By Lauren Ferrone
Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018
Small cars in this price bracket are the biggest-selling in Australia, so it’s no surprise there’s some ferocious competition – but it was no match for the Mazda3 Maxx Sport.
What sets it apart from the rest
A number of upgrades to safety and other features – some as recent as February this year – has left the Maxx Sport’s competitors playing a game of catch-up.
In particular, Mazda fired a significant shot last year when it made a number of important safety features standard across the range, including autonomous braking, blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alert (the latter feature warns you of cars approaching from the side when you’re reversing out of a car park).
However, this was just one of the reasons it nosed ahead of the pack in Australia’s Best Cars 2018. The Mazda3’s build and finish remains class-leading and, at about $27,000 drive-away, it’s as close to premium as you’ll get without paying premium small car prices.
What it’s like to drive
The Maxx Sport’s ability to manage the engine’s torque while taking corners is one of its standout on-road attributes.
It performs extremely well with exceptional fuel consumption, using just 5.8L/100km and, unlike some of its competitors, doesn’t need premium fuel to keep it going.
It’s also clear Mazda has been working on getting road and engine noise down, which along with all the above, has helped push the Mazda3 to the front of the pack.
What it’s got
- New rain-sensing wipers.
- Automatic on/off headlights.
- Dual-zone climate control.
- Electric parking brake.
- Functional interior and easy-to-use controls, like the gearshift, pedals and steering wheel, which are deemed by the judges as the best-in-class.
- Great safety features that are standard across the range.
Is this the car for you?
At close to $28,000 drive-away, the Maxx Sport isn’t the cheapest but it’s as close to premium as you’ll get without paying premium small car prices, so it’s worth the investment.
How the finalists fared against the Mazda3 Maxx Sport
Top photo: Shannon Morris