David Motton

See other tow car reviews written by David Motton

From Towcar Awards 2008

List price: £18,005 (when tested) Kerbweight: 1485kg85% Match: 1262kgMaximum towing limit: 1500 kgTowball 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.

Overview

From Towcar Awards 2008

List price: £18,005 (when tested)
Kerbweight: 1485kg
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.

Good stability

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.

Towing: 4/5
Solo: 4/5
Practicality: 3/5
Buying & owning: 4/5

Verdict: 4/5. Pairs a strong engine with good stability. A great small hatch.

Braking 30-0mph: 11.13m

Technical specs

Kerbweight1485 kg
85% KW1262 kg
Towball limit75 kg
Maximum towing limit1500 kg
Share with friends

Follow us on

Most recent caravan reviews

The Practical Caravan Elddis Crusader Zephyr review – 1 - The exterior colour is called 'Champagne', but it is really a heathery brown, differentiating it from the blue of its Compass Camino 660 sister van (© Peter Baber/Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Lunar Lexon 590 review – 1 - Flush-fitting windows, the sunroof, alloy wheels and the cantilever-action gas locker door all add a touch of class to the 590 (© Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Sprite Quattro DD review – 1 - This twin-axle from the 2017 range of Sprite caravans has an MTPLM of 1624kg (© Andy Jenkinson/Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Bailey Pursuit 560-5 review – 1 - The single front window may look budget-style to some, but we like the uncluttered view it provides from inside the van (© Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Compass Capiro 550 review – 1 - The new-for-2017 Compass Capiro 550 has a 1467kg MTPLM (© Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Sterling Eccles 510 review – 1 - Sharp graphics and a carbonfibre-effect gas-locker lid give the Sterling a unique personality that distances it from its Swift Challenger sibling (© Practical Caravan)