Or does Audi and BMW still build the best of the class?
Audi is often considered as the undisputed king of turbo diesel engines. BMW isn't at all shabby either, itself a builder of plenty of fine turbocharged oil burners. For years diesels weren’t in favor in North America, but in Europe, especially the UK, they’re often the preferred engine choice. What else has long been popular in Europe? Hatchbacks. The combination of a small, turbo diesel under the hood of an affordable hatchback is common on European roads, and those models are often the BMW 1 Series and Audi A3 Sportback.
Can’t go wrong with either one. But what if there was a new player in town, one that could be a better value than its German rivals? It’s called the Mazda3 hatchback, and unlike in the US, it has an optional diesel for many overseas markets. So which is the best diesel hatch in this particular class? AutoExpress gets behind the wheel of all three to find out.