Mazda recently gave the popular CX-3 some enhancements for 2018 and the Japanese car company is hoping these are enough to keep Aussie buyers choosing it over a growing list of rivals.
While mid and upper-spec models get features such as blind sport monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.
I had the keys to the top-spec CX-3 Akari with the 2.0 litre petrol engine, six-speed auto transmission and all-wheel drive.
It had been 18 months since I last had a drive of a CX-3 and once again my main observations of the model, points that perhaps you should consider before making a decision, include:
Lack of a centre arm-rest – I know this is only a fairly small thing, however not having a place to rest your arm, especially on longer trips, brings down the comfort levels.
Rear seat space – there really isn’t a lot. Remember, the CX-3 shares the same underpinnings as the Mazda2, thus, don’t expect a lot of legroom back there.
I will get it straight out of the way – unless you really need the (slightly) higher seating position and raised suspension it is my belief that you’re most likely better off with a Mazda3.
A Mazda3 would also solve the centre arm rest issue and give you more cabin space too!
But, if a CX-3 though remains your pick then the good news is that there really isn’t much else not to like about the offering.
The infotainment system is also a winner with control knobs located on the centre console and the addition of digital radio is welcome.
The glove box is not particularly large, same goes with the door pockets, and of course there’s no centre console bin (where arm rest would be).
Boot space is pretty good, and even better when you lift up the boot floor to access a large hidden storage area.
As you would expect from Mazda, the CX-3 drives along well, the ride in particular is a highlight.
While fuel economy from the 2.0 litre engine in my week of city/suburban driving was 8.9L/100km and that’s about what you might expect in a petrol-powered vehicle of this size.
A full five-star ANCAP safety score features across the entire Mazda CX-3 range.
Summing it up; there’s no good reason that I can come up with for you to look elsewhere.
You might be able to make the argument that Hyundai’s five-year warranty is an advantage, also being built on the i30 base it might be a little more roomy.
Again, there’s not a lot of usable space inside the Mazda’s cabin, however if you feel it fits your requirements then a Mazda CX-3 seems like a good car to take home.
Facts and Figures: 2018 Mazda CX-3 Akari
- Engines: 1.5 litre turbo-diesel producing 77kW/270Nm or 2.0 litre petrol producing 109kW/192Nm
- Transmissions: Six-speed manual or six-speed auto
- Safety: Five stars
- Warranty: Three years
- Origin: Thailand
- Price: from $20,490 – Akari from $31,290