The Mazda3 Sports SE: A fun and afforadble drivers car
The Mazda3 Sports SE is an incredibly powerful yet extremely responsive car, well suited for anyone who actually enjoys being behind the wheel.
The new Mazda3 Sports SE seems like the perfect motor for anyone out there who has a little race car driver inside them bursting to get out. It has everything you could want from a sports edition: stunning aggressive looks, an incredibly powerful engine and a handling ability that keeps you pinned to the road. However, there’s also a lot going on inside.
If there’s one thing that really grinds my gears (so to speak) it’s when they’re overloaded with buttons that are spread out all over the place. Sadly, the Mazda3 falls victim to this. Instead of clumping the buttons closer together, or even combining them into one big multifunctional button, there’s one on the centre console for pretty much everything – not to mention the steering wheel. It’s a petty problem, I know, but it can get a little distracting.
Apart from one too many buttons there’s not much on the Mazda3 that you can complain about. It does have three separate computer screens, which seems a bit pointless, but it’s also handy that you don’t have to rifle through several different option menus just to see what radio station you’re listening to. It has everything you could want in terms of gadgets (hence the multitude of buttons) and the heated seats are a nice touch, especially in these colder months.
A comfortable, extremely well styled interior
Like always, I took the Mazda3 around the somewhat demanding drive that is Sally’s Gap to see how this sleek sporty car felt on some tight winding roads. The gearbox has a nice short shift feel to it and slipping from one gear to the next is a breeze. Changes made to the suspension, a more rigid body, optimised dampers and stiffer wheel have contributed to improved handling since the last model.
The car I tested came with a 1.6L diesel 6-speed manual transmission. It takes a second or two for the power to really kick in, but once it does you’ll know about it – mainly because you’ll stuck to the drivers seat thanks to the impending g-forces.
You’ll also enjoy some low CO2 emissions with the Mazda3. Even though it’s a powerful diesel hatchback, it only sits in Tax Band A so thankfully you won’t be paying through the nose just to keep your car on the road.
The car I tested costs €23,645 but the Mazda3 range starts €19,795 and goes up to €23,895 for the top spec. While the normal Mazda3 might be a great as a family car, the Sports going version is perfect for any power loving petrol head. It would look great pulling up to training or tearing around a racetrack on an open day.