I was looking to replace my 2012 Mazda 2 and was searching for something slightly larger but still akin to what I was used to. I was also looking for a technology upgrade and the Mazda CX-3 Akari certainly does not disappoint there!
The MZD Connectivity is very easy to use – love the fact I can use my phone hands-free and receive texts and have them read out. The active driving display is very useful as it tells you not only what speed you are on, but what the speed limit is.
I also love the forward and reverse proximity sensors, rear-view camera and rear cross-traffic alert. I naturally don't solely rely on the technology, but it definitely helps, particularly when backing out of busy carparks where cars or pedestrians can move out without warning.
The headlights can be left on auto and so will switch on when there is less light. Headlights will automatically dip from high beam when other cars are close by, which helps so you're not constantly adjusting all of the time. I also find the blind-spot monitoring useful as the technology scans blind spots behind the car and lets you know of any hazards. Naturally, I don't rely solely on the technology, but all of these safety features help.
The heated seats are bliss on a freezing day; is it necessary to have this? Answer is no, but why not enjoy a little luxury if you can?
It took a couple of trips for me to get used to the slightly higher ride but I have to say I like being propped up. My mum, who has some mobility issues, loves the raised platform as it makes it much easier for her to get in and out of the car.
As I only do city/local driving it wasn't vital for me to have an AWD so I was happy with the FWD version. The 2.0-litre engine packs quite a punch and has no issues climbing steep inclines. Fuel efficiency is excellent – I have not noticed any increase in my petrol bills.
I've often read that Mazda cars are noisy in the cabin. To be honest, I never noticed this with my Mazda 2, nor have I in the CX-3. You can easily have a well-understood conversation while driving along the highway.
The leather and suede seats are excellent quality and comfortable. The front seats have memory foam however they are slightly harder than the back seats but it's still very good. Front seat space is fairly roomy and while the back seats don't have massive space, there's still room to manoeuvre.
I am quite short (156cm tall) so I need the driver seat far forward which allows more room for the back seat passenger behind me. It's a compact car so you can't expect massive, spacious areas.
The boot is slightly larger than my former car however it isn't massive; more than adequate however, for the weekly groceries and much roomier if you put the back seats down. It also has a false floor so you can store small, flat objects underneath for safety.
When you remove the false floor, the underfloor is a little flimsy so I wouldn't suggest to put anything too heavy on the underfloor. I would have preferred not to have had a false floor and have a more solid base for added room but I can still fit the groceries in so that's acceptable.
It's simply a gorgeous car to drive. It looks beautiful, it's very reliable and highly economical. The Akari is the most expensive in the CX-3 range and while you can purchase a mid-size vehicle for less, I wanted all of the gadgets and safety features but still be able to park in small spaces and zip around town.
For a large family it may not suit but for me and my friend's and family, it's perfect. It just depends on what suits the individual. I would definitely recommend the car – even if you just take it for a test-drive to see how much fun it is!