The Mazda3 is still one of Australia’s best-selling small cars, consistently sitting at the top of the table just behind the Toyota Corolla.

There’s a good reason for both their successes.

All the popular passenger cars have same traits – they don’t really have any stand out characteristics or flashy inclusions, but they equally don’t have any outstanding flaws, are liveable and have a reassuring drive, with all the basic functions you require in one package, and are value for money.

Exterior

We have a Mazda3 sedan in the family that has served us well since it was driven out of the showroom.

But the 2018 Mazda3 SP25 Astina hatch is a far cry from the Mazda3 Neo of six years ago.

The Mazda open-mouth grille, rounded rear, chrome trims, and elongated, sleek look give the body an air of elegance.

2018 Mazda3 SP25 Astina interiorInterior

The interior is just as schmick, with black leather seats and leather trims on the steering wheel, doors and centre console.

An uncomplicated dashboard plus floating touchscreen and dial control on the floor console add to the sophistication.

The