2016 Mazda3 Touring Review

2016 Mazda3 road test and review.

Chances are, if you’re reading this Mazda3 review you are weighing up whether to buy the Mazda, a Toyota Corolla or a Hyundai i30.

These three models are the top-selling small cars in Australia and each is available as hatch or sedan. I have driven the Mazda, the Toyota and the Hyundai and I can give you a clear cut verdict – buy the Mazda3.

Where the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai i30 are both safe, well-priced and practical cars with plenty of features, neither car drives as nicely as the Mazda3.

The Mazda product feels stronger and more planted on the road, it handles better, has sharper steering and just as nice a ride (if not better) than the Toyota and Hyundai rivals.

So it very much is more of a ‘driver’s car’.

Prices start from $20,490 (Mazda3 Neo) and the Touring grade of the Mazda3 starts from $24,790 manual and $26,790 auto (same prices for sedan and hatch variants). The Touring is the top-spec model fitted with a 2.0 litre engine, from here on up you are looking at either the larger 2.5 litre petrol engine or 2.2 litre diesel.

I had a 2016 Mazda3 Touring with an auto transmission and sedan body to test and I have to say I was very impressed.

The engine, which produces 114kW and 200Nm, never really feels like it needs any extra grunt. The power is smooth and the transmission provides seamless changes. Fuel economy? Excellent – I averaged 7.2L/100km.

Nice steering, enjoyable and surprisingly good handling, the Mazda3 really is an enjoyable and pleasing car to drive.

Inside the cabin, again, this vehicle is just better finished off and ‘meatier’ than its rivals. The fit and finish is excellent, the Mazda MZD infotainment system is as good as it gets and there is one big advantage the Mazda3 has over the CX-3 and Mazda2 that I road tested in recent weeks – a centre armrest!

Roomy front and back (for a small sedan), a back seat that folds down almost flat and a decent-sized boot finish off what is a really likeable offering (I also liked that the carpet in the boot wasn’t connected to the rear of the back seat – this makes it easy to pull out and clean off).

Standard features in this grade of Mazda3 include:

  • Satellite-navigation
  • Reverse camera
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Tilt and reach steering adjustment
  • 16” alloy wheels
  • Bluetooth system
  • Cruise control (fingertip speed adjustment – a must!)
  • Push-button ignition
  • Partial leather seats
  • Leather steering wheel/gear knob/parking brake surround
  • Rain sensing wipers

On the Mazda3 Touring you won’t have to pay extra for premium paint, though there is a $200 additional fee for the popular Soul Red Metallic. There is an optional factory-fitted Safety Pack and for the additional $1,500 you get Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind-spot sensors, Forward (low speed) crash mitigation and an electric anti-glare rear-view mirror.

Sexy styling, five-star safety, four-and-a-half-star green rating, it’s not at all hard to see why Australian car buyers love the Mazda3.

NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Mazda3 Touring Sedan

Engine: 2.0 litre petrol producing 114kW and 200Nm

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Safety: Five stars

Warranty: Three years

Origin: Japan

Price: from $24,790

For further information, please see Recalls and faults: Mazda BM Mazda3.


  1. Hi, Joel. I would like your opinion on how you found the noise levels on the Mazda 3 compared to other small cars you’ve driven, such as the kia Cerato & Volkswagen Golf. I will be purchasing a new car soon and plan to travel more often on country roads (sealed bitumen roads only). The above 3 cars will be on my shopping list. Regards, Shane

    • Hi Shane, I drove the Mazda3 on a number of different roads/highways with different surfaces and I felt there was negligible road noise on any/all.
      All three cars you mentioned are quality offerings and I don’t recall either the Golf or Cerato being particularly noisy during my road tests.
      As I said in the Mazda3 review, great all-rounder. Take them all for a test drive and lest us know what you think, and which one you choose.

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