The Mazda3 range isn't too difficult to get your head around. Prices for this Skyactiv-G base 2.0-litre 122PS petrol model sit mainly in the £20,000 to £28,000 bracket common to better quality contenders in the volume-branded part of the family hatchback segment. And there are just two body styles - a five-door hatch or an alternative four-door Saloon. We wonder though, whether it's really necessary to have five different trim levels - 'SE-L', 'SE-L Lux', 'Sport Lux', the 'GT Sport' variant we tried and top 'GT Sport Tech' spec. Your dealer will offer you the choice between two 6-speed transmissions. We'd very much recommend the slick-shifting Skyactiv-MT manual 'box we sampled. Or for £1,300 more, you can have a Skyactiv-Drive automatic.
Equipment levels are generous. Even with base 'SE-L' trim, you can expect to find 16-inch 'Silver Metallic' alloy wheels, full-LED headlights with auto-levelling, LED rear lamps, rear parking sensors, heated mirrors, auto headlamps and wipers and a Thatcham Category 1 alarm. Interior features include elements you you'd normally have to pay extra for at the bottom of the range on a car of this kind - things like a Head-up display, power-folding functionality for the door mirrors and, for the driver's seat, lumbar support and cushion tilt adjustment. More expected inclusions run to air conditioning and leather for the steering wheel and gear knob, along with a trip computer.