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Why Lease The 3 Saloon?

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Alex Bradley is a skilled writer and digital content specialist focusing on automotive and sports. He has a degree in Multimedia Journalism and previously worked for The Northern Quota as Head Sports Editor.

Mazda 3 Saloon Review 2023

The Mazda 3 Saloon is a small saloon car that's great for those looking for a reliable and stylish lease car. With a high-quality interior and decent performance, the 3 Saloon is a good, affordable option in a traditionally expensive car segment. 

Rivals to the 3 Saloon include the Audi A4 Saloon, BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, Skoda Superb, and Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon.  

Our Mazda 3 Saloon review covers:

Mazda 3 Saloon Key Features

  • Slick styling with aggressive headlights 
  • Pleasant interior with high-quality features 
  • 450-litre boot 
  • A 2.0-litre petrol hybrid engine 
  • Two trim levels: Executive-Line and Takumi 

Mazda 3 Saloon Pros and Cons:


  • Smart interior 
  • Plenty of equipment as standard 
  • Efficient engine 


  • Only one engine is available 
  • The ride can be a bit firm 
  • Rear space is limited for adults 

Design, Practicality and Boot Space

You'd think a Mazda saloon car would be miles behind the premium German saloons for exterior design, but not the 3 Saloon. It's a fine-looking car with aggressive headlights and a low front grille, while at the rear, the roof slopes into the boot very elegantly. 

Climb inside the 3 Saloon, and you'll find a pretty spacious cabin. In the front, there's plenty of leg and headroom for a pair of six-footers to get comfortable, while in the back, space is okay for children and teenagers, but taller adults will find their knees touching the front seats. 

Mazda 3 Saloon exterior

Boot space comes in at 450 litres, which is a 116-litre increase compared to the standard 3 Hatchback. The 3 Saloon has quite a compact rear end, so the boot opening is pretty small; however, it'll still swallow more luggage than the Mercedes A-Class Saloon

Interior and Trims

Although the 3 Saloon is much cheaper than the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe and Mercedes A-Class Saloon, you wouldn't be able to tell this by its interior. It feels built to last and features loads of high-quality materials such as soft-touch plastics and a black leather trim on the Takumi trim. 

On the dash, there's a 10.3-inch infotainment system that has a DAB radio, Bluetooth, sat-nav, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. It's quick to respond, simple to use, and a better system than the one found in the Skoda Superb.

Two trim levels are available: Exclusive-Line and Takumi. 

Exclusive-Line has 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive front LED headlights, rear privacy glass, a premium 12-speaker Bose sound system, dual-zone air conditioning, heated front seats, and smart keyless entry. 

Takumi adds a 360-degree view monitor, a black leather seat trim, a heated steering wheel, an adjustable driver's seat, cruising and traffic support, driver monitoring, front cross-traffic alert, and smart brake support. 

Power and Performance

One 2.0-litre petrol hybrid engine is available for the 3 Saloon that combines an 186PS engine with a 24-volt battery. It has front-wheel drive and comes with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. 

The engine is designed to behave like a petrol engine when accelerating and a diesel when cruising. Increase the revs, and you'll do 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds and get to a top speed of 134mph while also getting very decent fuel economy at a combined 54 for the manual or 47 for the automatic. 

Mazda 3 Saloon interior

On the road, the 3 Saloon is good in most situations. Around town, its steering is well-weighted and accurate, meaning you go wherever you choose. Its suspension is also okay, but it's slightly on the firmer side, meaning it's not as comfortable as the Mercedes A-Class Saloon or Skoda Superb

Get up to motorway speed, which isn't an issue for the engine, and you'll find it's composed and limits wind and road noise pretty well. The suspension is pretty similar at higher speeds than at low speeds, and the light handling means you can have a bit of fun on country lanes if you wish. 

Leasing vs Buying

Prices for the new Mazda 3 Saloon start from £28,980.00 OTR* or to lease from £283.68 per month.

Looking to get behind the wheel of the Mazda 3 Saloon? Nationwide Vehicle Contracts is one of the UK's largest car leasing brokers and offers a range of leasing deals to suit your every need.

Leasing may be cheaper than an outright purchase, thanks to a low initial deposit and fixed monthly rentals.

*' On the road' price correct at time of publication and includes one year's road fund license, DVLA first registration fee and number plate fee. Prices are subject to change; always check with your nearest retailer.  

Customer Reviews

Mazda 3 Saloon
Average Rating Based on 2 reviews
3.1 out of 5

  • Practicality
  • Performance
  • Running Costs
  • Comfort
  • Value For Money
5.0 out of 5
Phillip Mazda 3 Saloon 2.0 e-Skyactiv-X MHEV 186 GT Sport

Simply love the car

  • Practicality
  • Performance
  • Running Costs
  • Comfort
  • Value For Money
1.1 out of 5
Joanne Mazda 3 Saloon 2.0 Skyactiv-X MHEV GT Sport

One issue after another. Poor performance, none despite GT version. Sluggish, have to drop down gears to overtake or get car going, so economy is very poor and no where near to advertised MPG, very misleading. The Mazda garage told me apparently they open up after 5k miles, bearing in mind I don’t get the rental cheaper until then….Been in & out of garage under warranty. Constant warnings from system,. Car has cut out dead 3 time, while driving - dangerous, I am scared to drive it on a motorway in case it just stops again, no help, will not take car back. Due to covid I haven’t been using it as much as under normal circumstances, so lucky in that respect so far. Even my local garage no longer is a Mazda garage due yo so many issues with these new engines. I was told it is because they are an experimental engine. I’d rather not it be tested on me. Also, despite top end of range the drivers seat had a lump where the coccyx is, so agony even on short journeys. I have never experienced any issues with any car in my life, and I had a Mazda 6 in the past, which I lived, but I would never ever get any Mazda again. EVER. Despite so many issues and the engine just stopping they still won’t return the vehicle. I have another 12 months and expect a massive crash at some point, I hope it doesn’t happen on the motorway and I hope I, or anyone else dies. It is ridiculous and I am scared every time I have to use it! The lease company or Mazda won’t do anything. My next stage is the automobile ombudsman.

  • Practicality
  • Performance
  • Running Costs
  • Comfort
  • Value For Money