Mazda isn’t afraid of a pseudo-premium price positioning these days, and the before-options asking price of our upper-level test car showed as much, being higher than for a 180bhp Ford Focus Ecoboost ST-Line X and very close to a VW Golf 1.5 TSI GT Edition. But Mazda justifies that position by including a great deal of equipment as standard: on a GT Sport model, you get 18in alloys, adaptive LED headlights, heated leather upholstery and a 12-speaker premium audio system to go with your 8.8in touchscreen infotainment system.

The cost of insurance will be relatively high for private buyers – up to six bands higher, in fact, than for like-for-like rivals. But benefit-in-kind tax for company drivers will be appealingly low – up to five bands lower than those same competitors. You would imagine the latter will be a bigger relative draw than the former is an obstacle.

Richard Lane

Road tester
The Mazda is expected to hold its value well, outdoing both the new Ford Focus and the ageing Mk7.5 Golf in our forecasts

Real-world fuel economy, meanwhile, could go a long way to offsetting any inflated insurance bill, since our test car averaged a very impressive 57.0mpg on our touring economy test, where most cars of the same power output would be unlikely to top 45mpg.

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