A guide to the 2014 Mazda3

Introduced via a series of concept cars, Mazda’s SKYACTIV technology combines efficient engines and lightweight body materials to enhance overall efficiency.

When combined with the Japanese manufacturer’s new-found ‘KODO – Soul of Motion’ body language, Mazda has a whole new box of tricks to offer its new models – including the whole new Mazda3 hatchback.

We have put together a quick guide that should give you a good idea of what Mazda3 model you should go for – breaking down everything from engines to trim levels.

Appeal

Even at a glance, the Mazda3′s Kodo body language is instantly eye catching. With strong contours running along its flanks and bonnet, the Mazda3 is sportier than ever.

There are also two different body styles available for the Mazda3, allowing for greater flexibility. These body styles include hatchback and fastback – with the latter essentially offering a saloon shape that allows for greater practicality in the rear.

Practicality

Although stylish on the outside, the Mazda3′s storage capacity on the inside can be deceiving. In the hatchback body style the Mazda3 offers up to 350 litres of boot space – which can be extended further by folding the rear seats down.

Due to its fastback body style availability, storage space can be increased in the new Madza3 to offer a 419 litre boot. This model may favour those who need a car for long business trips.

Engines

Headlining the engine range is the SKYACTIV-G petrol. There are three different variations of the SKYACTIV-G petrol available, each offering a different power output. These include the 99bhp SKYACTIV-G Petrol, the 118bhp SKYACTIV-G Petrol and the 163bhp SKYACTIV-G Petrol.

Although offering different power outputs, the 99bhp and the 118bhp engines offer the same 119g/km CO2 figure. Each of the engines is offered with a six-speed manual gearbox, although the 118bhp variant is available with a six-speed auto box – pushing emissions up slightly to 129 g/km.

The most powerful petrol available is the 163bhp SKYACTIV-G Petrol, which is fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox and emits CO2 emissions of 135 g/km.

Moving on to the diesel range, the Mazda3 offers one diesel power plant, the 148bhp SKYACTIV-D Diesel. This engine can be mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox, although this will affect the CO2 output.

The 148bhp SKYACTIV-D Diesel manual emits just 107g/km of CO2, whereas the automatic version emits 127g/km. The 148bhp SKYACTIV-D Diesel manual is actually capable of emitting as low as 104g/km when fitted on the fastback model.

Trim

There are quite a few trim levels to choose from on the Mazda3, five to be exact fact. These include SE, SE Nav, SE-L, SE-L Nav and Sport Nav. Even with five different trim levels available, don’t think that equipment is sparse on entry level.

The standard SE trim comes fitted with manual air conditioning, cruise control, Smart City Brake Support and Mazda’s multimedia system that features internet connectivity.

The next trim level up is the SE Nav and although it is an entirely different trim, it just adds integrated satellite navigation to the already generous SE trim. The next significant bump up in kit is the SE-L trim.

Building on the SE trim, the SE-L gains bi-xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights, rear parking sensors, automatic lights and windscreen wipers and dual-zone climate control air conditioning.

Just like the SE trim, the SE-L is available with integrated satellite navigation by upgrading to the aptly named SE-L Nav trim.

At the top of the range is the Sport Nav model. As well as being fitted with satellite navigation, Sport Nav also comes with a Bose surround-sound system, 18-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors and an adaptive front lighting system.

Perrys pick

Each and every SKYACTIV engine in the Mazda3 range is very enticing, delivering a great balance between power and low CO2 emissions. The trim levels are also generously equipped, which means no matter which grade you choose, you won’t be disappointed.

Our choice, however, is the Mazda3 118bhp SKYACTIV-G Petrol SE-L Nav. Delivering CO2 as low as 119g/km and yet a decent power output of 118bhp, this model delivers great running costs and uncompromised power.

The SE-L Nav trim also offers everything you need in terms of convenience and media, with a sat nav system, rear parking sensors and dual-zone climate control. These will prove particularly useful if you are prone to long cross-country journeys.