Small SUV’s are the hottest things on four wheels at the moment, and while there are a number of exciting new models launching in 2015 – none are more highly anticipated than the Mazda CX-3.
The CX-3 is the 5th model to feature Mazda’s Kodo design language. Mazda say it is a way of expressing the car’s soul and dynamism through its lines.
What results is an attractive and stylish little car, the blacked-out arches and skirts and floating roof at the rear working particularly well with the signature soul red paint.
That said, the CX-3 is a good looking car in all of its available 8 colours.
The CX-3 is a little bigger than a Mazda 2 – on which it is based - but smaller than a 3 – and obviously smaller than a CX-5.
Putting that into real world context, the 264 litre boot fills up pretty quickly with a small carry-on bag in there. You can adjust the height of the parcel tray and fold the 60/40 seats for more room (1174) – but day-to-day, you’ll need to travel light.
However the CX-3 is only 1.5m high, so if you need more room for your weekend adventures, then loading up a roof-mounted bike carrier isn’t too hard.
The back seats are pretty cozy. I’m 6’3” and it’s very tight back here for both leg and head room. There’s no center arm rest either.
The CX-3 can be had in box 2WD and AWD, so space is reduced to handle the extra drivetrain components below.
It’s easy to get in due to the taller stance and big doors.
Up front is much more comfortable for me, with driver’s side height adjustment and a reach/rake adjustable steering wheel.
Vision is good, despite the narrow glass house at the back, and the top spec Akari features a panoramic sunroof for even more light.
A common criticism with Mazda is the road noise. Using a basic app – we can see noise is about xxx db. We ran the same test in a Golf which gave us about 78db.
It is noticeable, particularly on coarse chip surfaces, but around town it’s not too bad.
The safety pack is a $1030 option (blind spot, rear cross traffic, smart braking) on all but the top-spec Akari
The touch screen MZD infotainment system is standard in all but the base Neo grade car. It includes navigation, internet radio, and can read aloud text messages and even your latest twitter updates.
There are 4-grades, 2-engines, 2-transmissions, 2-drive types and 8 colours in the CX-3 range.
The base CX-3 Neo (petrol, manual, 2wd) can be had from just $19,990 plus on roads. This climbs all the way to $37,690 for an AWD Akari diesel auto.
Mazda are aiming for 1000k sales a month – the lion’s share being the $22390 Maxx
It may eat into sales of Mazda’s 2, 3 and even CX-5 – but given the CX-3’s style focused and enjoyable nature, it could very well make some serious in-roads into the compact SUV category.