Mazda 3 Coniston
HERE’S no shortage of choice in the family car class. And now there’s another sleek model to consider. Well equipped, sharply styled and armed with a reputation for sporty handling and great value, the Mazda 3 promises to be a strong contender.
It was created and developed at the manufacturer’s European design centre in Germany, and is lighter, more fuel efficient and cleaner than the outgoing model. Plus, with a choice of seven engines and four trim levels, there’s plenty of variety.
We chose the 2.2D Sport for this test. It’s available in either 148bhp or 182bhp tune, but we’ve got the entry-level version here. To find out just how good it is, we’ve lined it up against the toughest rival we could find. The Volkswagen Golf is our current class favourite and comes with a more upmarket image, but in 2.0-litre TDI 140 SE trim, the German hatch is only £195 more expensive.
On paper, the Mazda has a power and torque advantage – but which of our two contenders provides the better blend of refinement, value, practicality and driver appeal?
Class honours are at stake and it’s sure to be a close run thing.