Mazda 3 Review

By Alexi Falson on 06 Aug 2021
image for Mazda 3 Review The Mazda 3 was one of the kings of the Australian automotive world just a decade ago, consistently topping monthly sales charts. In 2021, however, the demands of Australia’s buying public have changed, with more buyers gravitating toward SUVs and the more affordable compact SUV market.

Mazda has been refining this recipe for more than forty years now, so the question is, just how good is the Mazda 3, and how does it handle against its competition in the affordable hatch market, and against the compact SUVs that have snatched the throne away from the little Mazda? Let’s find out. 

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Mazda 3 (G20 EVOLVE) Specifications

Model Date 2021
Model MAZDA 3
Series BP
Variant G21 Evolve
Body 4D Sedan
Transmission 6 SP MANUAL
Drive FWD
Engine capacity 1998
Engine configuration VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 6000 / 4000
Cylinders 4
Torque 200
KW 114
Fuel tank size 51.0
Fuel usage specs 6.3 / 0.0
CO2 149
ANCAP security rating 5

For more details and other variants, check Mazda 3 car page.

How Much Does It Cost?

The Mazda 3 lineup kicks off in the form of the G20 Pure, which costs $25,590 for a manual and $26,590 for an automatic transmission. The range then moves to the G20 Evolve which costs $27,390 for the manual and $28,390 for the automatic. The G20 Touring is priced from $29,790 for the manual and $30,790 for the automatic, while stepping up to the G25 Evolve brings the price tag to $30,190 for the manual and $31,190 for the automatic variant. 

From here, the range moves to the G25 GT which is priced at $34,290 and $35,290 for the manual and automatic versions respectively, while the G25 Astina brings the price tag to $37,790 for the manual and $38,790 for the automatic variant. Finally, Mazda’s range topping 3 comes in the form of the X20 Astina which is priced from $40,790 for the manual and $41,790 for the automatic. Keep in mind that these prices do not include on-road costs. 

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Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service, you could save by sourcing one of our car specialists to help you find the best value model for you. 

What Features Does the Mazda 3 Have?

The base model Mazda 3 G20 Pure is packaged with a set of 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED head and tail lights, keyless entry and start, air conditioning, automatic wipers, 8.8-inch infotainment system with DAB+ digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, head-up display, eight-speaker sound system, reversing camera with rear mounted parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, folding mirrors and an electronic parking brake. 

As standard, the step-up G20 Evolve comes packed with a larger set of 18-inch alloy wheels, wheel-mounted paddles for automatic variants, dual-zone climate control with vents in the rear of the cabin, as well as a steering wheel and gear lever wrapped in leather and an armrest for the rear passengers. Moving to the G20 Touring adds black leather interior, keyless entry and 10-way adjustable front seats, sunglasses holder and reverse tilt-down side mirrors. 

The G25 Evolve receives a more powerful 2.5-litre engine, keyless entry and power-adjustable seats, while the G25 GT gets a set of heated leather seats, heated mirrors and a 12-speaker sound system from Bose. 

Finally, Mazda’s range-topping 3 lineup adds a surround-view camera, panoramic sunroof, front parking sensors, LED daytime running lamps and adaptive LED headlights to the G25 Astina and X20 Astina variants. 

Range Features: 

  • 16-inch alloy wheels 

  • Automatic LED head & tail lights 

  • 8.8-inch infotainment system with DAB+ radio, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto 

  • Adaptive cruise control 

  • Head-up display 

  • 18-inch alloys (G20 Evolve & higher) 

  • Leather steering wheel and gear lever (G20 Evolve & higher) 

  • Black leather interior (G20 Touring) 

  • Surround-view camera (G25 Astina & X20 Astina) 

  • Adaptive LED headlights (G25 Astina & X20 Astina) 

Mazda 3 Colours

Polymetal Grey Machine Grey
Titanium Flash Jet Black
Soul Red Crystal Sonic Silver
Deep Crystal Blue Snowflake White Pearl

Is it Comfortable to Drive? 

When you’ve been designing a product for more than four decades, you get pretty good at it, and the latest generation Mazda 3 is clear proof of Mazda’s perfect execution of a tried-and-tested recipe. As an urban runaround, the Mazda 3 is flawless, especially when you factor in its price tag. Even in the base model, the engine provides more than enough power to get you up to speed alongside a smooth transmission, with suspension that mimics that of significantly more expensive cars. It bumbles around town quietly and comfortably, and is small and agile enough to make tight spots and parking an absolute breeze. When the road opens up, the Mazda 3 is also surprisingly fun to push, thanks to its lower weight and ride height compared to a compact SUV, and clearly separates itself from the sales champions in terms of simple, fun driving dynamics. 

The Mazda 3 is also a perfect companion for longer journeys thanks to its well insulated and quiet cabin that makes each and every drive a comfortable, relaxing task. As a reminder, there’s three engines on offer in the Mazda 3 lineup, with a choice of two naturally aspirated four-cylinders as well as a 2.0-litre supercharged petrol hybrid which offers similar power of Mazda’s larger engine, but with significantly improved economy. 

Is it Practical and Spacious? 

While the Mazda 3 has a huge advantage over compact SUVs when it comes to driving enjoyment and overall comfort, the margin narrows ever so slightly when you factor in space and practicality in the hatch variant. In the front of the cabin, there’s nothing separating the two, with the driver and front passenger treated to a simple, modern interior with a number of stash spots for loose items and two sets of water bottle holders, and a huge amount of headroom. The same applies to the rear of the cabin, where there is actually more leg and head room than your average compact SUV to keep those in the rear of the cabin comfortable, but taller passengers might struggle on longer drives. 

Where the Mazda 3 does fall down, however, is when it comes to boot capacity of the hatch. In the sedan, there’s 444L of cargo storage in the boot, while there is 295L in the hatch, which is adequate, but far from inspiring if you have a family and need to transport some added cargo on weekends. Overall, considering its size, the Mazda 3 performs exceptionally well in the context of space and practicality, but it is worth noting that the hatch is limited when it comes to accommodating a large amount of cargo. If you’ve got a young one on the scene, Mazda’s ISOFIX and top tether mounting points are easily accessible, although you might have some trouble squeezing larger child seats through the door openings. 

Is it Safe? 

Mazda’s latest 3 is an extremely safe car, and has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five star rating, scoring 98 out of 100 for adult occupant protection and 89 out of 100 for child occupant protection. As standard, Mazda adds autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic alerts, traffic sign recognition, blind-spot monitoring, a reversing camera with rear parking sensors and seven airbags as standard. The G25 GT variant - and higher models - receive front cross-traffic alerts, driver attention warnings and front-mounted parking sensors as standard. 

Is it Fuel Efficient?

The Mazda 3 petrol-powered lineup offers some fairly impressive economy figures, which range between 6.1L per 100km for the entry-level G20 and up to 6.6L per 100km in the thirstiest G25 variant. Unsurprisingly, Mazda’s petrol-hybrid X20 is the overall winner when it comes to fuel economy, returning combined cycle figures of 5.3L per 100km. 

Our Verdict: Is the Mazda 3 Worth it? 

If you’re looking for a stylish, affordable and surprisingly dynamic car to drive to work, run errands or take away for the weekend, the Mazda 3 is one of the best offerings on the market. This car has, for a number of years now, been the benchmark that other hatches are measured up against, and with the latest Mazda 3, this is set to continue, as it continues to set the standard for its class. 

While the little Mazda might fall short when it comes to squeezing cargo in the boot for a weekend away compared to most of the compact SUV offerings, it outperforms those cars in so many other areas. With that in mind, it’s not a question of whether or not you should buy the Mazda 3, it’s more a question of which variant is best for you. Don’t forget that if you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925. You can also request a car test drive here.

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-Year, Unlimited KM Warranty 

  2. Five-Years of Capped Price Servicing 

  3. 3 Engine Options; one hybrid variant 

  4. 444L of storage in sedan; 295L in hatch 

  5. Economy ranges from 5.3L per 100km (hybrid) to 6.6L per 100km 


  • Interior design and build quality 

  • Comfortable driving combined with dynamic ability

  • Generous equipment and features list in entry-level G20  


  • Limited boot space in hatchback variant 

  • Parking sensors and front cross-traffic alerts reserved for more expensive models

  • Engine sounds strained when pushed 

OnlineAuto Rating: 8.5/10

Mazda 3 Competition

Mazda 3

Hyundai i30
Toyota Corolla
Honda Civic
Kia Cerato
Mazda 2


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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