How does the Fastback compare to its rivals in the hatchback market?

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

Read our previous reports:

First report

Practicality test

Our Verdict

Mazda 3
The SkyActiv platform used in the 3 features more high and ultra-high-strength steel, offering greater strength and less weight

Mazda's SkyActiv revolution hits the family hatchback class

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Comments
3

9 November 2016
I live in Aberdeen! I would have loved to meet one of you guys to find out about the job and everything you guys get up to! I read Autocar everyday I would have loved to have seen what goes on behind the scenes. Where did you get the facelift model from? I work at Arnold Clark was it one from us? We've got the Mazda dealer in Aberdeen.

9 November 2016
"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."

What a load of nonsense!

The car-buying public gets what it deserves, unfortunately ...

9 November 2016
Along with the A3 saloon, the 3 Fastback seems to sell relatively well for a compact saloon. Perhaps their styling and decent proportions helps, unlike many previous attempts at saloons in this class from other marques.

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