2019 Mazda CX-3 Upgrade Review

Mazda CX-3 Road Test Review

2019 mazda cx-3

Mazda CX-3 has been a successful model for Mazda since its introduction in 2015.

The CX-3 is the second best-selling vehicle in its segment and extremely popular with the urban buyers.

The 2019 upgrade is more a tinker than a radical change, and marginal improvements on an already good product.

There are four models in the range, two engines, two drivetrains, and two transmissions. There is the Neo Sport, Maxx Sport, sTouring and Akari models.

The CX-3 comes in both AWD and FWD, in both petrol and diesel engines with a 6-speed SKYACTIV-MT manual or 6-speed SKYACTIV-Drive automatic transmission.

There is also a choice of eight colours, matched with five model-dependent interior colour schemes.

Mazda tells us that the most popular model in their range will be the Maxx Sport in FWD, petrol engine and a six-speed auto transmission.

So when we refer to facts and figures it will be this model we will refer to.

MAZDA CX-3 side 1


The CX-3 has always been a stylish vehicle. Like the Mazda6, It seems to maintain a balance in its proportions that are often hard to achieve in a smaller SUV.

With a higher stance than a hatch and a sleek, svelte appearance the CX-3 is stylish without dramatic lines like a Hyundai Kona or a Toyota CH-R.

As such the external changes are small and subtle.

A new front grille adopts more horizontal lines to achieve a greater assertive stance, while rear combination lamps on sTouring and Akari models have been refined to give a more premium and precise look.

On Maxx Sport and above, gloss black adorns the fog lamp bezels and side pillars, sharpening the detail of the areas around the window and highlighting the flowing, floating roofline.

MAZDA CX-3 front inside


Right through from the Neo Sport to the range topping Akari, the CX-3 has a quality appearance inside, designed around the driver ergonomics.

One noticeable change is the revised centre console design especially to accommodate the now standard Electric Parking Brake (EPB).

This also allows changes to location of the convenient central controller for the screen.

It has moved slightly forward for more comfort and convenience.

A folding padded lid has also been fitted to the console box, doubling as a comfortable central armrest for driver and front seat passenger.

The front seats have upgraded seat cushions and the higher grade models have leather seats.

The change from a manual park brake to an electric one has meant the Command Controller has been relocated, moving forward for easier reach.

The rear seats are slightly cramped, as it is for all vehicles on this size, but comfortable.

Maxx Sport models and above now have folding rear armrest featuring two cup holders that can carry containers of varied sizes.


I won’t list all the features, rather the changes that have been added.

  • Reverse camera is now standard across the range, as is
  • Electric Parking Brake (EPB)
  • sTouring and Akari grades adopt newly designed, bigger, 18″ wheels
  • sTouring and Akari also get a new anti-glare interior rear-vision mirror

Currently there is no Apple Car Play or Android Auto, however there is a retrofit kit coming soon.

The cost is to be announced closer to the time and it is dealer fitted.

MAZDA CX-3 engine

Drive and Engine

The Mazda is really an urban SUV and as such the petrol engine is overwhelmingly popular, 99% popular.

The familiar SKYACTIV-G 2.0L petrol engine has seen a range of SKYACTIV technologies applied to improve economy and promote quicker engine response, providing 110kW/192Nm.

The steering and handling dynamics are ideal for putting around the city, especially with the revised Electric Power Steering (EPS).

The new SKYACTIV-D 1.8L turbo-diesel engine is also offered, replacing the smaller capacity 1.5L engine in the previous model. It provides 85kW/270Nm.

On the launch we didn’t have the opportunity to drive the diesel as it isn’t available yet.


The CX-3 has a five-star ANCAP safety rating. Improved features include:

  • A reverse camera as standard across the range
  • standard i-ACTIVSENSE safety technologies including:
    • Smart City Brake Support Forward and Reverse (SCBS F/R)
    • Emergency Brake Assistance (EBA)
  • The range topping Akari also adds Mazda’s new 360° View Monitor and Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC) with Stop & Go, the only vehicle in its category to offer both functions.

Good Bits

  • Practicality
  • Style
  • Fit for purpose

 Not So Good Bits

  • Petrol could use a little more power
  • Space saver spare
  • No lumbar support in some models

MAZDA CX-3 rear

2019 Mazda CX-3 from $27,490
  • Overall Rating


Mazda designed a stylish, on trend urban SUV right from the start.

The latest upgrades to the CX-3 are merely minor improvements that adds to the product offering.

As an urban SUV for around the city and occasional weekend away, the Mazda CX-3 is excellent.

Facts and Figures: 2019 Mazda CX-3 Maxx Sport

  • Engine: 2.0L turbo petrol producing 111kW/190Nm
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Safety: Five Stars
  • Warranty: 5 years/unlimited km
  • Origin: Japan

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