Handling, front cabin room, somewhat attractive, frugal
Very slow, lack of engine choices, pricey options, no side airbags, outdated automatic
The facelifted-for-2010 Mazda 3 receives a brand new front end, a redone rear end, and a completely new interior. However, it still comes with a carryover 1.6-litre 4-cylinder engine, which was already an outclassed unit to begin with. American and European markets get 2.0-litre, 2.5-litre and turbocharged motors. The Japanese-built Mazda3 shares its platform, engine and some mechanicals with the European-built Ford Focus. The basic Mazda3 S sedan comes with 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps, ABS, power windows, electric mirrors, two front airbags, a 4-speaker CD stereo, cloth seats, a new interior design and a manual a/c. A 4-speed automatic is standard. The mid-range Mazda3 V sedan adds 16-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, leather steering wheel with audio controls, automatic a/c and a better stereo. The Mazda3 V hatchback features rain-sensing wipers, front fog lamps, side skirts, a roof spoiler, and options such as HID headlights, sunroof, LCD info display and push-button start with keyless entry. The fully-optioned Mazda3 R sedan and hatchback adds automatic wipers, electric-folding side mirrors, cruise control and different cloth upholstery, with all other options as standard. Apparently the ‘R’ trim is only available in Saudi Arabia.