– Article and photos by Rod Fuller –
Mazda’s mini SUV the CX-3 has been with us for a while and last year received a mid-life upgrade. Now with competitors launching new and arguably more ‘out there’ models in this class, how does this CX-3 stack up?
Well straight off the bat, the CX-3 S Touring, I feel is still the best looking car in the mini SUV class. Its styling is wellproportioned, balanced and uniquely allows its individuality to shine through whilst reminding you of its siblings in the Mazda range. Long story short, it looks good.
The style isn’t confined to the outside either. Faux leather steering wheel and seats with red stitching, contrasting panel trims and anodised red metal highlights on the air vents, make for a very attractive interior that feels more expensive than it is.
Mazda’s MZD Connect infotainment system minimises driver distraction by allowing operation via voice or the multi-function controller so you can keep your eyes on the road. Making it easier to change the radio station, make or answer phone calls, or set the Sat Nav while on the move. Mazda is yet to offer Apple Car Play/Android Auto.
Also helping keep your eyes on the road, S-Touring CX-3 also has a heads up display. Showing not only your speed but the current speed limit as well via the Traffic Sign Recognition system (including school zones). Blind spot warnings also feature on this display.
One 12V and two USB are provided for front passengers but none for those in the rear seat. Rear seat passengers get reasonable headroom and leg room is marginal. Three seat belts are provided for the rear seat; but there’s no way three adults will fit.
Boot space is good at 264 Lt with the rear seats up and 1174Lt with them folded down. Under boot storage is also provided, as a space saver wheel is utilised for a spare tyre.
CX-3 is an ideal SUV for zipping about town or the suburbs. The six speed auto with 2.0 Lt Skyactiv petrol engine (109kW/192Nm) is smooth, comfortable and easy to drive. The istop function is quite smooth and helps CX-3 return a combined economy figure of 6.1 Lt/100km (although the best I saw was 7.2Lt/100km). Ride quality is very good, with 18” wheels and 215/50R18 Toyo tyres offered on the S-Touring.
On country trips though, as a driver I found it hard to stay comfortable. Like the Mazda2 there is no centre console armrest. Therefore nowhere to rest your left elbow and after an hour or so it was just uncomfortable. Mazda does offer to fit a centre console/armrest to CX-3, but it is a $500 option! Not even standard on the top of the line Akari model.
A 48 Lt fuel tank is provided on FWD models (44 Lt on AWD models) so country trips may require a bit of planning on where you need to refill.
Safety features abound on the CX-3 with:-
- ABS ,Traction and Dynamic Stability Control
- Front and Rear Smart City Brake Assist
- Blind Spot monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (Maxx and up)
- Active Driving Display and Driver Attention Alert (S Touring and up)
- Lane Departure Warning and Adaptive LED headlamps (Akari only)
CX-3 comes with a three year unlimited km warranty and roadside assist packages are also available. If you’re considering a small SUV for a novated lease, CX-3 S Touring offers everyday city drivers, stylishly good looks as well as comfortable and convenient motoring.
What does it look like as a Novated Lease?
|RRP (including GST)||$33,490|
|Annual Savings with a Novated Lease||$2,420|
This data is from the 2018 Novated Leasing Guide produced by Fleet Auto News.