Mazda3 rises in popularity

The Japanese manufacturer, most famous for its ‘Zoom Zoom’ tagline and range of lightweight, sporty cars, has boosted its share of the total car market by 1.2 per cent to 6.1 per cent in April.

This is despite the Japanese earthquake and subsequent tsunami causing supply issues to its factories in the country and reduced sales in its home market.

However, demand for the Mazda3 hatchback in overseas markets helped Mazda boost overseas production of the car by an astonishing 601.5 per cent compared to April 2010.

The Mazda3 is a popular model in Europe where hatchbacks are particularly popular. The Mazda3 competes with the likes of the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra in the hatchback segment.

Available in five-door body style, the Mazda3 comes in four specification levels; S, TS, TS2 and Sport.

Entry-level models include Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Traction Control System to aid driving dynamics. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, CD audio unit with a radio and MP3 compatibility and electric front windows and door mirrors.

Top spec models include alloy wheels and several sporty upgrades including front and rear sports bumpers, bucket seats and gadgets such as a BOSE surround sound system and rear parking distance sensors.

The Mazda3 starts from £14,755 for entry-level ‘S’ models. For models using the new 1.6-litre diesel engine, prices start from £17,025, but the car comes with the benefit of zero first year VED and £30 per year in subsequent years.