Does the world need yet another SUV? It would be
understandable if the motoring public were beginning to suff er
from SUV overload as upgrades and new models continue to
appear on forecourts almost every week. But all the signs are
that the car buyer's love aff air with the SUV is not waning but
Mazda's CX-3 is a good example of why the compact SUV
retains its grip on the public imagination. The design and
engineering of the CX-3 strikes a delicate balance between a
stylish `outdoorsy' image and running costs that come broadly
in line with those for a small car.
Dynamic and imposing
The CX-3 has a dynamic and imposing exterior and, in the
model under test, the GT Lux Edition, 18" alloy wheels add the
fi nishing touch to its close-to-rakish appearance.
Inside, the sleek but practical design principles are maintained,
using high-quality materials including Nappa leather and skilled
craftmanship such as intricate double-stitch detailing. The
mandatory high seating position for the driver is, of course,
present and correct and the Lux edition delivers a sense of
spaciousness that belies its actual dimensions.
Mazda says it has focused on centring the CX-3 around the
driver. That translates into everything important being within
easy reach of the person behind the wheel.
For instance, navigation and entertainment information is
shown on a seven-inch display positioned on the dashboard
above the centre stack the idea is to off er less distraction to
The real surprise is the CX-3's petrol engine. The CX-3 will
never be fully at home churning through muddy fi elds but
on the road its 2.0L engine ensures it's a reliable and sturdy
performer in all conditions, providing sharp acceleration and
that elusive `sporty' quality.
An enhanced sense of safety is one of the SUV category's
strongest selling points. Mazda's engineers have reinforced that
perception in the Lux edition by incorporating a suite of safety
features including an intelligent brake support system which
has been designed to brake if it detects a potential hazard, a
lane-departure warning system and a rear-view camera.
With boot space that's fairly typical for a compact SUV, the
CX-3 is a stylish all-rounder that off ers an enjoyable driving
experience built on clever design and a feisty engine that could
win over many `undecideds'.
CX BALANCES PERFORMANCE
WITH VALUE FOR MONEY
Fuel consumption (combined) (manufacturer's figures)
emissions (manufacturer's figures)
The CX-3 is not just another
compact SUV, writes
Pat McCormack ICMSA