Mazda 3
(2014 - 2019)

  • Very attractive Kodo-inspired design
  • Excellent interior quality, look and feel
  • Very practical
  • Good reputation for reliability
  • Infotainment system showing its age
  • Unreliable GPS
  • Excessive road and tyre noise
  • Ride quality can be too firm for some

The Mazda 3 may just be the perfect blend of style with substance.

Available in two body styles across six main variants with either a 2.0-litre or 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel was available for a short period of time) with either a manual or automatic transmission, the 3 range is certainly not short of options.

But, with the Mazda 3 being consistently a high seller, a good range of variants and a mid-life update to consider, should you buy one and if so, which one should you buy?

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What goes wrong
  • Engine mounts can wear resulting in excessive noise and vibrations
  • Rear brake calipers can have issues and may require adjustment
Model range, pricing and features

Neo & Neo Sport

  • Price when new: $20,490 - $22,490
  • Price used: $11,500 - $18,800

It may be the base model but Mazda were happy to drench the Neo in many a bell and whistle.

But don’t be fooled by the Neo Sport badge as there is nothing sport about the Sport, it just replaces the Neo and adds a few more toys.

Standard features:

  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Rear spoiler (hatch only)
  • Air-conditioning
  • Cruise control
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Push-button engine start
  • Six airbags
  • ISOFIX child restraint anchor points & top tethers
  • Rear view camera (Optional)
  • Rear parking sensors (From 2017)
  • G-Vectoring Control Smart City Brake Support (From 2017)
  • 7.0-inch MZD Connect system (Neo Sport)
  • Digital radio (Neo Sport)
  • Rear-view camera (Neo Sport)
  • Six speaker stereo (Neo Sport)

Maxx & Maxx Sport

  • Price when new: $22,390 - $24,890
  • Price used: $12,000 - $20,500

Mechanically and (short of the LED front fog lamps) cosmetically identical to the Neo, the Maxx is equipped with more tech, more safety features and a much nicer interior treatment.

Maxx & Maxx Sport adds:

  • Power mirrors (body-coloured, auto-folding)
  • Leather-wrapped gear shift knob, handbrake and steering wheel
  • Paddle shifters
  • 7.0-inch full colour touchscreen display with MZD Connect dial
  • Audio system with six speakers
  • Internet radio integration (Pandora, Stitcher and Aha)
  • Digital radio (DAB+)
  • Satellite-navigation
  • Reversing camera
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Rear-view mirror with auto-dimming function
  • Smart City Brake Support — reverse
  • Automatic wipers (Maxx Sport)
  • Automatic headlights (Maxx Sport)
  • Dual-zone climate control (Maxx Sport)
  • Electric parking brake (Maxx Sport)


  • Price when new: $33,950 - $34,490
  • Price used: $26,000 - $30,000

Like the Maxx and Maxx Sport, the Touring is mechanically and almost visually identical to the Neo but marks the top of the range of the 2.0-litre-engined Mazda 3 models.

Touring adds:

  • Leather upholstery
  • Automatic folding mirrors
  • Advanced keyless entry
  • Rear-parking sensors
  • Cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear-cross traffic alert
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Dusk-sensing headlights
  • Rain-sensing windscreen wipers
  • Electric park brake


  • Price when new: $24,990 - $27,690
  • Price used: $14,000 - $22,600

The entry point into the 2.5-litre Mazda 3 range actually misses out on a couple of the features seen in the Touring. Gone is the leather trim, illuminated vanity mirrors and sunglasses storage in the roof but nevertheless, this is our sweet spot of the range.

SP25 adds:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Auto on/off headlights
  • Rear spoiler
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Advanced keyless entry
  • Electric park brake
  • Fog lights


  • Price when new: $26,490 - $29,490
  • Price used: $21,000 - $27,000

Mechanically identical to the SP25, the GT brings with it a range of creature comforts and tech additions.

SP25 GT adds:

  • Head-up display
  • Auto-dimming rear view mirror
  • Bi-xenon headlights
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Electrically adjustable driver’s seat
  • LED daytime running lights
  • LED headlights (From 2016)
  • Power heated mirrors
  • Leather seats with six-way power adjust and heating
  • Active Driving Display (HUD)
  • Premium Bose 231-watt amplifier and nine speakers
  • Traffic Sign Recognition
  • Driver Attention Alert

SP25 Astina

  • Price when new: $33,490 - $37,040
  • Price used: $20,500 - $32,000

Again, like the SP25 GT, the top of the range Mazda 3 is mechanically identical to the SP25 but is equipped with every bell and whistle available across the Mazda 3 range but you will be paying a premium.

SP25 Astina adds:

  • Electric sunroof
  • Adaptive LED headlights
  • Higher-speed autonomous braking
  • Bright-finish 18-inch wheels
  • 10-way power adjustment for the heated seats
  • Radar cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Lane-keep assist


XD Astina

  • Price when new: $39,290 - $41,290
  • Price used: $23,000 - $28,000

Being the most expensive and only diesel variant of the Mazda 3 range, the XD Astina managed to lure less than one percent of all Mazda 3 sales.

Features wise, the hatch-only XD Astina is simply an SP25 Astina with a diesel engine.

XD Astina adds:

  • Same features as the SP25 Astina
Should you buy it?


This generation of Mazda 3 mixes reliability, practicality, safety and excellent driving dynamics. It then wraps those attributes in a gorgeous body shell and fills it with an interior that is not only comfortable but feels far more expensive than it is. We highly recommend the Mazda 3, find any cared-for 3 with a solid service history and you’ll have yourself an excellent car.

Warranty & servicing


5-years/unlimited kms


15,000kms or every 12 months with capped-price servicing for the first 3 years

Tech specs

Body style:

  • 5-door hatch or 4-door sedan

Engine & outputs:

  • 2.0-litre, 4-cyl petrol – 114kW / 200Nm (Neo, Neo Sport, Maxx, Maxx Sport, Touring)
  • 2.5-litre, 4-cyl petrol – 138kW / 250Nm (SP25, SP25GT, SP25 Astina)
  • 2.2-litre, 4-cyl turbo-diesel – 129kW/420Nm (XD Astina)


  • 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic

Fuel use (combined):

  • 5.8L/100km (2.0-litre petrol)
  • 6.5L/100km (2.5-litre petrol)
  • 5.2L/100km (1.6-litre diesel)


  • Height: 1470mm (hatch), 1450mm (sedan)
  • Length: 4460mm (hatch), 4580mm (sedan)
  • Width: 1795mm

Information correct as of February 11, 2021.

The advice provided on this website is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

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