Arriving in 2004, the Mazda 3 was the second in Mazda's range to move away from the old, triple-number naming scheme, ending a quarter-century run for the Mazda 323.
It was a good job, then, that the Mazda 3 was more than good enough to carry a new name – or number – forward. Going after the Corolla and its ilk with a small-sized sedan and hatch was always going to be a tough ask, but the 3's combination of handling prowess, good looks and high level of standard kit have propelled it to sales success.
The Mazda 3 is available with a pair of petrol engines, as well as the same high-revving diesel as the CX-5 and 6. It is available from $20,490 to $35,490 for the 3 Neo and 3 SP25 Astina, respectively.
In Japan, the 3 is known as the Mazda Axela.