I do like a compact saloon.
My first car was a Triumph Acclaim, about which there was little to like, but handsome styling just looks nicer on the better-balanced silhouette of a three-box car, doesn’t it?
So I keenly accepted the offer of a week in the 3 Fastback and with interest chucked various bulky items in, such as child seats and buggies, to see how it compared with a similarly priced hatchback for practicality.
The 3 Fastback has the same wheelbase as the hatch but is 120mm longer in the rear overhang. Load up the boot and you can tell; where hatchback owners will be used to loading a folded baby buggy sideways into the boot, it will go longways into the Fastback, in turn making easier work of squeezing in everything else.
The relative shallowness of the boot was no obstacle, but I do wish Mazda had weighted the bootlid hinges to make the lid open all the way when you press the release on the key fob. Instead, it opens only halfway – so you might as well reach for the boot handle anyway.
Our time is nearly up
Took a trip to Aberdeen to drive the facelifted Mazda 3.
Good news: a new G-Vectoring Control system makes the car feel more stable through corners and there are mild but effective upgrades for the exterior styling and interior equipment.
Bad news: because the updated car is now on sale, our pre-facelift car will soon be leaving Autocar’s fleet.
MAZDA 3 1.5 DIESEL SPORT NAV FASTBACK
Price £21,945 Price as tested £22,605 Economy 56.2mpg Faults None Expenses None Last seen 21.9.16