge step forward in interiors (both materials and cracks/squeaks).

I like :

1 - The engine has huge torque between 1750-3000 RPM compared to similar 1.6 non turbo rivals.

2 - The driving position.

3 - Contained engine noises.

4 - Grip. To make it lose grip on dry tarmac, you have to go round the corners so fast that you will be thrown from your seat first.

5 - All around build quality.

6 - Gear ratios, with low end torque and six close ratio; it is perfectly OK to start, from the lights for example, in second gear and do 4th and then 6th at 75-80 km/h and that's it. You do not really need all the six gears unless you want to break acceleration records or are driving uphill.

7 - Low fuel consumption: I did almost all the 2500 km on single lane roads and mountain roads with an average of about 60 km/h and 5.5 lt/100km. If you may drive at a steady 90km/h, it should return an even lower consumption.

I do not like:

1 - Roads noises. Although very improved compared to my 626, it's still behind its rivals.

2 - Absence of a water temperature gauge. I can understand this by reasoning that engine overheating cases have become very rare, as with having flat tires also and so on. However, the more I have gauges, the more I like a dashboard. The fact is for me, that I do not use the gauges to see that a problem is there, I also use them to spot a problem on its way and take care of it before it leaves you on the side of road. A faulty thermostat, either way (stuck (semi) closed or open) might be only diagnosed if you have a temperature gauge... or when your temperature light goes on, which is way too late for me. Same goes for charge gauge, engine oil gauge and all kinds of other stuff. You do not need to check them all the time, but every now and then, and you may catch up with a problem when it's not a real one yet. What you need to monitor is not just the value the gauge tells you at a given moment, but also its general behavior.

Long story short, in general terms, I am against the minimization of gauge clusters.

3 - Very handy and good to drive on mountain and single/double carriage roads, but it's not the ideal car to drive at high speeds (above 120-130) for hours on long motorway journeys.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd November, 2018