Mazda3 has been on sale here for almost 20 years on the Australian market. Indeed, you
can make that 45 years if you include the 323 that preceded.

The ‘3’ has been a consistently high seller for most of its life often contesting the top spots
in both its small-medium segment as well as overall sales against perennial rivals like
Toyota Corolla, Kia Cerato, Nissan Pulsar and Hyundai i30.

The latest, fourth generation, Mazda3 arrived here in February 2019 year in five-door
hatchback form with the four-door sedan joining it a few months later.

The previous Neo and Maxx names were dropped and replaced with new titles based on
the two engine sizes: 2.0-litre G20 Pure, G20 Evolve, G20 Touring and 2.5-litre G25
Evolve, G25 GT and G25 Astina.

Since then, there have been several updates, the most recent in mid-2023. This came with
powertrain improvements, new convenience features, an additional colour choice and
making the Mazda Connect infotainment display available across the range.

Also, for the first time, there is now no manual transmission on offer.

As tall, boxy SUVs have grown in popularity designers of conventional sedans and
hatches have reacted by adopting lower and sleeker, fastback styling. So it is with the Gen
Four Mazda3.

We found the rear of the hatch a little heavy with its bulky C-pillar and much prefer the
smoother lines of the sedan.

All variants come with LED head- and taillamps although only the Astina gets LED daytime
running lights.

Eight colours are available, three Mica and five Metallic.

The sleek profile does mean a bit of a bend to get in and out but once inside the seating is
comfortable and supportive.

As expected, rear seat passengers in the sedan get more legroom than the shorter hatch
as well as two air vents and drop-down armrest with twin cup holders.

All models have push-button engine start, electric parking brake with auto hold, i-stop
automatic spot/start and childproof rear door locks. G20 Pure and G20 Active have cloth
seats, all others get leather and powered driver’s seat. G25 models have proximity

Cargo space in the hatch is a modest 295 litres, with the sedan providing 440 litres.

The 60/40 rear seatbacks can be lowered by using pull-tabs located on either side at the
top of the boot. They don’t quite fold flat.

The Mazda3 powertrain has been streamlined to comprise the 114kW Skyactiv-G 2.0 and
139kW G-25 2.5-litre engines, which are both mated to the 6-speed Skyactiv-Drive
automatic transmission.

G20 models also receive an upgrade cylinder deactivation and other improvements to the
combustion process resulting in lower CO2 emissions without compromising on
performance or driveability.

Fuel consumption improves by 5 per cent to 5.9 L/100km for the hatch and 5.8 L/100km
for the sedan.

The Mazda Connect system in the Pure. Evolve and Touring get an excellent centrally
mounted 8.8-inch colour screen that’s recessed into the top of the dashboard. It’s not a
touchscreen and is controlled by a rotary dial located between the front seats.

G25 GT grades and above additionally benefit from the 10.25-inch Mazda Connect
infotainment display, as featured on other Mazda nameplates, such as the CX-5, CX-8 and
CX-9. Buyers of lower grade variants can get the larger screen by opting for the Vision
Technology package.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are wired in Pure and Evolve and wireless in the higher
spec models as is a wireless smartphone charging pad.

There are two fast-charging USB ports. Eight-speaker audio is standard on lower specced
models, GT and Astina get a premium Bose system with from 12 speakers positioned for
optimum reproduction.

Standard across the Mazda3 range are six airbags, reversing camera, rear parking
sensors, blind spot monitoring, smart brake support, lane-keep assist, lane departure
warning, hill launch assist, traffic sign recognition, forward obstruction warning, tyre
pressure warning and two ISOFIX child seat anchors.

New to the Gen 4 Mazda3 is Vision Technology which adds driver monitoring, front cross
traffic alert, cruising and traffic support, front parking sensors, and a 360-degree view

Vision Technology comes standard in the top-spec G25 Astina and as a $1500 option in
all other variants.

Our test car was the Mazda3 G25 Evolve SP sedan with the optional Vision Technology

The SkyActiv-G 25 engine is larger than its major competitors and the extra torque is
noticeable when compared to the standard 2.0-litre versions of its rivals. We haven’t had
the chance to drive the manual version but the traditional six-speed auto is smooth and

During the urban segments of the drive fuel consumption was reduced courtesy of the
cylinder deactivation feature which was barely noticeable.

On the motorway the car cruised smoothly with the extra refinement, comfortable seating
and large boot suggesting that it could easily qualify for long-distance family transport.

Mazda has addressed previous criticism and put a considerable amount of work into
reducing NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) and it has paid off with a much smoother,
quieter ride than before even on some of the rougher and coarse-chip roads that we

Handling is competent enough but certainly not in the sporting department. Steering is
sharp and responsive.

Fuel consumption in the G25 models is listed at 6.6 litres per 100 kilometres. We averaged
a reasonable 7.9 L/100 km during our week behind the wheel.

The fourth generation Mazda3 has quality and refinement that almost bring it into the
range of premium European cars of the same size. Based on this Mazda had increased
prices by between $2000 and $2500 but, given the improvements, we’d be surprised if
potential buyers don’t recognise that the value for money is there.

Mazda has now joined the majority of manufacturers in offering a five-year, unlimited
kilometre warranty together with its Premium Roadside Assistance program for the same

G20 Pure 2.0-litre hatch or sedan: $30,320 (automatic)
G20 Evolve 2.0-litre hatch or sedan: $31,870 (automatic)
G20 Touring 2.0-litre hatch or sedan: $34,520 (automatic)
G25 Evolve SP 2.5-litre hatch or sedan: $34,520 (automatic)
G25 GT 2.5-litre hatch or sedan: $38,420 (automatic)
G25 Astina 2.5-litre hatch or sedan: $42,320 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Mazda for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Mazda3 G20 Evolve Vision 2.0-litre petrol five-door hatch)

Capacity: 1.1998 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 114 kW @ 6000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 200 Nm @ 4000 rpm
Fuel Type: Standard unleaded
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 5.9 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 138 g/km

DRIVELINE: Six-speed automatic

Length: 4460 mm
Wheelbase: 2725 mm
Width: 1795 mm
Height: 1435 mm
Turning Circle: 10.6 metres
Kerb Mass: 1415 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 51 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc

Five years / unlimited kilometres

About Alistair Kennedy

Alistair Kennedy is Automotive News Service and Marque Publishing's business manager and the company's jack-of-all-trades. An accountant by profession, he designs the Marque range of motoring book titles, operates the company's motoring bookshop on the NSW Central Coast and the associated web site, as well as its huge digital and hard copy database. Whenever we can escape from the office he does so to cover new vehicle releases and contributes news stories. Alistair's other interests include cricket and family history on which he has written three books.
Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *