The old Mazda 3 was a driver's car, and now the new shape adds refinement and style in a fine small hatch with family and younger driver appeal. This new look drops nicely in line with the brand's RX-8 and MX-5, with great handling and a sweet ride. The new model, introduced in 2009, brings three engines from its predecessor and adds two diesels. The 150bhp version will shoot from 0-62mph in 9.2 seconds, while the 185bhp will do the sprint in 8.2 seconds. The entry-level 1.6 petrol offers 105bhp and a sprint time of 12.2 seconds. A 2.0-litre Sport offers 42mpg and a dash to 62 in 10.4 seconds. Equipment is great, with even the base S model featuring stability control, air-con, six airbags, alarm and electric front windows. The TS also provides electric rear windows, dual-zone climate control and leather steering wheel. Higher up the range, other goodies include larger alloys, front fogs, heated windscreen, Bluetooth, sat-nav, rain-sensing wipers and auto-dimming rear-view mirror. Euro NCAP awarded the Mazda 3 a five-star safety rating.