The 107bhp 1.6-litre common rail diesel unit will be available in S and TS specification and will cost from £13,350 on-the-road. TS2 and Sport versions will appear later in the year.
Carbon dioxide emissions are 138g/km, although the engine is not Euro IV-compliant until the end of 2004, incurring a 3% benefit-in-kind tax surcharge in the meantime, with a combined fuel economy figure of 56.5mpg.
Jeremy Thomson, marketing manager of Mazda Motors UK, said: 'Diesel is a segment which is seeing significant growth in the C segment.
'The market currently stands at 34% diesel and is set to rise at 2% per year and we need to be in the market with a Mazda diesel that is a good drive, frugal and exciting.
'That is exactly what we have with the Mazda3 diesel. While our initial volume aspirations for the Mazda3 diesel are modest, we will see the volumes rise to closely reflect the market's petrol/diesel split in a full year of production.
'In 2004 we anticipate that the Mazda3 diesel will account for 22% of production, rising to around 30% during 2005.'
Mazda3 price list (OTR)
Mazda3 1.6 4dr TS diesel (108 bhp)…£14,800
Mazda3 1.6 5dr S diesel (108 bhp)…£13,350
Mazda3 1.6 5dr TS diesel (108 bhp)…£14,800