Best used Mazda 3 finance deals and offers

The Mazda 3 is a stylish and fun-to-drive alternative to the VW Golf and Ford Focus. Go used and it offers particularly strong value, too

Chris Rosamond
Mar 10, 2021

The previous-generation Mazda 3 is a popular family hatchback and for good reason. It offered great value for money when new, it looked a lot more stylish than much of the competition, and was one of the nicest in its class to drive with agile handling around corners and responsive steering. Indeed, it could be said that the Mazda 3 has a touch of the sportiness that you find in the iconic Mazda MX-5 sports car, and it certainly does make some of its rivals feel dull from behind the wheel.

A brand new Mazda 3 arrived in 2019, but we’re focusing on the third-generation version which was on sale in the UK from 2013 to 2019. It introduced Mazda’s attractive and swoopy new design style in family hatchback form. As such, the Mazda 3 stands out as one of the more interesting designs in the class, which contains a long list of familiar rivals including the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf, as well as the Renault Megane and affordable Korean hatchbacks like the Kia Ceed.

While there’s no three-door version of the Mazda 3, there is a four-door saloon variant - or 'Fastback' in Mazda-speak. The saloon is outnumbered by about three-to-one on the used market and are somewhat less practical than the hatchback, so you’d only choose the Mazda 3 Fastback if you really like the style or you find an excellent deal on one.

Unlike some rivals which offered a range of small capacity ‘downsized’ engines to boost fuel economy - typically turbocharged to make up for the power deficit that comes with a smaller engine - the Mazda 3 took a more traditional route, with a range of relatively large 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre petrol engines offering power outputs of 120hp and 165hp.

These may be larger engines, but being relatively unstrained when driving means real-world Mazda 3 fuel consumption typically compares well with the supposedly more efficient smaller engines of rivals. The Mazda 3 came with a couple of diesel options too, but the 105hp 1.5-litre and 150hp 2.2-litre units were far less popular when new and so they’re massively outnumbered by petrol options on the used market.

While the Mazda badge isn’t particularly aspirational in its own right, the swoopy styling of the Mazda 3 does gives the car something of an upmarket, desirable feel. The car does a pretty good job of replicating that quality inside, although the fit and finish doesn’t challenge the genuinely plush interiors of premium rivals like the Audi A3.

The Mazda 3 is decently practical too, with plenty of leg and headroom up front, and a rear seat that accommodates three adults in reasonable comfort - at least in the hatchback version. Boot space is competitive but unremarkable, but the boot lid restricts access in the Fastback model, while the tapering roof also reduces headroom which can be a problem for taller adults in the rear seats.

On the road, while the Mazda 3 is responsive and fun to drive, with light direct steering and nimble handling, it also benefits from excellent ride quality. However, it’s not the quietest car in its class, with a little more engine and road noise coming into the cabin than rivals like the VW Golf. That means that if most of your driving is on the motorway, it may not be the best choice for you.

If you like the sound of the Mazda 3 check out the used models available now on BuyaCar by clicking on the buttons above, or read on to find out about the different specifications available.

Best Mazda 3 deals

There's a wide range of Mazda 3 models listed for sale on BuyaCar, meaning there’s something for everyone, whether you’re looking at the fourth-generation model that arrived in 2019 or one of the previous generation versions. We’re concentrating on the previous model and we have examples priced from around £7,500 to £15,000.

At the lower end, six-year old models with 50,000 miles or less start at under £8,000. That could mean a Personal Contract Purchase finance payment as low as £130 per month, assuming an £800 deposit, a 48-month contract and an optional final payment of just over £3,000 if you wanted to own the car at the end of the contract.

Which Mazda 3 deal is best for you?

The first thing to decide is whether you want a Mazda 3 Fastback saloon variant or the more popular hatchback. We’ve already mentioned the Fastback is a little less practical, but some people will prefer the image of the saloon and choose accordingly.

The diesel versus petrol choice could be made for you, due to the relatively low numbers of diesel 3s out there, as diesel power wasn’t a popular option on the third-generation Mazda 3. If you do really high mileages, a diesel hatchback might still be worth tracking down, but we’d suggest broadening the search to include other models so you have greater choice.

All Mazda 3 trim levels came well-equipped, and there weren’t a great many options you could add when buying new, so that makes choosing the used 3 you want relatively straightforward too. We’ve listed the main trim levels below, along with the links to used Mazda 3 models for sale in each of the relevant specifications - so read on to find out which Mazda 3 deal could be best for you.

Mazda 3 SE deals (including SE Nav deals)

Even the msot basic 3 models left the factory well-kitted out, which means they all get features such as alloy wheels, air-conditioning, and a 7.0-inch tablet-style media system in the centre of the dash. It’s not a touchscreen system, but has a rotary controller between the seats which some may find a bit fiddly to use before they get used to it, but it's simpler to use on the move than having to prod a screen as you drive along.

This entry-level trim is called SE but Mazda also offered a version with a sat-nav upgrade, which is known as the SE Nav. Both SE grades offer plenty of the creature comforts most drivers would expect at this price point, but choosing SE Nav gives you an obvious benefit, though you also get an older screen type that doesn’t offer Android Auto or Apple CarPlay features.

Used Mazda 3 SE

BuyaCar prices Limited stock

Mazda 3 SE-L deals (including SE-L Nav deals)

Next in the Mazda 3 hierarchy is the SE-L, which adds a few more goodies such as automatic headlamps and wipers, as well as rear parking sensors which many drivers find indispensable as the Mazda 3’s swoopy lines mean rear vision isn’t the best when you’re looking over your shoulder.

As is the case with SE and SE Nav, SE-L Nav trim adds in-car sat-nav to the media system, and this is the specification level we’d recommend to most drivers, as it's one of the best value all round options.

Mazda 3 SE-L
Used Mazda 3 SE-L

BuyaCar prices from £9,395
Monthly finance from £214*

Mazda 3 Sport deals (including Sport Nav deals)

Sport and Sport Nav were the range-topping trim levels for the Mazda 3 before 2019, and they feature larger 18-inch alloy wheels giving the car a bit more visual drama. So, if you love the looks of the 3 and wanted something even sharper looking, this is the version to go for.

This specification also includes front parking sensors and a head-up display that projects key driving information onto the windscreen in front of the driver, which is nice to have - especially if you're a technophile - but hardly an essential in a car with no more performance than standard models.

Mazda 3 Sport
Used Mazda 3 Sport

BuyaCar prices from £11,199
Monthly finance from £225*

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.


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