By Wayne Gorrett
➤ 18-model line-up, priced from £17,595 to £24,695
➤ Regular Mazda trims: SE, SE Nav, SE-L, SE-L Nav & Sport Nav
➤ Petrol and diesel SkyActiv engines, available in 2WD and 4WD
➤ On UK sale in mid-June
Fresh from its world debut under the heat of the lights of the Geneva motor show, Mazda’s new CX-3 compact SUV is on its way to the UK, going on sale around the middle of June.
Revealed with a full photo gallery in November last year, the MX-3 is based on the same platform as the new Mazda2 and will be built in Hiroshima, Japan.
With a choice of 11 petrol and seven diesel models, the CX-3 line-up brings to 31 the number of SUV variants in the 2015 Mazda product portfolio, including the larger and popular CX-5, itself having recently received a (very) subtle cosmetic refresh.
By default, the CX-3 adopts Mazda’s now familiar and well-received SkyActiv technology and ‘Kodo: Soul of Motion’ design language. It features the signature ‘wing’ front grille and enjoys sharp design lines with predatory headlamp styling which instantly identify it as a member of the new Mazda family. Riding 50mm higher than the new Mazda2 launched this month, the CX-3 offers the commanding view of the road favoured by SUV buyers.
In entry-level SE trim, the Mazda CX-3 is generously equipped with Mazda’s latest i-ActivSense safety systems and feature 16-inch alloy wheels, plus heated and power folding mirrors. SE-L models add rear privacy glass and front LED fog lights. At the top of the range, the Sport Nav is the first car in its class to wear front and rear LED lights. 18-inch alloys finish the look.
The Inside Story
On the inside, the CX-3 features a seven-inch touchscreen, DAB radio, Bluetooth and a multifunction steering wheel as standard, with Sport Nav models upping the tech tally including navigation (with three years’ free Euro map updates), Bose surround sound, smart keyless entry and a head-up display system.
The CX-3 will sport all of Mazda’s latest active and passive safety kit. It includes a full complement of standard airbags, hill hold, tyre pressure monitoring and dynamic stability control as standard across the range, while SE-L and Sport Nav models receive a lane departure warning system and city brake support.
All models get cruise control, but rear parking sensors are standard only from SE-L upwards, with Sport Nav adding a reversing camera.
The boot has a flexible cargo board boot floor, which can be lifted to provide a flat load space when the standard 60:40 split fold rear seats are tumbled. Load space is a generous 350-litres with all seats in place.
Engines and Transmissions
Petrol – There is one 2.0-litre SkyActiv-G petrol engine available in two states of tune – 120ps or 150ps and should account for around half of predicted sales. It is available in all trims with either 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic gearboxes. The 120ps engine in 2WD guise takes 10 of the 11 petrol variants available. At the top of the petrol range sits the 150ps engine in Sport Nav trim, paired to an AWD transmission via a six-speed manual gearbox.
Diesel – Mazda’s new 105ps 1.5-litre SkyActiv-D diesel engine made its well-received debut in the new Mazda2 launched earlier this year. As with petrol versions, front-wheel drive models make up the majority (5) of the 11-model range, although the Sport Nav AWD is available with manual or automatic transmission. The new diesel engine emits just 105g CO2/km in 2WD guise and has an official combined economy of 70.6mpg.
The 11-model petrol-engined range starts with the 120ps 2WD SE from £17,595, topping out with the 150ps Sport Nav AWD at £22,495.
The starter diesel will be the 105ps 2WD SE from £18,995, with the all-singing, all-dancing AWD Sport nav automatic capping the diesel range at £24,695.
Once again, the new CX-3 will feature the full complement of Mazda’s innovative SkyActiv tech – engines, body, chassis and transmissions. Like all new Mazda’s of late, the MX-3 is expected to provide the same responsive handling and dynamic driving characteristics.
In a busy small crossover sector (Nissan Juke, Renault Captur, Fiat 500X, et al), it will need to be exemplary to make its mark. With Mazda’s current upsurge, we have little doubt it will be yet another winner in the Japanese manufacturer’s portfolio.
I hope to bring you a ‘first-drive’ report of the Mazda CX-3 in the coming weeks. Until then and because you have been, thanks for reading – ^WG.