Facelifted Mazda 3

24 Feb, 2012 4:09pm Richard Ingram

Updated Mazda 3 is on sale now with improvements to the cabin, styling and running costs

The 2012 Mazda 3 is on sale now, with prcies starting from just under £15,000.

Mazda has given its Ford Focus rival a mid-life facelift, which includes a new face, rear bumper and alloy wheel design. There's also a more stylish interior, with a sleaker layour layout and better quality materials.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions have been reduced thanks to aerodynamic changes, and handling is also improved. The most efficient 1.6-litre diesel models now return average fuel economy of 65.7mpg.

Standard equipment is good, with even the entry-level model getting air-conditioning. Top of the range Sport Nav models get a fully integrated sat-nav, as well as 17-inch alloys and a Bose audio system.

A special-edition Tamura model will also be available from launch, offering sports styling, front fog lights and 17-inch black gloss alloy wheels.

The new Mazda 3 is priced from £14,995 for the entry-level 1.6-litre through to £23,395 for the sporty MPS variant, which produces 256bhp from its turbocharged 2.3-litre petrol motor.