What’s the Mazda3 G20e Evolve like inside?
Mazda has made a concerted effort to push its vehicles into the premium territory in terms of interior design. The Mazda3 reflects that with a quality look that is the Japanese equivalent of Volkswagen or Peugeot.
The infotainment screen is hi-resolution and very easy to operate. Combine that with physical controls for the key elements and you have an intuitive interface that new owners will readily adjust to.
Likewise, the driver’s display shows exactly what you need to know, supplemented by the colour head-up display that projects the key details onto the windscreen. This is a must-have in Victoria where any meandering above the posted speed limit is likely to be me with a notice in the mail.
The seats themselves are supportive, though if Mazda is really playing the premium card, we’d appreciate powered adjustment on the passenger side. That can be had if you spend more on the higher-spec variants.
Space in the rear is limited to two adults and even then, they won’t want to be too tall.
Cargo capacity, however, is the Achille’s heel of the Mazda3 hatch. At just 295 litres, it is around 100 litres smaller than its key rivals.
If that’s an issue, head for the corresponding Mazda 3 sedan. For the same price you’ll see the boot space expand to a far more commodious 444 litres.
What’s under the Mazda3 G20e Evolve’s bonnet?
Mazda’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine isn’t turbo-enhanced but still manages to eke out 114kW and 200Nm, sending power to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.
It does the job, though enthusiasts would be better off considering the 2.5-litre engine with 139kW/252Nm. They may sound like modest gains, but they lift the Mazda3 from reasonable to respectable.
A 24-volt “mild hybrid” electric system (there is no capacity for electric-only driving) complements the petrol engine.
Is the Mazda G20e Evolve efficient?
The G20e Evolve has a 24-volt electrical system that trims fuel use by 0.2 litres every 100km on the claimed combined cycle compared to a comparable petrol-only Mazda3 Evolve using just the 2.0-litre engine.
Energy recovered during braking is stored in a 24-volt lithium-ion battery. That benefit is best achieved in an urban setting, so expect the fuel savings to come closer to 1.0 litre over 100km around town.
The recuperated energy is then discharged to assist the engine by providing a quick-start and an initial shove off the lights.
Mazda says the system can also operate the car’s electrical system, again easing the engine’s workload to improve fuel efficiency.