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Mazda 3 Sport Nav 185ps diesel (is it a Q-Car) from Simon Ford @Sf4d74,

Here at SimonsCarSpots.com we like a good Challenge of Driving cars from Manufactures and Giving you our views/opinion/verdict, and today is no exception,

Over the last few Months we have Tested City cars, 4×4’s, Mid-range cars, Luxury cars, But never a Q-Car….Well untill today that is.

Now as you may or may not know, a Q-Car is a high performance model that looks (from the outside) like a standard car, and doesn’t attract unwanted attention from the Police, Eg think ‘Lancia Thema 8:32′, ‘Peugeot 405 m16′

As we also know!, Q-Cars are usually the petrol derived variants from car manufactures, these days with the economy being the way it is, why can’t we include diesels and open up the definition of Q-cars and why the ‘Mazda 3 Sport Nav 185 ps’  might! be included.

The Mazda 3 Sport Nav isn’t an out and out Sports Model, It’s Mazdas way of naming their line up, Tamura, Venture and Sport Nav being Mazdas top of the range version


Mazda have created a fresh yet Sporty look to the Mazda 3 Range, it’s good looking, understated yet Striking!, at the same time also has some neat little touches like the Sculpted bonnet and flared wheel arches, which are also present throughout the Mazda 3 Range.

What makes the Sport Nav stand out from the rest of the Range on the exterior front I hear you ask?

Well there’s Privacy Glass, 10 Spoke Alloys (17″), Honeycomb Grille, Side Skirts and a Sport Badge, But you also Get these with the exception of the Sport Badge on All Mazda 3’s,

So Far So Good as a Q-Car then!.


Open the door to the ‘Mazda 3 Sport Nav’ and the first thing that you notice are the cowled dials on the dashboard instantly giving a sporty appearance before you’ve even sat down, Once you’ve sat down you begin to notice everything else around you bit by bit.

All the information you’ll ever need, Trip computer with economy figures are directly above and to the left of the dials, next to that is your lcd  for heater settings,

Then the centre console, you have the Sat Nav (very easy to operate by touchscreen) below that are your Dual Climate Controls (many buttons), + Heated Seat Buttons, (1 being warm 5 being toasted) then there’s the Button Filled Steering Wheel for cruise control, Stereo, + Information, It’s all nicely laid out, good quality plastics and soft touch hard wearing materials, but there are just so many buttons, saying that if you like buttons, then you’ll be in button heaven in the ‘Mazda 3 Sport Nav’.

Again what makes this car a Q-Car I hear you all ask?

Well NOTHING! it’s essentially the same as the rest in the Mazda 3 range, well made, good quality product.

Ride + Driving

Now this is where a Q-Car will either be made or Broken in it’s driving experience,

I took the ‘Mazda 3 Sport Nav’ from Letchworth to Glasgow then onto Loch Lomond and Luss (in very challenging weather conditions) a distance of 460 miles .

Through the country roads of the A507 heading to the M1 the Mazda felt very good driving through all the twisty stuff, with very little body roll, no bumping through uneven surfaces, the Front Mcphearson and the rear E-type multi-Link suspension with monotube Dampers doing a fantastic job of dealing with all the hard work whilst making the driving experience sure footed and enjoyable everytime I pushed it.

Onto the Motorway itself and this is where the ‘Mazda 3 Sport Nav’ comes to it’s own,

With a (claimed) 0-60 time of 8.9 seconds the middle sized Mazda will join main carraigeways very safely and easily, demolish miles and miles of motorways with Ease, also there’s 400nm of torque available to play with, so overtaking middle lane hoggers who are doing 60mph means you’ll just blitz past.

Mazda claim a top speed of 132mph from The 2.2 litre diesel, but It’s the way the power is distributed that makes this a brilliant engine and well suited for this particular version, with the Turbo kicking in at 1900rpm once your moving it’s always there at your disposal

My only gripe with the Sport Nav was it’s Gearbox, (although a small gripe) and that was between 2nd-3rd gear the spacing seems a little stretched especially if you try to hurry your changes, otherwise very smooth indeed.

Economy wise Mazda claim a combined figure of 52mpg with a co2 of 144g/km (£135 a yeat to Tax), on my trip I managed 48.6mpg which is still good and meant my 460 mile trip cost me only £50 in diesel

With a Torquey engine, good bhp, respectful Economy ‘The Mazda 3 Sport Nav’ as a Q-Car keeps getting better.


Being Mazdas Top of the Range Model the Sport Nav comes well equipped as Standard, some of the features include, Cruise Control, Intergrated 4.1″ Sat Nav, Premium Bose sound system, Heated seats with 5 settings, Dual Climate Control, Welcome Mode Lighting, and Everything else You’d expect from a modern car nowdays, Yet suprisingly No Parking Sensors as standard

Standard Safety Features include,

MAIDAS – Mazda Advanced Impact Distribution and Absorption System, 4W-ABS, EBD, EBA, DSC, ESS, + Traction Control


Overal Verdict

Mazda Have Made a Very Well Built, Well Equipped, Great Engined, Mid sector car competing with the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Vw Golf.

At £20,995 it’s not the cheapest car in it’s class, nor the most class leading in it’s sector, It has a couple of faults, like too many buttons, average sized boot, and a tricky 2nd-3rd gear if rushed, but it does have that Good Engine, It’s Descreet, Fast, Fun to drive, Eats the miles easily, (remember no Q-Cars are perfect thats the appeal).

Ok Ok!, I know the ‘Mazda 3 Sport Nav’ Isn’t a Q-Car, but don’t you think we should consider some modern day diesel variants from ‘Low Volume Car Manufacturers’ as Replacements, If so! then I Bagsy the ‘Mazda 3 Sport Nav’ goes in first!.



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