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  • P11D Value: £22,595
  • Company car tax band: 24%
  • BIK tax: £86 (20%) / £171 (40%)
  • Five door hatcback manual
  • 150ps/380Nm, 2.0-litre 4cyl diesel/6-spd manual box
  • Economy (comb)/CO2: 68.9mpg/107g/km
  • Performance: 8.1sec/130mph

What is it?

ARGUABLY the most important car in Mazda’s range, the Mazda3 is a Focus-rivalling hatchback and swoopy fastback that promises clever engine technology and engaging driving dynamics.

It’s certainly distinctive, offering an alternative style to the homogeneous designs coming from the mainstream manufacturers. The interior is suitably top notch too, with a spacious cabin that’s classy and covered (for the most part) in suitably premium materials.

There’s a 2.0-litre petrol engine available in 120hp or 165hp outputs, with the former being the most popular for private buyers. Diesel options for business company car fleets include a super-frugal 1.5-litre 105hp option, or a larger 2.2-litre 150hp choice. This is the Mazda3 to choose for company car drivers if mileages are high, with strong performance and excellent economy.

Company car tax in the Mazda3 range starts from just £75 a month; on this diesel Mazda 3 model reviewed here the company car tax band for 2018/19 is 24% with benefit in kind starting from £97 a month.

Mazda3 review rear three quarters moving

Interior of the Mazda3 is well equipped and comfortable

Verdict on the Mazda3

In a world dominated by the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, the Mazda3 can be overlooked. That’s a mistake. There’s there’s so much to like about the car.

Performance from that big diesel engine is strong, with the usual 0-62mph sprint sorted in just 8.1 seconds, but that’s not at the expense of economy. Thanks to Skyactiv technology, including capacitor-based energy storage and a clever stop/start system, official figures suggest 68.9 mpg is attainable. Optimistic perhaps, but real-world economy is impressive.

It’s loaded with equipment, especially in this popular SE-L Nav trim, which which is good for both private individuals and company car drivers: there’s climate control, colour head-up display, and a seven-inch infotainment screen that houses satellite navigation, Bluetooth connectivity and a DAB digital radio.

Given the reputation for reliability, a three year warranty is perhaps a little tight, but dealers are well liked and get problems resolved.

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