Mazda 3 Saloon Review
The Mazda 3 Saloon is one of the best looking small saloon cars on sale and comes with a decent infotainment system, but alternatives can be had with a much wider selection of engines
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Like an upstart mobile phone manufacturer throwing cameras at its new model to keep up with Apple’s latest iPhone, Mazda has produced a saloon version of its compact Mazda 3 hatchback that it hopes will draw buyers away from the likes of the more expensive Audi A3 saloon and Mercedes A-Class saloon.
At a glance, it certainly has the looks to give these traditionally posher alternatives a few sleepless nights. From the front, the Mazda 3 Saloon’s aggressive, squinting headlights look more like they belong on a low-slung sports car than a dinky four-door, while at the rear this slinky saloon looks much less bulbous than its hatchback cousin.
Climb inside, however and this new saloon model looks pretty much identical to the existing hatchback. Thankfully, that’s no bad thing because it has one of the most stylish interiors of any small car.
The minimalist dashboard looks great and, if the hatchback’s anything to go by, the materials will feel just as posh as those in a VW Golf. The hatchbacks’ Apple and Android-compatible infotainment system is an absolute doddle to use too, so you can expect the saloon’s system to be equally intuitive.
If you were put off the standard Mazda 3 by its awkward-looking rear end, the slinkier Mazda 3 Saloon will be right up your street
Passenger space won’t be quite as good in the saloon as in the boxier hatchback, but there’ll still be plenty of space and enough adjustment in the front seats for a wide range of drivers to get comfortable.
The Mazda 3 Saloon is currently available with just one engine – a 180hp 2.0-litre petrol engine that drives the front wheels through either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox.
So, that means plenty of alternatives have a wider range of engines for you to choose from, but at least the Mazda 3 Saloon should be able to return around 40mpg thanks to its clever cylinder deactivation technology that effectively switches off parts of the engine when they aren’t needed to help save fuel.
If you do plenty of long motorway journeys, however, you might be better off with a diesel-powered alternative.
See how much you can save on your next new car by heading over to our Mazda 3 Saloon deals page.