Over the last few years we have been lucky enough to test the Mazda CX-5 and the discontinued CX-7 but now the CX-3 joins the Crossover family in compact form. Based on the same platform as the Mazda2, the CX-3’s styling was penned in the spirit of KODO: The Soul of Motion design theme that has guided Mazda design for the past several years. It looks simply stunning from every angle and although some cars in the category are blurring the lines between Crossover and Estate, the CX-3 looks purposeful like a Crossover should. Underneath that sporty exterior, Mazda have applied their Skyactiv suite of philosophies and technologies to make it a cracking little package. The 1.5 SkyActiv-D engine mated to a six-speed manual feels perfect for a vehicle of this size and offers ample power with 105hp. The 100km/h sprint comes up in just a shade over 10 seconds and the top speed is 177km/h. Fuel economy is good to with the little 1.5 sipping just 4 litres of diesel per 100km. That translates to 66mpg and although we drove it a little more spirited, it still returned 60mpg with ease. Mazda are now experts at engineered engines, transmissions and drivetrains to deliver maximum efficiency and performance. They work tirelessly to give their vehicles a setup for their intended purpose and not a mix match from the parts bin.
Inside, the cabin is basically a Mazda 2 with a dressing of familiar Mazda 3 parts. This is by no means a bad thing as right now the Mazda 2 quite simply has the best looking interior in its class! There’s plenty of standard equipment on the CX-3, including a proximity key and push button start, a 7-inch color touchscreen display that is cleverly mounted at the top of the center dash stack, Bluetooth and much more. Headroom is plentiful and the driving position is spot on, even for a long fellow like me. Admittedly the CX-3’s second row is understandably small with my seat back, but still not too cramped. Boot space is decent also with 350 litres on offer with the seats in the upright position. Our test model was the Executive SE which was priced at €26,195. It also featured the iACTIVSENSE package for safety, which features radar cruise control, Smart City Brake Support, Smart Brake Support, lane-departure warning, high beam control and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Entry SE models priced from €20,695 wont have the entire package but safety items like ABS, DSC, front, side and curtain airbags will all be fitted as standard.
We spent seven days driving the new CX-3 and found it a very pleasant vehicle to live with. Although competition in this sector is constantly on the increase we reckon the little CX-3 will hold its own thanks to superb looks and the ability to deliver in the areas it promises. The newly launched Honda HR-V is impressive; as is the Nissan Juke, the Jeep Renegade, Fiat 500X and MINI’s Countryman but its up to you to see what sits within your budget. Right now Mazda have an offer on CX-3 SE 2.0 118hp 2WD Manual for just €233 a month providing you can come up with a deposit of €6208. Go speak to them today to see if they will offer you a trade in or at the very least take a test drive and see for yourself how nice this little funky Crossover is to drive.
Mazda CX-3 Specification
|Model||CX-3 Executive SE|
|Fuel Economy||4.0litres to 100km|
|Price As Tested||€26,195|