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Mazda 3 2014 Review

2014 Mazda3 Maxx hatch auto
Malcolm Flynn road tests and reviews the Mazda 3 Maxx hatch, with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

The third-generation Mazda 3 looks set to continue its predecessors’ role as one of Australia’s favourite cars. With an all-new design, it boasts impressive spec for your dollar across the range, and the second rung Maxx tested here could be the most popular of the lot. 


Sitting above the base Neo and below the Touring grades, the Maxx forms the middle ground of the 3’s 2.0-litre lineup. 

The 2.0-litre models have less grunt than the 2.5-litre SP25s, but they’re about half a litre per 100km more fuel efficient and a fair bit cheaper to buy.

The auto-equipped Maxx hatch tested here kicks off at $24,990, $2500 above the auto-equipped Neo, and $2500 below the equivalent Touring, and $2900 beneath the auto SP25. 

A six-speed manual equipped Maxx is available for $22,990, and like all Mazda3 variants, sedan and hatch bodystyles are priced equally.

On top of the Neo’s list of standard features, the Maxx adds a leather steering wheel, gearknob  and handbrake, paddle shifters for the auto, plus a 7-inch multimedia screen with the excellent new MZD multimedia interface, satnav, a reversing camera, six-speaker audio, and 16-inch alloys

The Maxx misses out on the Touring’s leather, climate control, overhead console and auto headlights and wipers. 

  • 2014 Mazda 3 Maxx hatch 2014 Mazda 3 Maxx hatch
  • 2014 Mazda 3 Maxx hatch 2014 Mazda 3 Maxx hatch
  • 2014 Mazda 3 Maxx hatch 2014 Mazda 3 Maxx hatch
  • 2014 Mazda 3 Maxx hatch 2014 Mazda 3 Maxx hatch
  • 2014 Mazda 3 Maxx hatch 2014 Mazda 3 Maxx hatch
  • 2014 Mazda 3 Maxx hatch 2014 Mazda 3 Maxx hatch


The interior is still a nice place to be, with a fresh design and comfortable seats all round. Headroom in the back can be tight for taller passengers, but it’s no problem for everyone else, and there’s ample legroom for a small hatch. 

The 308-litre VDA boot is 32-litres smaller than the old hatch, but it’s still a useful space, and there’s a spacesaver spare under the boot floor. 


For a non-turbo 2.0-litre petrol, the Maxx’s 5.8L/100km is really quite efficient, and is helped by the switchable stop/start system around town and will happily sip regular 91RON unleaded petrol. 

The direct-injected unit produces a spritely 114kW/200Nm, and the six-speed auto is a torque converter unit with several clever efficiency-boosting design features.


The Maxx carries the same five-star ANCAP rating as the rest of the 3 lineup, with dual front, side and full-length curtain airbags, ABS, EBD, and stability control as standard.

A safety pack is optional, which adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, and slow-speed accident mitigating smart city brake support. Parking sensors are available as a separate option.  


The Maxx’s 2.0-litre engine has enough grunt for the daily grind, and it will do the job on long highway trips. The six-speed auto tends to hold gears in the name of efficiency, so a good stab on the throttle is needed to extract its full potential.  

The 3 does still make a smidge more road noise than ideal, but it’s hardly worth complaining about. 

The low speed ride on the Maxx’s 16-inch wheels is a particular highlight, and it keeps its composure as speeds increase. 

The 3’s chassis stays nice and flat through corners, and the electric steering is one of the better systems around - making the thick-rimmed leather wheel a joy to twirl.  

Pricing guides

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Range and Specs

Diesel 2.2L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $10,800 – 15,840 2014 Mazda 3 2014 Diesel Pricing and Specs
Maxx 2.0L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $12,500 – 16,400 2014 Mazda 3 2014 Maxx Pricing and Specs
Maxx Sport 2.0L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $8,800 – 13,200 2014 Mazda 3 2014 Maxx Sport Pricing and Specs
MPS 2.3L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $13,600 – 19,690 2014 Mazda 3 2014 MPS Pricing and Specs
Malcolm Flynn
CarsGuide Editor