Review : 2022 Mazda3

Published: Mar 1, 2022 10:31 AM

The compact hatchback class has been on the back burner for years. SUVs are all the craze, and cars in this segment are slowly losing the fight against pseudo-off-roaders that offer more in terms of practicality and space. However, this doesn’t mean that the compact hatchback class is dead, far from it. Every once in a while, there comes a car that shows us that hatchbacks can be fun and exciting, and you don’t need to spend a fortune for a proper driver’s car. The 2022 Mazda 3 is such a vehicle, and today, we will tell you why it occupies a special place in today’s car market.

The current generation was introduced in 2019 as the fourth iteration of this successful and global model. The 2022 Mazda 3 is offered both as a five-door hatchback and four-door sedan, but we feel that hatchback is a much cooler and more recognisable design with a unique profile and egg-shaped contours. The sedan is more mainstream, but the hatchback version is pretty polarising; people either seem to love it or hate it. Thankfully, sales figures suggest that more people find this unique hatchback appealing.

The Technical Information

The Mazda 3 Hatch and Sedan share the same suspension and drive train platform. The only difference is the different design of the rear end and significantly more boot space in the sedan (444 litres) compared to the hatch’s 295 litres of room. Under the bonnet, there are four engines to choose from, and the lineup consists of four-cylinder petrol units with various displacements and technologies. The base motor is a well-known 2.0-litre SkyActive four with 114 kW and 200 Nm of torque. The next in line is the same engine with e-SkyActive technology, which means it is equipped with a hybrid system designed to save fuel. This unit has the same power and torque ratings but slightly lower fuel consumption.

However, the following two engines in the lineup are a bit confusing. One is already familiar, 2.5-litre four-cylinder with 139 kW and 252 Nm and the other is tuned 2.0-litre-Skyactive four with 132 kW and 224 Nm of torque. The engines have almost the exact power figures with very similar performance, but hybrid is a bit more frugal, with 5.5 litres of fuel needed to cover 100 kilometres (average). Thee-SkyActive engines are only delivered with a 6-speed automatic gearbox, but the 6-speed manual is standard for naturally-aspirated units.

The Mazda 3 Models

The Mazda 3 model lineup starts with Pure, which comes with a long list of standard features like 16-inch wheels, a modern 7-inch TFT display in front of the driver and an 8.8-inch infotainment display. The Mazda 3 Pure also has a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Blind Spot Monitoring, LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, satellite navigation and reverse camera. This grade also comes only with the base 2.0-litre engine and 6-speed manual or automatic. The next in line is Mazda 3 G20 Evolve which adds a 2.0-litre hybrid engine to the list as well as 18-inch alloy wheels, 360-degrees monitoring and dual-zone climate control.

The range continues with Mazda 3 Touring, a more luxurious version featuring leather interior, exterior details, power seats, and unique body colours. The Evolve SP model is next, and it comes with a 2.5-litre engine (with cylinder deactivation), 18-inch wheels, more interior details and memory seats. The GT grade is one step up, and it also features a 2.5-litre engine along with unique 18-inch wheels, heated seats, and black leather upholstery. The Astina is the top grade level for Mazda 3, and it comes in two flavours. One is a 2.5-litre version, and the other is a 2.0-litre e-SkyActive hybrid. In terms of equipment and features, it comes pretty loaded with a leather interior, special paints, a glass sunroof, premium audio system, adaptive LED headlights, front parking sensors, and more in terms of equipment and features.

That being said, this is the perfect moment to talk about Mazda 3 pricing. The 2022 model range starts at $26,430 and goes up to $42,490 for a fully-loaded hybrid version. For example, compared to Korean competitors, it is slightly more expensive, but Mazda 3 justifies unique design, driving dynamics, and elegant interior.

The Interior

As you probably can guess, looking at the Mazda’s model lineup, the interior theme is very similar from smallest to biggest cars. Every Mazda has a sporty-looking dashboard, precise instruments, excellent seating position and perfect ergonomics. The idea behind this layout was simple. Offer direct driving experience, focus on the road ahead, quality materials and avoid cluttering the environment with enormous screens, millions of buttons and switches. When you sit behind the wheel of Mazda 3, you realise that this approach is far more elegant, better and almost minimalistic. Talking about the interior, we have to criticise the amount of space in the boot since it is far less than what competitors offer. However, the sedan version with 444 litres is up to par with the rest of the segment, so buyers who are looking for practicality should choose this version.

The Conclusion

When shopping for a compact hatchback or sedan, customers always look for practicality, dependability and price. However, for those who want a little more out of life, Mazda 3 is an ideal choice. It isn’t perfect; the boot space in the hatchback version is not as ample, the design is not by anyone’s taste and drive train options could be a bit better along with the introduction of a modern 7-speed or dual-clutch gearbox. However, the existing package introduces a fun and stylish alternative to boring cars in this segment. Along with the affordable price, long list of features and solid performance, Mazda 3 is an intelligent choice for people who are not interested in driving dull cars.

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Mar 1, 2022 10:31 AM

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