What is it?
This is the Mazda 3 MZR-CD 2.2 turbodiesel. Mazda likes to do things its own way, so while most Focus-sized cars max out their diesel options at 2.0 litres, the Japanese firm has treated its revised Mazda 3 to its new 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine.
The unit comes in three configurations in the larger Mazda 6, but the Mazda 3 gets only the two more powerful versions, with 182bhp and 148bhp.
It’s the weaker of the two options that we’re trying here, but in a car of the Mazda 3 MZR-CD 2.2’s size and weight the motor feels anything but puny. It pulls smoothly and strongly from a little over 1500rpm, and its 266lb ft of torque is more than capable of pulling the 3 along at a decent lick. Mazda claims that 0-60mph takes just 9.2sec, and it feels like it.
What’s it like?
Impressive. Refinement was the main goal with the latest Mazda 3, and the new Mazda 3 MZR-CD 2.2 fits into that programme nicely. Yes, it’s a diesel, and there is some clatter at start-up, but the Mazda 3’s engine is far from intrusive when you’re pushing on and it remains a relaxed cruiser at motorway speeds.