I’ve just driven the new Mazda 3, and it’s a country mile ahead of the old car.
It feels wonderfully solid, and the 185bhp 2.2-litre diesel has deeply impressive pulling power.
It looks pretty good too, but the most surprising thing is the refinement – it’s like driving a luxury car in miniature!
The last model proved extremely popular, but never really grabbing the mass car buying market’s attention.
The pictures point to a new face for the Ford Focus rival, and will be available in 15 different versions, including a pair of punchy 2.2-litre diesels.
Performance junkies will be served by a hot MPS model, which should hopefully offer the levels of driver involvement lacking from the current car.
The range will also feature the now-essential sub-120g/km model, and some models are made greener by a fuel-saving start/stop system.
But the most important thing is the car delivers on the open road. Keep an eye on Auto Trader for our full review soon.