Test Mazda3 2.0 Skyactiv-G 122 CV Zenith Safety Black (with video)

Test Mazda3 Skyactiv-G 122 hp Zenith

While all car brands opt for supercharging in the vast majority of their vehicles, Mazda seems to swim against the tide with its gasoline cars. Today we put ourselves at the controls of a model that we already really wanted to test thoroughly. It's about the new Mazda3 in 5-door bodywork and with the engine Skyactiv-G 122 hp, which benefits from the Eco label of the DGT. This unit comes with the finish Zenith and the Safety Black package.

The new Hiroshima compact is available both with a 5-door bodywork -more sporty and youthful-, and with a sedan-style three-volume 4-door bodywork -more elegant-. In the following lines we are going to talk about its design, its interior space, the trunk, the available mechanical offer, its features and technical data, as well as the impressions at the wheel and sensations that he has passed on to us. We do not forget the equipment and, of course, its Prices. We started!

A car or a sculpture?

We started our test of the Mazda3 by talking about its exterior design. As you can see, it is a car with a lot of personality in that sense. It doesn't look like any competing model and, in my opinion, it's a beautiful car, very beautiful. In addition, the color Soul Red Crystal It gives a very sensual touch playing with reflections.

And it is that Mazda is accustoming us to quite sensual designs. In this case it is a new evolution of the famous Kodo design, which will progressively reach the rest of the models as they are updated. Bet on simplicity and soft forms in the bodywork, creating very fluid and natural sculptures.

Mazda3 front test

In front, the gloss black grille takes center stage, being large and conveying a 3-dimensional sensation because the upper edge is in front of it. Also noteworthy is the "mustache" that covers it from below and communicates the headlights (which are LED as standard)also very elegant. Softness predominates in these bumpers, look at their shapes.

Is in the side view where that fluidity that I mentioned before is best appreciated. If you notice, the silhouette of the car is very, very smooth from the beginning in the front until it dies in the rear. The roof has a progressive slope and this is also helped by the upper spoiler finished in gloss black. If you look at the flaps and doors, there's no trace of any stress ribs, it's just a slightly curved surface. The wheels, by the way, are 18 inches in this Zenith finish.

Test Mazda3 lateral Zenith Skyactiv-G 122 CV

The Mazda3 exterior dimensions 5 doors are: 4.660 mm long, 1.795 wide, 1.435 high and its wheelbase is 2.725 mm.

But it doesn't end there. We must also highlight that the glazed area is quite small. Notice how small the windows are, especially the rear ones. On the other hand, the rear pillar is also very large, leaving too much "sheet metal" in sight, something that has not convinced me too much. In addition, as we will see later, this has a negative impact on the interior and while driving.

going to the rear of the bodywork, we find ourselves again with very softened lines. The wheel arches are very bulky, leaving a loading mouth that seems narrower than usual. It also highlights the elegant design of its LED pilot lights. In the lower part of the bumper there is a glossy black plastic and two real exhaust outlets that increase the sportiness of the car. I admit that I like these tailpipes.

Test Mazda3 rear

With a simple, elegant and high-quality interior

Already in the driver's seat, in this Mazda3 it is easy to find a driving position nice and comfortable whatever your size. The seat has good adjustments (electric), including lumbar support, and the steering wheel has increased its telescopic adjustment to 7 cm. The seat belt can also adjust your height. By the way, this unit comes with black leather seats and two memory positions for the driver.

La posture behind the wheel is short, that is, we go a little closer to the ground than in many other compact cars and with our legs more stretched out, which increases the feeling of sportiness. The seats are quite comfortable and collect well in the curves. Mazda claims to have worked hard on the ergonomics of the seats, and it seems that this work has paid off. Positive point!

Test Mazda3 dashboard

What else do we find? Well, if on the outside we were talking about an elegant and very fluid design, on the inside it is repeated. It is also very Minimalist. There are not too many buttons, just the right and necessary ones, and everything is well ordered and at hand. The climate control is very simple and intuitive, with two wheels to change the temperature.

On the other hand, the steering wheel is not saturated with buttons either. Using these controls is simple and it takes little time to locate them and, at least to me, it seems quite elegant. Its touch transmits a high quality due to the materials used, being somewhat fine.

Unlike other brands, Mazda is not looking for a very technological interior image. For example, the instrument panel is quite classic, although complete. We have a physical clock for the tachometer on the left side, two smaller ones on the right for the coolant temperature and the fuel level, while in the central part there is a 7-inch screen that shows the right trip information, integrating in it also the speed.

Mazda3 cockpit

I understand that there are customers who are passionate about technology and prefer a fully digital instrument panel with many customization options, such as those used by Mercedes or the Volkswagen Group. Everyone has their tastes, but Mazda says that this type of system distracts the driver. The idea of ​​the Japanese company to me, who is not a special lover of technology, does not seem bad.

And it doesn't seem bad to me, among other things, because All Mazda3s come standard with a Head-Up Display.. Unlike the previous generation, it is now no longer projected onto a small plastic. In it we see the speed information, programming of the speed limiter and regulator and also the navigation instructions. Everything well centered and without diverting, at all, the view of the road for a moment.

Mazda 3 central display control buttons

Moving our gaze to the center of the dashboard, there we find a 8,8-inch color infotainment screen, which is also standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Previously, Mazda screens had poor image quality, especially when displaying the reversing camera. Without a doubt, the jump has been very important in this new generation.

In this case, and also in order not to distract the driver, screen operation is not touch. Everything is easily controlled from a simple rotary control and some buttons for direct access to the main menus, placing them in the central area, where it falls very close at hand to manage with our right hand. The truth is that it is quite simple and intuitive. By the way, with the Zenith finish we are accompanied by a Bose sound system with 12 speakers and subwoofer in the trunk.

Otherwise, the feeling of quality inside this new Mazda3 is very high. The vast majority of materials have a good touch and visual appearance. Everything is well organized, there are many padded parts, there are a good number of holes to leave small objects. In addition, we also have USB and 12-volt outlets. Wow, it has everything you need today.

As I do not like -and you are going to call me heavy for repeating it in many tested cars- is the glossy black plastic, known as Piano Black. From my point of view, I think it is the only negative point that I would put at the front of the passenger compartment. You already know that in addition to being very dirty, it scratches easily. In the case of this unit, which has very few kilometers, It's already ugly enough for having many scratches. a pity...

The Mazda3 is not too spacious

As I mentioned before, the front seats are enough for adults of normal sizes and the driver's position has good adjustments to adapt to practically anyone. So, we directly got into the rear seats.

Test Mazda3 rear seats

How are you going behind here? Well, the truth is that if you're looking for a car that's roomy in the second row, the Mazda3 isn't the best choice. Rather it is a fair bit. The legroom is sufficient for normal-sized adults, but if we are around or exceed 1,80 tall, it is more than likely that we will rub our knees on the front seat and our heads on the roof. This is due to the shapes in the exterior design. Besides, the little glazed area and the black roof do not help create a feeling of spaciousness either.

As a positive point, the Japanese firm has not skimped on the materials used in these rear seats. The upholstery of the doors and trims have a very pleasant touch, maintaining several soft surfaces. The back of the central square becomes an armrest with two bottle holders. However, there are no air vents, no USB or 12-volt sockets in the back, something that we should find. Let's see the trunk.

Below average trunk

Test Mazda3 trunk

The trunk of the Mazda3 is not one of the best either. Its volume is of 358 liters up to the height of the tray, so it falls a little below the category average. Nor is it that it is tiny, because the difference with a Volkswagen Golf or Ford Focus is practically negligible to the naked eye. Of course, we do not have the option of placing the floor in two heights. Under the carpet is the subwoofer of the Bose equipment.

I did not want to end this section without telling you about a detail. When we open the gate, on the edge of it, a small button appears with the symbol of a closed padlock, so we could think that it is used to automatically close the trunk. But no, this car does not have an automated gate. It serves to close the entire car once we lower the tailgate. I think it's a mistake, because if you press it and you have the keys inside... you will have messed it up. This happened to some colleagues during the international presentation of this model.

At the moment, two engines. The 180 hp Skyactiv-X is coming soon

Test Mazda3 Skyactiv-G engine 122 hp

The mechanical range of the Mazda3, at the moment, is limited. In diesel offers us the 1.8 engine Skyactiv-D 116 hpWhereas in gasoline we can opt for 2.0 Skyactiv-G of 122 CV. In these two mechanics, the traction is always to the front train and the manual gearbox, being able to optionally choose an automatic gearbox in the gasoline mechanics.

In just a few days it will hit the market the expected 2.0 Skyactiv-X, a revolutionary engine that uses compression ignition and develops 180 hp. We really want to get our hands on it, but we still have to wait a few weeks for that moment to come.

Mazda3 2.0 Skyactiv-G 122 hp: data and performance

Test Mazda3 Skyactiv-G engine 122 CV Eco DGT sticker

The tested unit has the 2.0 Skyactiv-G 122 hp engine, that is, the gasoline engine. In this case, with manual change. It should be noted, as we said at the beginning of this test, that it is a atmospheric intake mechanics; that is, it does not have overfeeding. This, as we will see later, has its quirks when driving.

DGT emission labels
Related article:
The DGT classifies cars based on pollution with colored labels

It is a 2-liter block with four cylinders and a high compression ratio. Also, it's a 24 volt micro hybrid, so it has the desired DGT Ecolabel. develop 122 CV at 6.000 rpm and a maximum torque of 213 Nm to 4.000 rpm. It approves a mixed consumption of 6,4 litres, reaches a top speed of 197 km/h and takes 10,4 seconds to do the 0 to 100. To save a few tenths of fuel it also has disconnection of 2 of its 4 cylinders when we do not demand a lot of power. Let's go with the dynamic behavior.

At the wheel: If you are already used to turbo, be careful

Test Mazda3 2.0 gasoline 122 CV dynamic behavior

I had previously told you that the gasoline engines used by Mazda do not have a turbo, they are atmospheric. This means that they have a different character to supercharged cars, as their zone of maximum torque is higher up. translates to that you have to take it higher than laps to get good performance.

In the lower area of ​​​​the tachometer it has enough torque to move with agility around the city without having to stretch the gears. Nevertheless, on the road you have to use the gear lever more frequently. To maintain a stable speed there is no problem, but it must be taken into account when overtaking or joining fast roads, where down a gear or two and rev the engine well; especially if we travel loaded and/or with several occupants.

This is a problem? Well, it will depend on your tastes. It didn't seem that way to me because I really like driving and I don't mind having to change gears, among other things because the feel of the gear lever is delicious. But of course, for someone who is already used to turbo engines and who does not like driving too much, they will have the feeling that the car “does not work”.

Test Mazda 3 122 CV petrol Zenith frontal

As I said, we have to adapt to its naturally aspirated engine condition. With this car it is not worth accelerating fully on the road at 2.000 laps. We will not have a forceful response. If you want it to recover well, it's time to downshift to get a satisfying response.

The positive point is that in low gears, loitering, its operation is smoother and progressive than turbo engines. In addition, the response is instantaneous, forgetting about a possible turbo lag. The engine sound is also quite a bit sweeter. In any case, if you don't like changing gears, always you can opt for the automatic gearbox and you forget about the clutch pedal and going up and down speeds.

On the other hand, this engine has a cylinder disconnection system. It is activated automatically and completely imperceptible to the driver when driving at a stabilized and not very high speed. In these cases, it deactivates cylinders 1 and 4 to slightly reduce fuel consumption.

Test Mazda 3 122 CV petrol Zenith rear

Continuing with the dynamic behavior, the Mazda3 is a car that, despite not being a sports car -nor does it claim to be-, is very nice to drive. As I said before, it has a good touch of the change, the sound of the naturally aspirated engine is quite nice, the direction is fast and it transmits information about the grip on the front end.

As well I liked the feel of the brake pedal. We are used to the braking being highly assisted and the pedal being very soft, with a first "approach" section. In this case it is a little harder than normal and without that first dead travel, which allows us to modulate the braking very precisely. In any case, do not think that you have to use a lot of force to stop the car, far from it.

The suspension holds the body very well. when we practice dynamic driving in cornering areas. Although it allows fast cornering without clear signs of rolling, then turns out to be very comfortable on all kinds of routes. It is not dry at any time and that we have 18-inch wheels. On the highway at high speed it is also very poised, giving the driver a lot of confidence.

Mazda3 front profile

One of the disadvantages of the 3-door Mazda5 when driving, especially in the city, is that due to their exterior design they have poor visibility backwards. Thanks to the cameras, which by the way have improved a lot in quality compared to the predecessor, and to the parking sensors we can guide ourselves well. Honestly, I don't know if I would have "managed" as well when it came to parking without these aids. And, as I say, the visibility is very, very fair.

The soundproofing of the passenger compartment is correct, superior to that of the general models of the bodywork but inferior to that of premium vehicles, such as the Audi A3.

And now it's time to talk about consumptions, probably the part that most interests many of you. This 3 hp Mazda2.0 122 Skyactiv-G is satisfied with about 6 or 6,2 l/100 km when traveling on the highway respecting the limit of 120 km/h. Our mean in mixed use after a week of tests it has been 6,5 l / 100 km, which is not bad for a gasoline car with a naturally aspirated engine in this category.


3 Mazda2019 Rear

After all of the above, which has not been little, it is time to stop and think and draw conclusions. The five-door petrol Mazda3 is a car with an exterior that stands out for its beauty, although it penalizes visibility and interior space. The interior is not very spacious, but it has a high level of quality in practically all its components.

On the other hand, it doesn't have much "visible technology" in the sense of big screens everywhere. At Mazda they have opted for a minimalist, simple, logical and, above all, intelligent design. They say that one of the reasons is to prevent the driver from being distracted by expendable elements.

Regarding the dynamic behavior, it is a car that conveys good feelings of driving on all routes, much more than most of its rivals, and all while maintaining a high level of comfort. From my point of view, this is very welcome because most current cars are highly filtered. In this case we do have a good gut feeling. with the car.

3 Mazda2019 Silhouette

The theme of naturally aspirated engine is a delicate thingWell, for me it has its charm that you have to play a little with the change, although this is something that most drivers will not finish convincing because we are already used to turbo engines and their response. If you like to drive, you may fall in love with its driving; if you only want the car to get from one point to another, you probably won't be convinced.

If we talk about some of his rivals, by segment and interior quality and others can be placed at the height of the Mercedes A-Class, BMW Serie 1 y Volkswagen Golf. The Mazda has in its favor that from the access level it already has some systems and elements that are not common in similar models. In generalists there is a lot of competition, like the Ford Focus, Seat Leon, Hyundai i30 and company.

Regarding prices, the Mazda3 starts at 23.415 euros with the same mechanics. If we configure it with the Zenith trim level (which is the one we have tested) it slightly exceeds 26.000 euros. The price of this unit, adding all the extras, is 30.230 euros. Take a look at the equipment of each finish, which is another of the highlights of the Japanese model.

Mazda3 equipment

Mazda3 rear detail


  • 8,8-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • DAB digital radio, MZD Connect, 8 speakers, USB and Bluetooth
  • Multifunction steering wheel
  • Lane departure warning and prevention
  • Blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic detection
  • Electric parking brake
  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • G-Vetering Control Plus
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Fatigue detector
  • Recognition of traffic signs
  • smart speed assistant
  • Alarm
  • rear parking sensors
  • Exterior mirrors with electric adjustments, automatic folding and heating
  • automatic high beams
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Rain and light sensors
  • Roof spoiler in gloss black
  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Power windows on all four windows
  • 7-inch screen in the instrument cluster
  • 12 volt socket
  • Head-Up Display
  • On-board computer
  • push button start
  • Rear center armrest
  • Automatic bi-zone climate control

Origin-X (add to Origin)

  • (Only available with Skyactiv-X)
  • Darkened rear windows
  • rear light signature
  • Adaptive Smart Full LED headlights, LED daytime running lights and front LED light signature
  • B-Pillar in Piano Black
  • 18-inch wheels
  • Windshield Projection Head Up Display
  • Chrome glove box handle

Evolution (adds to Origin)

  • Navigation system
  • Driver's side auto-dimming exterior mirror
  • Front and rear parking sensor
  • High beam control
  • Reversing camera
  • smart keyless access
  • Head Up Display projected on the windshield

Evolution-X (adds to Evolution)

  • (Only available with Skyactiv-X)
  • Adaptive Smart Full LED headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED light signature
  • LED rear interior lighting
  • 18-inch wheels

Zenith (adds to Evolution)

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Bose audio system with 12 speakers
  • Adaptive Smart Full LED headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED light signature

Zenith-X (adds to Zenith)

  • (Only available with Skyactiv-X)
  • 18-inch alloy wheels (Black metallic)

Mazda3 5 doors prices

Test Mazda 3 Zenith front profile

Motor Change Traction Finish Price
Motor Change Traction Finish Price
2.0 Skyactiv-G 122 hp manual 6v Front Origin 23.415 €
1.8 Skyactiv-D 116 hp manual 6v Front Origin 25.415 €
2.0 Skyactiv-X 180 hp manual 6v Front OriginX 28.065 €
2.0 Skyactiv-X 180 hp automatic 6v Front OriginX 29.865 €
2.0 Skyactiv-G 122 hp manual 6v Front Evolution 24.315 €
2.0 Skyactiv-G 122 hp automatic 6v Front Evolution 26.115 €
1.8 Skyactiv-D 116 hp manual 6v Front Evolution 26.315 €
2.0 Skyactiv-X 180 hp manual 6v Front evolution X 28.965 €
2.0 Skyactiv-X 180 hp automatic 6v Front evolution X 30.765 €
2.0 Skyactiv-G 122 hp manual 6v Front Zenith 26.115 €
2.0 Skyactiv-G 122 hp automatic 6v Front Zenith 27.915 €
2.0 Skyactiv-X 180 hp manual 6v Front Zenith-X 29.465 €
2.0 Skyactiv-X 180 hp automatic 6v Front Zenith-X 31.265 €
2.0 Skyactiv-X 180 hp manual 6v Full AWD Zenith-X 32.965 €
2.0 Skyactiv-X 180 hp automatic 6v Full AWD Zenith-X 34.765 €

Editor's opinion

Mazda3 2.0 Skyactiv-G 122 HP Zenith
  • Editor's rating
  • 4.5 star rating
23.415 a 34.765
  • 80%

  • Mazda3 2.0 Skyactiv-G 122 HP Zenith
  • Review of:
  • Posted on:
  • Last modification:
  • Exterior design
    Publisher: 95%
  • interior design
    Publisher: 90%
  • front seats
    Publisher: 75%
  • rear seats
    Publisher: 60%
  • Trunk
    Publisher: 50%
  • Spring Suspension
    Publisher: 80%
  • Consumption
    Publisher: 85%
  • Comfort
    Publisher: 85%
  • Price
    Publisher: 75%


  • Exterior design
  • Touch and dynamic behavior
  • internal quality


  • Space in the rear seats
  • Below average trunk
  • Performance at low and medium rpm

Gallery Mazda3

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