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Mazda 3 2.2D SE-L Nav
Despite the large capacity engine, the Mazda 3 2.2D SE Nav is an efficient car. It has a CO2 rating of 107 g/km, which translates to £20 road tax, and it will return 68.9 miles per gallon on a combined cycle. Tax payable at 20% is £673 and at 40% £1,346. That's less than many cars with smaller engines.
SE Nav specification gets you all of the equipment you need for a pleasant journey, including satellite navigation, Bluetooth, climate control, cruise control, power folding mirrors, heated seats, alloy wheels, parking sensors, plus much more. The solid equipment level for the price is one of the biggest reasons the Mazda 3 beats out the Seat Leon and Volkswagen Golf to second place. I also like the way the 3 drives, although it lacks the ride quality of the Volkswagen.
The 2.2-litre diesel engine is a punchy unit. It develops 150 bhp and 280 lb /ft of torque and the long gearing in 4th, 5th, and 6th ensure that you can waft along in a high gear with lots of pull. The great thing about this engine is that it's a refined unit, more so than BMW's latest generation of four-cylinder oil burners.
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