Mazda3 G25 Evolve sedan: Room to cruise

2024 Mazda3 G25 Astina 2

What is it?

Mazda3 has been on sale here for almost 20 years. Indeed, you can make that 45 years if you include the 323 that preceded.

The ‘3’ has been a consistently high seller for most of its life, often contesting the top spots in both its small-medium segment as well as overall sales against perennial rivals such as Toyota Corolla, Kia Cerato, Nissan Pulsar and Hyundai i30.

The latest, fourth generation, Mazda3 arrived here in February, 2019 year in five-door hatchback form with the four-door sedan joining it a few months later. 

The previous Neo and Maxx names were dropped and replaced with new titles based on the two engine sizes: 2.0-litre G20 Pure, G20 Evolve, G20 Touring and 2.5-litre G25 Evolve, G25 GT and G25 Astina.

Since then, there have been several updates, the most recent in mid-2023. This came with powertrain improvements, new convenience features, an additional colour choice and making the Mazda Connect infotainment display available across the range.

Also, for the first time, there is now no manual transmission on offer. 

2024 Mazda3 G25 Astina 3

What’s it cost?

As tall, boxy SUVs have grown in popularity designers of conventional sedans and hatches have reacted by adopting lower and sleeker, fastback styling.

So it is with the Gen Four Mazda3. 

We found the rear of the hatch a little heavy with its bulky C-pillar and much prefer the smoother lines of the sedan.

All variants come with LED head- and tail lights, but only the Astina gets LED daytime running lights.

Hatch and sedan are priced the same, from $30,320 for the 2.0-litre G20 Pure, with our test vehicle the 2.5-litre G25 Evolve SP coming in at $34,520 plus on-roads.

Eight colours are available, three Mica and five Metallic.

The Mazda Connect system in the Pure, Evolve and Touring gets an excellent centrally mounted 8.8-inch colour screen that’s recessed into the top of the dashboard.

It’s not a touchscreen but controlled by a rotary dial located between the front seats.

G25 GT grades and above benefit from a 10.25-inch display, as featured on other Mazda nameplates, such as the CX-5, CX-8 and CX-9.

Buyers of lower grade variants  can get the larger screen by opting for the Vision Technology package.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are wired in Pure and Evolve and wireless in higher spec models, as is a wireless smartphone charging pad.

There are two fast-charging USB ports.

Eight-speaker audio is standard on lower spec’d models, GT and Astina get a premium Bose system with 12 speakers positioned for optimum reproduction.

Standard across the Mazda3 range are six airbags, reversing camera, rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, smart brake support, lane-keep assist, lane departure warning, hill launch assist, traffic sign recognition, forward obstruction warning, tyre pressure warning and two Isofix child seat anchors.

New to the Gen 4 Mazda3 is Vision Technology which adds driver monitoring, front cross traffic alert, cruising and traffic support, front parking sensors, and a 360-degree camera. 

Vision Technology comes standard in the top-spec G25 Astina and is a $1500 option in all other variants.

2024 Mazda3 G25 Evolve SP Vision Pack 5

What’s it go like?

The sleek profile does mean a bit of a bend to get in and out but once inside the seating is comfortable and supportive.

As expected, rear seat passengers in the sedan get more legroom than the shorter hatch as well as two air vents and drop-down armrest with twin cup holders. 

All models have push-button engine start, electric parking brake with auto hold, i-stop automatic stop/start and childproof rear door locks.

G20 Pure and G20 Active have cloth seats, all others get leather and a powered driver’s seat.

G25 models have proximity unlocking.

Cargo space in the hatch is a modest 295 litres, with the sedan providing 440 litres.

The 60/40 rear seatbacks can be lowered by using pull-tabs located on either side at the top of the boot. They don’t quite fold flat.

The Mazda3 powertrain has been streamlined to the 114kW 2.0- and 139kW 2.5-litre engines, both mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

G20 models have also been upgraded, with cylinder deactivation and other improvements to the combustion process resulting in lower CO2 emissions without compromising performance or driveability. 

Fuel consumption improves by five per cent to 5.9L/100km for the hatch and 5.8L/100km for the sedan.

Our test car was the Mazda3 G25 Evolve SP sedan with the optional Vision Technology package.

The SkyActiv-G 25 engine is larger than its major competitors and the extra torque is noticeable when compared to the standard 2.0-litre versions of its rivals.

The traditional six-speed auto is smooth and refined.

During the urban segments of the drive fuel consumption was reduced courtesy of the cylinder deactivation feature which was barely noticeable. 

On the motorway the car cruised smoothly with the extra refinement, comfortable seating and large boot suggesting that it could easily qualify for long-distance family transport.

Mazda has addressed previous criticism and put a considerable amount of work into reducing NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) and it has paid off with a much smoother, quieter ride than before, even on some of the rougher and coarse-chip roads that we traversed.

Handling is competent enough but certainly not in the sporting department.

Steering is sharp and responsive.

Fuel consumption in the G25 models is listed at 6.6L/100km. We averaged a reasonable 7.9L/100km during our week behind the wheel.

2024 Mazda3 G25 Evolve SP Vision Pack 6

What we like?

  • Sleek lines
  • Fastback styling
  • Seating comfortable and supportive
  • Rear air vents
  • More legroom than hatch

2024 Mazda3 G25 Evolve SP Vision Pack 4

What we don’t like?

  • Sits a little low
  • Vision Technology $1500
  • Handling competent but not sporting

2024 Mazda3 G25 Astina 4

The bottom line?

The fourth generation Mazda3 has quality and refinement that almost bring it into the range of premium European cars of the same size.

Based on this Mazda had increased prices by between $2000 and $2500 but given the improvements, we’d be surprised if buyers don’t recognise the value for money.

Mazda has now joined the majority of manufacturers in offering a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty together with its Premium Roadside Assistance program for the same period.

2024 Mazda3 G25 Astina 5


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Mazda3 G25 Evolve SP sedan, priced from $34,670
  • Looks - 8.5/10
  • Performance - 8/10
  • Safety - 8/10
  • Thirst - 7.5/10
  • Practicality - 7/10
  • Comfort - 7/10
  • Tech - 8/10
  • Value - 7.5/10

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