From Towcar Awards 2008
List price: £18,005 (when tested)
85% Match: 1262kg
Maximum towing limit: 1500 kg
Towball limit: 75kg
SQUEEZE A BIG, beefy diesel engine into a small hatchback and you have an effective towcar.
With 141bhp and 266lb/ft of torque, the 3 accelerated from 30-60mph in 16.7 seconds. On the road that should translate into assured overtaking, though the gearshift’s notchy and at very low revs, power delivery is a bit flat.
The Mazda was just as happy through corners as on straights, with a low peak reading of 0.7G recorded by the ATC unit. Our performance tester described the 3 as “agile and strong with good stability for such a compact car”.
It lost ground in the practicality test due to awkward boot access and the lack of a proper spare wheel.
Mazda has a good reputation for reliability. At £18,000, it isn’t cheap for a small hatch, but twist the dealer’s arm and that should drop to under £16,500.
Buying & owning: 4/5
Verdict: 4/5. Pairs a strong engine with good stability. A great small hatch.
Braking 30-0mph: 11.13m
|85% KW||1262 kg|
|Towball Limit||75 kg|
|Maximum Towing Limit||1500 kg|