The Mazda CX-3 is confronted with a variety of recent opponents, however it’s nonetheless the sunshine SUV king.
Beneath the pores and skin, the CX-3 shares its bones with the Mazda 2 compact automobile. Meaning it’s a city-friendly dimension, and is comparatively economical to run.
Above the floor, it incorporates a chunkier SUV physique and funky styling to assist it stand out from the gang.
The CX-3 debuted in 2016 globally, and the Mazda 2 it’s primarily based on dates again to 2014. Its opponents are youthful, and a few now function turbo or hybrid energy, the place the little Mazda is barely provided with a naturally-aspirated engine.
Is the automobile’s standing as a star on the gross sales charts justified, or is the CX-3 previous its prime?
The Akari AWD is the second-most costly CX-3 within the vary, sitting beneath on the Akari LE AWD.
With a sticker worth of $39,190 earlier than on-road prices, it’s priced loosely in step with the Toyota Yaris Cross City AWD Hybrid ($37,990).
There’s additionally some overlap between the CX-3 and its newer, greater brother, the Mazda CX-30.
2022 Mazda CX-3 pricing:
- Mazda CX-3 Neo Sport handbook: $23,390
- Mazda CX-3 Neo Sport auto: $25,390
- Mazda CX-3 Maxx Sport handbook: $25,390
- Mazda CX-3 Maxx Sport auto: $27,390
- Mazda CX-3 Maxx Sport LE auto: $28,140
- Mazda CX-3 Maxx Sport AWD auto: $29,390
- Mazda CX-3 sTouring handbook: $30,090
- Mazda CX-3 sTouring auto: $32,090
- Mazda CX-3 sTouring AWD auto: $34,090
- Mazda CX-3 Akari auto: $37,190
- Mazda CX-3 Akari AWD auto: $39,190
- Mazda CX-3 Akari LE auto: $37,690
- Mazda CX-3 Akari LE AWD auto: $39,690
All costs exclude on-road prices
Its dashboard is shared with the two hatchback, and takes inspiration from the MX-5 sports activities automobile. It’s an asymmetrical, funky design that, in our Akari tester, is completed with what really feel like high quality supplies.
The motive force and passenger sit in leather-trimmed pews that supply a fairly commanding view of the highway forward, full with electrical adjustment and reminiscence for the driving force.
The steering wheel looks like a high quality merchandise, and the driving place is without doubt one of the extra accomodating within the small SUV class.
Even at six-seven it’s attainable for me to get snug behind the wheel, though the CX-30 has more room once more.
Know-how is a core a part of the enchantment of small SUVs, and it’s an actual weak spot within the CX-3. The place many of the Mazda vary has moved to a brand new infotainment system, the MZD Join setup featured right here is gradual to load, options blocky graphics, and isn’t a touchscreen.
Apple CarPlay takes what looks like a minute to launch, regardless that it’s wired, and the cameras are extremely low-res. The reversing digicam is definitely dazzled, making it laborious to make use of at night time, and the surround-view is totally tiny.
For a automobile geared toward youthful patrons dwelling within the metropolis, the poor cameras are disappointing. Sure, the CX-3 is small and straightforward to park, however it nonetheless ought to have the newest know-how given its $40k beginning worth.
The straightforward instrument binnacle in entrance of the driving force is simple to make use of at a look, and incorporates a distinguished digital speedo.
It’s a variation of what you get within the MX-5, and feels a bit sporty with its distinguished central rev counter.
It’s a disgrace the head-up show pops up on a sliver of glass quite than projecting onto the windscreen – and that the one means for tall drivers to really learn it’s to have the show set so low it’s basically being projected onto the intersection of the dashboard and windscreen.
Cupboard space is first rate up entrance. There’s a single cupholder on the transmission tunnel and bottle holders within the doorways, together with a good underarm storage bin, and an open house on the base of the sprint.
Rear seat house isn’t a robust go well with in any small SUV, however it’s notably poor within the CX-3.
Legroom may be very restricted, the backrest is upright, and there’s very restricted headroom for adults or taller youngsters. If it’s essential use the rear seats usually, the CX-30 (or one thing like a Seltos) is a greater wager.
There aren’t any vents again there, nor are there USB ports. Mazda does deserve credit score for ending the doorways in the identical high-end supplies because the fronts, nonetheless.
As for the boot? As soon as once more, the automobile’s metropolis hatchback roots shine by means of.
It’s a flat house, however you solely get 264 litres of capability which implies you’re restricted to smaller baggage or groceries. Newer rivals such because the Volkswagen T-Cross pack considerably extra boot house into similarly-sized our bodies.
Its useful flat-loading 1174L of house is useful if handled as a two-seater with the rear 60:40-split seatbacks stowed.
The Mazda CX-3 is powered by a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine, making 110kW and 192Nm.
It’s out there with front- or all-wheel drive, and with a selection of six-speed handbook and automated transmissions. Our tester was an automated all-wheel drive.
Claimed gasoline economic system is 6.7 litres per 100km, we noticed across the 8.0L mark over a mixture of freeway and metropolis driving.
The CX-3 AWD has a 44L gasoline tank (front-wheel drive automobiles get 48L), and drinks 91 RON common unleaded.
The CX-3 feels gentle on its ft relative to a few of its newer rivals, though its naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre engine is way from inspiring.
Though it’s responsive sufficient off the mark, the engine doesn’t pack a lot of a punch within the mid-range, and will get thrashy as you push in the direction of redline.
The two.0-litre atmo 4 lacks the extra easy shove of turbocharged engine, and the CX-3 is much less refined than newer Mazda fashions, so it actually feels prefer it’s working laborious.
It takes a second to calm down on chilly begins, as an alternative defaulting to a frenetic and barely unrefined idle, and the beginning/cease system can jolt the automobile at occasions. It’s a serviceable powertrain, however at $40k it actually must be greater than that.
On the optimistic aspect, the torque converter automated is clean and unobtrusive.
There’s no lurching off the mark, and there’s no studying curve for individuals getting out of older automobiles like there is likely to be with a dual-clutch. Bonus factors go to Mazda for having the proper shift sample on its handbook mode – push for down, pull for up.
We’ve praised the CX-3 for its eager dealing with previously, and it’s nonetheless a spotlight within the Akari AWD. Though it’s a bit heavier than the front-wheel drive base mannequin the range-topper responds neatly once you tip it right into a nook, and feels extra balanced than a small SUV actually must once you’re there.
The trip on this explicit CX-3 is harsher than in base fashions with their smaller wheels and chubbier tyres, nonetheless.
For probably the most half it’s clean, however we’ve already famous the suspension in base fashions is sort of clunky over velocity bumps or potholes. With greater, heavier wheels and fewer sidewall to play with, that feeling is accentuated within the Akari AWD.
It undermines the automobile’s pitch as an expensive small SUV, and makes it really feel outdated alongside extra refined German and Korean options. At freeway speeds although, the CX-3 feels planted for a tall, small automobile.
It buzzes alongside fortunately sufficient at a cruise, however ask for greater than that (like overtaking) and the two.0-litre engine begins working laborious and making noise – particularly in case you have just a few passengers on board.
Noise from the mirrors and tyres within reason effectively suppressed, however you continue to get the sense this can be a metropolis automobile at coronary heart.
The adaptive cruise management is clean and sensible, though you don’t get energetic lane-centring help even within the range-topper.
CX-3 Neo Sport highlights:
- 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- DAB+ radio
- Six-speaker sound system
- 16-inch metal wheels with wheel covers
- Halogen headlights
- Energy folding mirrors
- Peak-adjustable entrance seats
- Black fabric upholstery
- 60/40 rear cut up folding seats
- Electrical park brake with maintain operate
- Keyless entry and begin
- Rear seat belt warning
CX-3 Maxx Sport provides:
- 16-inch alloy wheels
- Computerized headlights
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Rear centre armrest
- Leather-based-wrapped shifter and steering wheel
- Overhead sun shades storage
- Local weather management
- Satellite tv for pc navigation
- Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Rear-cross visitors alert
CX-3 Maxx Sport LE features:
- Tan suede and white ‘Maztex’ leatherette upholstery
- Distinctive 16-inch alloy wheels
- Gloss black mirrors and entrance grille
CX-3 sTouring provides:
- 18-inch alloy wheels
- Heated body-coloured mirrors
- LED daytime operating lights
- LED entrance fog lights
- LED headlights with auto high-beam
- LED tail lights
- Black ‘Maztex’ and black fabric upholstery
- Head-up show
- Driver consideration alert
- Entrance parking sensors
- Site visitors signal recognition
- Lane departure warning
- Gloss black painted physique cladding
CX-3 Akari provides:
- Adaptive LED headlights
- Energy sunroof
- Heated entrance seats
- 10-way energy driver’s seat with reminiscence
- Black or white leather-based upholstery
- Adaptive cruise management with cease/go
- Encompass-view cameras
The Mazda CX-3 wears a 2015-stamped five-star ANCAP security score, primarily based on older take a look at standards.
It managed 36.44 out of 37.00 factors, together with good scores within the Aspect Affect and Pole exams, and 15.44 out of 16.00 within the Frontal Offset evaluation.
Normal security gear contains:
- 6 airbags (entrance, front-side and curtain)
- AEB with Pedestrian detection
- Rear parking sensors
- Reversing digicam
CX-3 Maxx Sport provides:
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Rear cross-traffic alert
For security options like lane departure warning, driver consideration monitoring and visitors signal recognition, you’ll must step as much as the mid-range sTouring at a minimal, whereas the Akari fashions get adaptive cruise management with cease/go, adaptive headlights and a surround-view digicam.
The Mazda CX-3 is roofed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee with roadside help for a similar interval.
Scheduled upkeep is required each 12 months or 10,000km (whichever comes first), with the primary 5 companies capped at $331, $391, $331, $391 and $331.
Extra gadgets embrace the cabin air filter ($100) which must be changed each 40,000 kilometres, whereas brake fluid substitute will add $71 each 24 months or 40,000km.
Mazda has performed a superb job retaining the CX-3 recent, however no quantity of leather-based can disguise the very fact it’s a automobile in want of an replace.
It drives effectively, and it’s snug if you happen to’re sitting within the entrance seat, however the tiny boot and compromised rear seats aren’t actually ok on the $40k mark. Inside know-how can be a let down.
The CX-3 nonetheless holds some enchantment, however we’d be steering away from all-wheel drive (as if you happen to’re ever taking it off highway), and would take a look at the extra reasonably priced sTouring grade as an alternative of the Akari.
If it’s a luxurious, small Mazda SUV you need, the CX-30 Astina has a sticker worth round $40,000 and provides more room, considerably higher know-how, and simply as a lot luxurious.
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