There's been a lot of anticipation around the New 2019 Mazda3, so I was pretty chuffed to get into one so soon! This Mazda3 looks absolutely stunning with its battleship grey bodywork; it kinda looks like it is still waiting for its paint job, but that's what makes it looks so cool!
The Mazda3 looks like a seriously fast car on the outside and the dash and driver's seat feel like you're in a cockpit. From all the styling, I was expecting the Mazda3 to rocket but was surprised on my initial drive that although it's a sporty ride, the looks and the speed don't match up. It's not as nippy as you'd think.
The cockpit-style dash wraps around you, which I actually found with the dark and quite small interior made me feel a little hemmed in and cramped. This definitely continues in the back of the car where the roofline is LOW, making installing child seats tricky and getting little ones in and out of child seats difficult too as well as bending in to fasten their harnesses. The rear doors do open nice and widely though, which is good.
Apart from these things the Mazda3 does seem to have swallowed a BabyDrive manual, with a lot of the features inside the car being spot on, like the fuel gauge that shows the distance to empty in kilometres on the actual gauge, THANK YOU… AMAZING!! This is the first time I have seen this in a car and it is perfect!
The distance to empty display becomes extra important as a mum because getting fuel with a baby is a whole new world of difficult. If they are screaming in the car you definitely do not want your journey prolonged with a fuel stop! If they are asleep the turning off of the engine, doors opening and locking and unlocking, then re-opening the doors and closing, starting the engine again, beepers going off because you haven’t got your seatbelt on when you start the car or because you blink in the wrong direction, do you take them out of the car when you go in to pay? If you do will you get them back in the seat again or will they have a complete meltdown and you’ll be stuck on the fuel station forecourt with a screaming baby!! Hopefully you are starting to gather the anxiety that what was once a simple fuel stop can be for a mum!!!!
For this reason the distance to empty display can let you know if you have enough fuel to make it home with bub and then go out and get fuel another time when you will not have to take bub with you.
There is a speed limit sign that shows up on the screen in front of the driver too so you always know what speed you should be travelling.
You can also turn the rear light on and off from the control panel in the front to save you reaching back while driving.
I have found my daughter does not like travelling in the dark in the car so if it gets dark whilst travelling then I reach back and turn the interior light on for her. So it’s really important for me that I can reach the rear ceiling light.
Also if I am traveling home and it is getting near to bedtime and I DEFINITELY DON’T want her to fall asleep in the car as even a five minute nap in the car means bed time is all over!!!! I lean back and pop the light on so it’s not dark and try to keep her awake!! Along with screaming/singing at the top of my voice!!!
It is also useful when there are lights situated above the doors where the handles are usually positioned. These are good for when putting baby into their child seats when visibility is poor, so you do not have to reach across them to a light situated in the ceiling centrally etc.
There is a clear seatbelt removal visual that lets you know which rear seatbelt has been removed.
One of my ultimate favourite features of the Mazda3 is the keyless entry and exit. You can just walk away from the car with the key in your pocket and it will lock itself… AMAZING! This was soooo good when I got home from picking my daughter up from daycare, her legs too tired to walk (aparently!), her lunch box, backpack and 100 drawings in my hands. I really appreciated not having to fumble for my keys to lock the car doors as well!
The sat-nav guidence volume can be turned up and down using the volume controls on your steering wheel which is really easy while driving.
I find on most journeys when I use sat nav I only need directions for the last part of the journey. I know how to get to the area I am going and then it’s just the exact address I need help with. Because I need to input the address before I head off I found myself on most occasions when you can’t mute the sat nav voice having to listen to all the directions, which disturbs your concentration, any conversation in the car at the time or more importantly my sleeping baby! So being able to mute the sat nav voice until you reach the part where you actually need it is gold!
There are air vents in the front and back of the Mazda3, the front ones are in this new style that seems to be all the rage in car interiors as I see it in every car I test at the moment, where it looks like one long vent running the length of the dash but is in fact two small vents and a mock vent between them. I like the styling and think it gives the dash a sleeker look.
The dash of the 2019 Mazda3 is minimal which is lovely and apart from the aircon controls everything is within the media screen which is a great balance.
The new media system in the Mazda3 is excellent, it is much more modern and user-friendly than the previous systems and it has Apple CarPlay.
Although the Mazda3 still has the rotary dial in the central console to control the media screen while driving, it feels much better integrated with the media system and more intuitive to use than the previous design.
You can adjust the sound settings within the screen, which is a great BabyDrive feature, to make all the warning sounds and beeps quieter.
Turning down alert and warning tone volumes.
Easy positioning of which speaker the music comes out of, so you have nursery rhymes coming out of just the speaker near your child.
Installing child seats in the back of the Mazda3 is quite tricky with the low roofline, but I found once I got them in I could comfortably fit two child seats in the back. I could not fit between them though.
The rear doors do open nice and wide, so that is helpful with getting little passengers in and out of the back. Legroom in the Mazda3 we found a bit tight. With a reaar-facing child seat installed, I could sit in the drivers seat and I'm 162cm. With a forward-facing child seat installed we found we could fit a 180cm driver.
Storage is good throughout the Mazda3 and for a small sporty car like this everything is very practical in size, such as the cup holders and door bins. The central console box and glasses case are both lined, preventing lenses getting scratched and things rattling around.
The boot of the Mazda3 is also of good size for a small family, holding 10 shopping bags when empty, which is the same as the same in the Hyundai i30, one more than the Toyota Corolla, and one less than the Kia Cerato GT Hatch.
A small dog would fit in the boot of the 2019 Mazda3 or single, twin and tandem strollers and prams fit in the boot of the with a good amount of shopping bags while using the parcel shelf.
The 2019 Mazda3 is a very nice car inside and out, the styling is beautiful and it has a lot of very practical BabyDrive features. However, I did find the low roofline at the back a consideration with child seats and bending in to do harnesses up multiple times daily was a little tricky.
The 2019 Mazda3 is given a five-star ANCAP safety rating and it has seven airbags as standard.