Variant: G20 Pure
Engine / Transmission: 2.0 litre/6 speed automatic or manual
Manufacturer Claimed Fuel Consumption: 6.2L/100 combined
Price: From around $30500
I really admire what Mazda have done with the 3. A hugely important model for the brand, there must have been a massive temptation to continue with the original formula – a conventional, albeit somewhat conservative hatch and sedan. Instead, the current 3 sports a design that places it well above the mundane.
Importantly, safety hasn’t compromised on the entry level. The 3 Pure has a full suite of safety tech including not only side, curtain and knee air bags but also accurate street sign recognition, lane keep assist, active cruise, rear cross traffic alert and autonomous braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection. The 8.8″ colour screen has CarPlay, of course, and the head up display is clear and unobtrusive now Mazda has seen fit to ditch the dinky little HUD screen. It’s quality kit and is great to see as included equipment on an entry level car.
The quality of the 3 runs much deeper than just a pretty face. Little things, like the metallic knurled knob for volume control is just lovely. Actually, the quality of the whole interior is pretty damn impressive. It’s sombre and the back seat is a little claustrophobic but it’s well screwed together and looks like it will last.
Likewise, despite the higher grades being fitted with a larger 2.5 litre donk, the little 2.0 fitted to the G20 Pure is ample nearly all of the time.
NOT SO IMPRESSIVE:
Unfortunately, the 3 is a model that is very sensitive to spec. As a $43000 G25 Astina, the 3 represents great value for what is a very well equiped and stylish hatch. As a $30k G20 Pure, despite being $13k cheaper, the value proposition is harder to reconcile. Some really important and handy kit is missed when choosing the cheaper spec. For example, you might be able to live without the sunroof but the 360 degree camera and keyless entry offered by the Astina make a difference. The bigger engine and fancy diff are icing on the cake.
ON A TEST DRIVE:
If your budget only stretches to $30k, I’d look elsewhere. Alternatively, second hand G25 Astinas can be easily found for around $30k with plenty of life left in them.