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PROS

  • Attractive exterior
  • Lots of gadgets and features as standard
  • Value for money

CONS

  • Lack of rear-view camera
  • Outdated infotainment system
  • NVH could be better

REVIEW SUMMARY

 

When it comes to a small and good looking hatch that happens to be one of the 5 top-selling cars in Australia (and Mazda’s best seller), one model instantly pops into your head – the Mazda 3.

With a beautiful exterior, neat equipment and affordable prices, the Mazda 3 will not only turn heads, but it will also keep your pockets fuller.

The particular model we’ll be talking (writing rather) about in this review is the Mazda 3 Neo. And while it stands on the lower end of the range, it has plenty to offer. Starting off with a demanding question – is it a safe vehicle?

Safety

Do you like spoilers? I hope you do, because… this car is as safe as they get! I have to wonder though, how can something so eye-catching be robust at the same time?

A quick look at ANCAP Safety’s website reveals that the current Mazda 3 has a reason to brag – a full five-star safety rating. So, stylish appearance and security? Sounds like a plan alright.

Price

The Corolla Ascent Sport and the i30 Active have a real competition here, when it comes to price tags. The six-speed manual Mazda 3 will cost you exactly $20,490, while the automatic gearbox adds two grand, or in other words – $22,490.

Very competitive and reasonably priced, indeed. Plus, some features have been added in 2016 and now the model has some cool gadgets as standard.

Features

Speaking of which, the Mazda 3 is a bit hit and miss in this department. Standard kit includes:

  • Autonomous emergency braking
  • Electric folding mirrors
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Air-conditioning
  • Cruise control
  • Remote central locking
  • Keyless start
  • Cloth trim
  • Hill holder
  • Auto headlights
  • Space-saver spare
  • 16-inch alloys

Woah, this is a rather extensive list, don’t you think folks? Most of these are optional for the competitors (or absent), so you can get an idea of how packed with tech the Mazda 3 is. Oh, and the Mazda G-Vector system is standard across the range!

The only downside is that you don’t get a  rear-view camera. Not that the sensors don’t do a good enough job, but seeing it with your own eyes is always better.

Pros and cons

And logically, this brings us to the good and the bad of the Mazda 3. Yes, it has its fair share of pros and cons, so let’s start with the positive aspects:

  • Attractive exterior
  • Lots of gadgets and features as standard
  • Value for money

Unfortunately, it’s not all roses – here are the things we don’t quite like about Mazda’s 3 series (BMW fans must be cringing):

  • Lack of rear-view camera (not even an option)
  • Outdated infotainment system (no CarPlay or Android Auto)
  • NVH could be better

Verdict

Still, no matter how hard you try, you cannot lie to yourself. The Mazda 3 is a stunner. And while it has its flaws, it more than makes up for that by edging out the competition in other aspects.

You can stare at the list of standard features (or the car itself) for hours – they really are good. With so much safety kit available, this may very well be one of the better options for families.

And yeah, I didn’t mention “small” families on purpose. The Mazda 3 actually feels bigger inside than out. Weird indeed!

Nevertheless, there’s a reason why this one is still Mazda’s top-selling vehicle in Aus, and one of the top 5 best selling cars in the country. Definitely a small hatch to consider!

FINANCE SECTION

Biddly gets lenders competing for your new car finance arrangements. Get the competitive edge & tie up a sharper finance deal with our panel than you could yourself or through the dealership for free! These are the estimated repayment figures for this vehicle* Note these are indicative only and are based on an assumed 5 year term with a 20% residual/balloon.

$80 - $84
per week
Biddly Lenders

$88 - $92
per week
Other banks & brokers

$93 - $105
per week
Direct
Dealership Finance

COMPARISON REVIEWS

The weekly repayments provided are for indicative purposes and are to approved purchasers only. The payments don’t consider your personal situation. This repayment DOES NOT include all potential fees and charges.


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