Mazda has launched its new CX-3 into the market, its first foray into the burgeoning small SUV segment. It is said to complete the line-up of new-generation Mazda models, and fits into the range between the Mazda2 and the Mazda3, both on price and size.
CX-3 is based on the Mazda2 mechanicals but is longer, wider and taller, and offers more interior space. However, it is still quite a compact offering, particularly in the back seat area, while boot space is rated at 264 litres. The cabin features a level of detailing not usually seen in the segment, or at the price, and it gives the car a mature feel.
It is well-mannered on road too, a given for Mazda, and of the models on offer (listed below) we'd plump for the $34,695 2WD petrol GSX as it delivers a more sorted ride and handling mix on New Zealand highways. The AWD diesel models are more than 100kg heavier and Mazda has given these all-paw units a softer suspension tune to handle rough roads better. But that translates to more roll and less composure on-road than with the thoroughly sorted 2WD petrol.
All models feature Mazda's infotainment unit with a seven-inch screen, Bluetooth, Internet radio integration via Smartphone, voice control, air con, push button start, and a reversing camera. The mid-grade GSX variants add 18-inch alloys, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, auto wipers and lights, a head-up display, sat nav, climate control air con, leatherette and cloth trim, a proximity key, and rear parking sensors. On top of the range sits the Limited with even more advanced safety features like automatic high beam control, lane departure warning, a forward collision warning system with auto braking, LED headlamps, Bose premium audio and leather upholstery.
All models also come with Mazdacare, which now includes a five year/unlimited kilometre warranty (this comprises a three-year total vehicle warranty and an extra two years covering major mechanical components), five years of roadside assistance, and three years/100,000km of scheduled servicing.
There are two engines, as mentioned, with the 2.0-litre petrol outputting 109kW and 192Nm at 2800rpm. This is rated at 6.1L/100km overall for 2WD models and 6.7L/100km for the AWD variant. The CX-3 is the first Mazda we get that uses the company's new 1.5-litre turbodiesel. It makes 77kW, and 270Nm of torque from 1600 to 2500rpm. The diesel is only available with AWD and is rated at 5.1L/100km. All models use a six-speed automatic transmission, while the petrol version gets a handy sport mode to kick things along.
The range starts at $31,195 plus on-roads, with the model variants listed below.
CX-3 FWD GLX 2.0-litre petrol - $31,195
CX-3 FWD GSX 2.0-litre petrol - $34,695
CX-3 AWD GSX 2.0-litre petrol - $36,695
CX-3 AWD GSX 1.5-litre diesel - $38,695
CX-3 FWD Limited 2.0-litre petrol - $38,595
CX-3 AWD Limited 1.5-litre diesel - $42,595