2012 Mazda3 hatchback prices revealed

The Ford Focus-rivalling three- or five-door hatchback has received an exterior and interior upgrade for 2012 and, for a limited period, a 1.6-litre petrol model in TS specification will cost £13,495.

This represents a saving of £2,300 in time for the new March 12-plates and puts the TS model below the less-equipped entry-level version for a short time only.

The Mazda3 was one of the older hatchbacks on the market but Mazda’s new race and a revamped rear bumper give it an update for 2012.

Inside, Mazda is keeping pace with the likes of Ford with a selection of new materials and colours including a redesigned, less-cluttered dashboard and new equipment as standard.

Entry-level models now come with air conditioning while the reduced TS specification adds climate control as standard.

Under the cosmetic changes Mazda has introduced more advanced engine technology to pull down emissions and improve fuel economy, particularly in the 1.6-litre diesel version.

The 1.6-litre diesel engine gets two new trim levels for 2012 with a Sport and Sport Nav specification now available on the most popular diesel engine in the range.

However, Mazda cars are known for their focus on the driving experience and an increase in the car’s aerodynamics is designed to boost performance.

This is helped by the Mazda3 retaining its 2.3-litre turbo diesel engines, the most powerful of any small family hatch currently on sale today.

The new Mazda3 hatchback is on sale from Mazda dealerships now and from launch, two new Mazda3 Tamura Limited Editions, complete with sports styling pack and a range of exclusive colours, will be available from £15,995.