With the Mazda reaching its final week here with us at Fleet News, Instead of feeling excited to find out what I’ll be driving next, I am surprised at how attached I have become to the car.
With many fleets running cars like the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf, it is perhaps too easy to overlook the Mazda 3.
I have been driving the Mazda since January and, like my colleague Andrew Ryan, got to experience first-hand how convenient the extra technology is when the weather turns cold. The heated windscreen helped enormously on the icy mornings.
With the line-up comprising three petrol engines, three diesel engines and five equipment levels. Despite using the least powerful diesel engine, the Mazda cruises along nicely offering drivers a comfortable ride, lots of space with responsive handling. Our TS2 Nav car is generously equipped, luxuries that you soon take for granted until you sit in similar cars in the same price bracket that are less well endowed.
The Mazda’s sleek lines make it stand out. Gareth Roberts, our News Editor thought so when he drove it in September and suggested it will appeal to company car drivers desiring a stylish car.
Another plus for its Mazda 3 is the ease of use. Controls are so clear and easy to understand, you never need the manual to explain. The only grumble, as Gareth also felt when driving the Mazda, is the sat nav screen which “Is so small I have to possess the eyesight of a bird of prey to focus on’.
Fuel economy is competitive with rivals that don’t feature bespoke fuel-saving technology. The official 62.8mpg I have easily achieved on gentle motorway journeys and in some cases gone over. Not all of my colleagues achieved the same fuel economy as me. I would put this down to my superior driving skills, but the truth would probably be because I took eco driver training back in October.
Although the brand does not have the same the appeal as an Audi A3 or BMW 1 series, it seems a well-rounded package that should suit most fleet requirements for a job need car.
I did have a few niggles when I first took on the Mazda, however these have almost all disappeared, the car has grown on me and I am genuinely sad to see it go.