Lifestyle

Mazda3 Touring hatch: Long term test Month One

We settle in for a 3 month test of one of Australia's best selling small cars: the Mazda3 in Touring hatch guise.
We settle in for a 3 month test of one of Australia's best selling small cars: the Mazda3 in Touring hatch guise. Iain Curry

I HAVE a friend who apologised to me when he bought a Mazda3.  

Why? He thought I'd be disappointed he'd made such an obvious choice. "Sorry for being so predictable," he said, "I know it's the most boring thing I could do."

2017 Mazda3 Touring hatchback long term test car
2017 Mazda3 Touring hatchback long term test car Iain Curry

I may be something of a car enthusiast, but look, I don't expect everyone to be punting around in a Lotus Elise or twin-turbo Maserati. You have to buy what's relevant to your daily life, family needs and budget.  

So, much to my mate's surprise, I told him he'd made a superb choice. It just so happened I was doing a three-month test of a Mazda3 and had come to the conclusion that it's really quite brilliant. Boringly brilliant perhaps, but truly a value-packed small hatchback that shines in so many areas of modern driving life.  

You, the buying public, agree. Aussies bought over 36,000 Mazda3s last year, making it third best-seller in the passenger car segment behind only the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai i30.   

You can hop into a Mazda3 for just $20,490 before on-road costs, and for that you score reasonable spec such as 16-inch alloys, cruise control, bluetooth, rear parking sensors and Smart City Brake Support which brakes for you if it detects you're going to have a slow speed accident...quite useful in these sad days of distracted texting drivers.

2017 Mazda3 Touring hatchback long term test car
2017 Mazda3 Touring hatchback long term test car Iain Curry

My test car is the mid-range Mazda3 Touring costing $25,290 with manual gearbox (before on-roads), or $27,290 if it comes with a six-speed auto as here.   

It uses the same 114kW/200Nm 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine as the entry-level car, but adds desirable features like leather seats, dual-zone climate control, electric park brake, paddle shifters, 7-inch touchscreen, internet radio integration for the likes of Pandora and Stitcher, sat nav and reverse camera.

Then there's added safety kit such as blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and a reversing camera.  

For the money, it's a pretty appealing proposition, especially when you consider the Mazda3 is quite a pretty thing (certainly moreso than a Toyota Corolla or Hyundai i30), and the build quality and cabin finish looks excellent to my eyes.  

So it's a good start on first impressions, and I'll report on the Mazda3's drive experience in a few weeks' time.

2017 Mazda3 Touring hatchback long term test car
2017 Mazda3 Touring hatchback long term test car Iain Curry

Running Report

Model: Mazda3 Touring Hatch.   

Details: Five-door front-wheel-drive small hatchback.   

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol with 114kW and 200Nm.   

Transmission: Six-speed automatic with paddle shift.   

Bottom line: $25,290 before on-roads (auto gearbox adds $2000).  

Kilometres this month: 934km.   

Fuel economy as tested: 6.4-litres/100km.   

The good:  Good kit for the money, excellent chassis, ride comfort.  

The not so good: Engine not as fun as a turbo, misses Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.  

2017 Mazda3 Touring hatchback long term test car
2017 Mazda3 Touring hatchback long term test car Iain Curry

Topics:  hatch hatchback long term test mazda mazda3 review road test touring



Fraser Coast scooter rider wins national pro title

SCOOTER: 15-year-old Dylan Sinclair shows off his skills at Rock Off Hervey Bay.

Dylan Sinclair won the Australian Scooter Association Pro title.

PUB FEST: 'We can beat the record if people get organised'

World Greatest Pubfest 2017 - "Toy Soldier" - David Nicholson from Maryborough.

Organisers say they're confident we could beat the record.

Bruce Saunders: I'm proud to be a union thug

Labour Day marchers in front of Maryborough City Hall.

“I’m proud to be a thug because we stand up for workers’ rights.”

Local Partners

American Gods a dream role for Ricky Whittle

THE 100 star talks mythology yand working with Ian McShane on highly-anticipated new series.

House Rules: "I watched as they destroyed my house"

Fiona and Nicole were both in shock at the move. Picture: Supplied

Contestant given just minutes before her entire home was demolished

'I feel absolutely incredible':Coast woman's weight loss win

Biggest Loser: Transformed contestant Nikki Henderson training at Mooloolaba Beach.

The weight loss show changed contestant Nikki Henderson's life

Amy and Tyson Murr feast on My Kitchen Rules win

SWEET SUCCESS: MKR 2017 winners Amy and Tyson Murr celebrate their glorious victory.

Controversial siblings secure $250,000 prize in MKR finale.

Sam Thaiday stars in Broncos’ carpool karaoke

Sam Thaiday makes people laugh

What's on the small screen this week

My Kitchen Rule's mother and daughter contestants Valerie and Courtney.

MY KITCHEN Rules grand finalists face off and Love Child returns.

Anthony LaPaglia steps out with new fiancee

Anthony LaPaglia.

Actor Anthony LaPaglia engaged to much younger girlfiend

Falling rents could spell doom for housing prices

What if I told you housing in Australia was getting cheaper?

Couple gets rich renovating run-down city homes

RENO RADICALS: Baden and Nelson Marino-Hall have turned three Toowoomba homes around for profit, saying the Garden City was a haven for renovators like themselves.

The couple has already turned around three homes

Townhouse pitch raises questions over 'high density'

BIG PLANS: Residents have a chance to offer their opinion on plans to build 42 townhouses at Raceview.

Developer plans 42 townhouses for Ipswich suburb

7 million dollar city homes for sale right now

3 Keira Court, Blue Mountain Heights.

Here are seven of Toowoomba's best, and most expensive, houses

'Raping and pillaging': Landlord's anger with nightmare cost

Chris Duane, who is chairman of the body corporate for Terralina Court, says insurance companies are charging too much for premiums.

BODY corporate boss unleashes on huge costs dumped on home owners.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!