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MAZDA 3 HATCHBACK
The new Mazda3 Hatchback is now better than ever. Blessed with a svelte exterior design and a plush, upmarket cabin, the new Mazda3 is hard to fault as far as quality is concerned.

When it comes to driving refinement and handling, the Mazda3 also does no disappoint. The car is highly comfortable, while still demonstrating good agility in corners. The new 24V mild hybrid system is paired with a 1.5-litre powerplant to deliver smooth acceleration. This all combine to deliver a hatchback package that is high on quality, refinement, and class - hard to look past within this segment.
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The new Mazda3 is available in both Sedan and Hatchback forms, but it is the latter that proves to be the most desirable. With a clean and simple design, shedding sharp lines for fluid, curvaceous forms, the Mazda3 Hatchback is extremely pleasing on the eye.

This minimalistic ethos also translates to the cabin – the clean and simple design of the dashboard, combined with good material choices all around, create an elevated sense of quality. Coupled with the new 8.8-inch infotainment system that is controlled via a rotary dial that produces a satisfying click when turned, the Mazda3's perceived quality is well on par with cars priced above its class.

.Sitting on a brand new platform, the new car is marginally shorter and lower than the one it replaces, but delivers more space on the inside thanks to intelligent packaging. Specifying the car in a lighter shade of interior trim also helps to accentuate the sense of spaciousness.

In an effort to make the car stiffer and safer, the Mazda3 has grown in weight. But that does not stop the hatchback from being the pick of its class in terms of handling. Feeling tight and agile in the turns, the Mazda3 demonstrates good body control, resisting roll almost as well a hot hatch.

That is not to say that it will be uncomfortable for passengers who want a relaxing ride home. On the highway, the well-trimmed cabin is well isolated from the outside world, with barely any engine noise. Blessed with a ride that is mildly firm but never anywhere near harsh, the car balances good handling and comfort easily.

One of the main highlights of the car is a new 24V mild hybrid assistance that it paired to its 1.5-litre naturally aspirated engine. A rarity in this class, the mild hybrid system does not actually assist in powering the car, but instead helps power on-board components and lower fuel consumption. The mild hybrid system also ensures smoother engine start/stop – during our time in the car, the start/stop system proved to be pleasingly unobtrusive.

Excelling in so many ways, it is hard to ignore how well-rounded the Mazda3 is, thus prompting us to give it the nod in this hatchback category.