Zoom, zoom, zoom… that’s enough of that. Mazda’s efforts to vest its cars with some of the dynamic magic enjoyed by the MX-5 might make great branding, but that ad jingle is catchy enough to offer potential as an instrument of torture.
Just as well then, that’s Mazda’s new-wave models offer more enduring appeal, and some evidence of the aforementioned zoominess, too. True, the strategy shows stretch marks in places – the 68bhp Mazda 2 diesel, for instance, is barely worth half a bar of zooming, let alone three – but the Mazda 3 2.0 Sport ought to qualify for the full trio.
Well, not quite. There was a time when 148bhp in a hatch of this size was guaranteed to produce plenty of zoom-zoom moments, but with 1310kg to lug, the Mazda 3’s 2.0-litre motor needs 8.8sec to knock off the sprint to 60mph, and fairly committed use of the accelerator to yield sporting thrust. So, what we have here is merely a brisker 3, a car more than adequate if you’re merely getting there, but one that falls a little short if it’s exhilaration you’re chasing.