Always a favourite in the small car market, the new Mazda 3 hatch and sedan range looks set to continue its supreme reputation.But when it comes to choosing a new car, how do you decide which body shape works best for you? Heed these three considerations:
Where will you be driving?
The best car body-shape for you depends a lot on where you will be using it. Are you more likely to be found whizzing round the city or going on long drives in the outback?
If you’re a city slicker, the hatchback is perfect for you. With narrow lanes and tight turns, city driving offers unique challenges to the Mazda 3 driver. Being 110mm shorter than the sedan (4.49m compared to 4.6m), the hatch is a much easier vehicle to manoeuvre around the city. This also means that it is a cinch to park even in tiny parking spots, meaning that you’ll never be last in line at the shops.
On the other hand, although modern hatchbacks are also capable cars for long distance journeys, the sedan is often a wiser choice. Stable and safe, sedans have a low ride height and envious maneuverability. Winding roads with sharp corners or passing large, heavy vehicles is not a concern for the sedan. With excellent acceleration and braking capabilities, as well as their sleek, streamlined shape, they also deliver fantastic fuel economy and overall performance.
How much space do you need?
Another point to considering is what cargo you’ll be carrying and how much room you need.
Overall, the interior of a hatch tends to be smaller than that of a sedan. However, to compensate manufacturers go all out to maximise the space available. Lacking the stylistic swoops characteristic of the sedan and having bluff rear ends prevents a reduction in headroom space, allowing enough room even for taller passengers. However, with the hatch being that much shorter than the sedan, it has a markedly smaller boot space. Nonetheless, with rear seats that fold flat, the hatch makes the most of the space it has, allowing the storage of large or bulky items.
Due to the stylistic curves of the sedan, headroom space is slightly reduced although should not pose a problem for the majority of drivers and passengers. Both front and rear seat occupants have ample leg room for a comfortable drive no matter what the distance. With it’s longer length, the sedan offers significantly more boot space than the hatch, which can be maximised further by folding the rear seats down (a 60:40 split).
Regardless of the pros and cons of each vehicle, much of the decision at the end of the day comes down to the way you feel when you look at your new car.
Sedans are known for their sleek, stylish look, with their characteristic sweeping curves. Overall, their body shape is what most people imagine when they are asked to draw a picture of a car. However, although traditionally popular in Australia, some people feel that sedans are a bit old-fashioned and prefer to opt for the hatchback, particularly when it comes to driving in cities.
With a shorter exterior profile, the hatch can look a bit less-balanced in comparison to the sedan. However, now considered a more fashionable style of car, hatchbacks are very popular. By making the most of the space they have available, the carefully considered design is a success.
Regardless of which style suits you, you can’t argue that the interiors of all Mazda’s are built to impress.