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  • 2021 Mazda 3
    RM 1,479/Month RM 139,770

Key Highlights

Arguably the best-driving in segment Feels the most refined and luxurious among its peers As with all Mazda models, exterior has good looks
Punchy engines that feels sporty, well matched with transmission GVC reduces body roll, better comfort too Top variant has advanced driving assist systems

Overview

Mazda 3 2021 Review

If the launch of the first SKYACTIV models showed the world that Mazda was making radical changes to their product lineup and positioning, the current generation Mazda 3 (stylized as Mazda3) is the model that drives this point home. While the nameplate of the Mazda 3 has spanned four generations since 2003, the actual model line has been around since the 1960s as the Mazda 323.

This generation of Mazda 3 also happens to redefine the interior and exterior styling for the current generation of Mazda products – which is a heavy task to bear for a mid-sized hatchback or sedan. There are five different variants of the Mazda 3 on offer, two of which are liftbacks (hatchbacks) and three of which are sedans. There are also two different engine options – a 1.5-litre or a 2.0 litre, both petrol powered.

Mazda 3 2021 Specifications

As mentioned earlier, the Mazda 3 gets two different engine options. The smaller of the two is a 1.5-litre SKYACTIV-G petrol unit, not unlike those found in the Mazda 2. It makes 118 hp and 153 Nm of torque, sending power to the front wheels through a six-speed conventional automatic transmission with manual override functionality.

In the case of the larger engine, it is a 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G petrol powerplant that makes 162 hp and 213 Nm of torque – also common to many other Mazda engines. It goes through the same conventional automatic transmission to the front wheels as the 1.5-litre engine. Both of these engines also feature direct injection for better efficiency and a cleaner burn.

What’s a little sad is that in other markets, there is a high-performance version of the Mazda 3 that comes with the turbocharged 2.5-litre petrol engine out of the Mazda CX-5. This variant would be a spiritual successor to the Mazda 3 MPS, and it’s a shame we just don’t have that option available to us.

In terms of dimensions, the wheelbase of both the sedan and liftback stay constant at 2,725 mm – an impressively long number when you consider that most rivals, both Japanese and European, sit between 2,600 mm and 2,700 mm in length for the wheelbase. The widths are also the same at 1,796 mm, but the sedan comes in at 4,660 mm in length, while the liftback runs at 4,460 mm in length.

Mazda 3 2021 Exterior

The Mazda 3 is an absolute head turner – especially in liftback form, as it was intended to be. As Mazda loves to promote their designers, the bodywork of the Mazda 3 is unique and difficult to execute, but results in lines that curve and reflect in the most alluring ways. LED headlights and taillights are standard across all variants, though the daytime running lights are only LEDs for the High Plus variants, and regular bulbs otherwise.

Mazda 3 2021 Interior

While its predecessor was a bit of a halfway house in terms of interior design, the current generation Mazda 3 really pushes the boundaries and redefines what a mass market car should have on the inside. The material choices rival those found in European models, and the layout is a more refined version of your modern free-floating infotainment system design.

All variants get a seven-inch colour TFT LCD multi-info display for relaying driver information, as well as a colour heads-up display for the active driving system. The head unit us an 8.8-inch touchscreen, paired with an eight speaker setup. The entry level 1.5-litre models get manual adjusting seats, while the rest get ten-way power adjustable seats for the driver’s side.

Mazda 3 2021 Safety Features

If you’re looking for the safest variants of the Mazda 3, that would naturally be the High Plus models in either sedan or liftback flavour. These two options get the i-ACTIVSENSE safety suite that includes adaptive front lighting with high beam control, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning with lane keep assist and driver attention alert, radar cruise control, and autonomous emergency braking known as Smart Brake Support for both the front and rear.

In terms of standard safety systems for the other variants, every model gets seven airbags, your standard ABS with EBD and brake assist, dynamic stability control (electronic stability control), traction control, and hill launch assist. It’s a pretty standard package for cars in this price bracket, and the active safety systems are welcome for the higher spec variants.

Mazda 3 2021 Strengths and Weaknesses

You can’t talk about the Mazda 3 without mentioning the fact that it is an incredibly expensive proposition for the class it fights in. Even the cheaper 1.5-litre options sit at nearly the top-spec level pricing of other models, which is again what makes it so difficult to justify purchasing one of these cars. But Mazda isn’t worried about the pricing of their rivals, and for good reason.

The Mazda 3 punches far, far above its belt in terms of everything except outright performance. To view it as an expensive Japanese mid-sized model is perhaps the wrong way to go about it – instead, it’s more realistic to view it as a far more cost-effective alternative to luxury models that sit above the RM 200,000 mark. If you don’t believe that, even the CEO of a certain Japanese automaker has said that Mazda has become their preferred benchmark over BMW.

Unfortunately, to understand why this is the case you need to spend time living with and driving the Mazda 3. Beyond the undeniably gorgeous interior, the head-turning exterior styling, the incredibly refinement and material choices – it is the way that it rides and drives that is truly inspiring and intuitive, a car that handles far beyond what you could expect. Perhaps that our only wish is that it came with a little more power.

Mazda 3 2021 Price

The pricing structure for the Mazda 3 can be a little confusing because it turns out the liftback and sedans of each particular variant share the same price. As such, pricing for the based model 1.5 liftback and sedan is RM 137,660, while the 2.0 sedan High variant goes for RM 145,119, and the 2.0 liftback and sedan in High Plus trim go for RM 154,679.

Mazda 3 2021 Features

Keyless entry and start are included as standard across the range, as is dual-zone automatic climate control, a reverse-camera with guide lines, auto-dimming rear view mirrors, and automatic headlights with auto levelling. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also included in the sticker price, as is Mazda’s i-Stop idling technology and G-Vectoring Control Plus technology. Paddle shifters are included for the 2.0-litre variants, though omitted from the 1.5-litre variants which will need to be manually overridden by the shift lever in the centre console. One-touch power folding wing mirrors with integrated turn signals complete the package.

Mazda 3 2021 Fuel Consumption

The manufacturer quoted fuel consumption ratings for the Mazda 3 are 5.8 litres per 100 kilometres for the 1.5-litre sedan, 5.9 litres per 100 kilometres for the 1.5-litre liftback, 6.2 litres per 100 kilometres for the 2.0-litre sedan, and 6.3 litres per 100 kilometres for the 2.0 liftback. This works out to 17.2 kilometres per litre, 16.9 kilometres per litre, 16.1 kilometres per litre, and 15.9 kilometres per litre respectively. 

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Key Details

  • Body Type: Hatchback/Sedan
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Engine Capacity: 1496 cc - 1998 cc
  • Fuel Type: petrol
  • Seat Capacity: 5
  • Price: RM 139,770 - RM 160,059

Key Details

  • Body Type: Hatchback/Sedan
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Engine Capacity: 1496 cc - 1998 cc
  • Fuel Type: petrol
  • Seat Capacity: 5
  • Price: RM 139,770 - RM 160,059

Reviews

  • Jim Kem

    15 Sep 2020

    Review: Mazda 3 2.0 Liftback High Plus - A Hero’s Journey...Upmarket

    Sitting inside, the doors are lighter than you might expect but closes with an assured thump. Getting situated was easy enough, despite manual seat adjustments being a glaring feature disparity. It’s so easy to get comfortable and attuned with the car that’s its actually possible not to notice it. New yet so quickly familiar.

    View full review

User Review of Mazda 3

4.6 Excellent
Overall Rating
Performance
Interior Design
Safety
Exterior Design
Showing 32 reviews sorted by Latest Year
5 Excellent
Mervyn
Owner of 2020 Mazda 3

Beautiful but cramped

The car is a head turner. Beautiful inside and out. Just wish it was a little more spacious inside. - Less
4 person found this helpful
5 Excellent
Derric
Owner of 2019 Mazda 3

Beautiful, Premium touch

It's the car you won't feel tired after a long drive. Premium interior gives you feeling of conti D segment car. This car get so much attention on the road which you don't get with civic and altis. - Less
12 person found this helpful
4 Very Good
Senthuran
Owner of 2019 Mazda 3

The New 3 personifies all of Mazda Kodo design

Superb handling and an luxurious interior is held back by a 2.0 engine - Less
4 person found this helpful
5 Excellent
Phraxy
Owner of 2019 Mazda 3

Extraordinary performance and Well Price

This Mazda 3 is a very good car , for the interior design is absolutely amazing and mind blogging for a normal sedan car, this engine is also very responsive and good value for the price. Carlist is also good very good platform for common people to enjoy researching and choosing a wise car for them. - Less
9 person found this helpful
4 Very Good
Wei
Owner of 2019 Mazda 3

Mazda 3 3rd gen high spec sedan

Good overall handling & driving experience Unacceptable NVH - Less
4 person found this helpful
See all reviews

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2021 Mazda 3
RM 1,479/Month RM 139,770
2021 Mazda 3
RM 1,479/Month RM 139,770

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