2019 Mazda CX-3 SUV Launch Review

2019 Mazda CX-3 Model Upgrade Road Test Review

Mazda CX-3 Overview

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. So I guess you could say it personifies the shift away from sedans to the Urban SUV that has occurred in recent times.

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’s predictions are for 92% of the sales to be FWD and 8% AWD, 90% AT and 10% MT, 99% Petrol and 1% diesel and over 55% the Maxx Sport version.

Mazda tells us that the most popular model in their range will be the Maxx Sport in FWD, petrol engine and a 6 speed auto transmission. So when we refer to facts and figures it will be this model we will refer to.

MAZDA CX-3 front 2

Mazda CX-3 External

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 style 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

Mazda CX-3 Internal

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.

MAZDA CX-3 rear seats

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 touch points are

Obviously the higher the grade the more the level of features and comfort, but the base models fabric seats are relatively comfortable. I would have liked a lumbar support adjustment, but found myself with enough room all around.

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

MAZDA CX-3 features

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.

MAZDA CX-3 boot

The boot lid opens fairly high and reveals a decent size space, with a false floor to allow deeper parcels.

MAZDA CX-3 screen

Mazda CX-3 Features

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-inch 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

Mazda CX-3 Engine and Drivetrain

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

When asked whether it was worth offering the diesel at all, Mazda said that it really cost very little to offer the diesel and some buyers wanted it.

The familiar SKYACTIV-G 2.0L petrol engine has seen a range of SKYACTIV technologies applied to improve economy and promote quicker engine response, lifting power from 110kW to 111kW at 6,000rpm, and torque from 192Nm to 195Nm at 2,800rpm.

In reality, the difference on the road is hardly noticeable. The engine cruises along quite nicely, but grumbles under hard acceleration, 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.

Combined with a host of SKYACTIV technology upgrades, the new engine boosts power to 85kW from 77kW at 4,000rpm, while torque remains a high 270Nm delivered between 1,600 and 2,600rpm.

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

MAZDA CX-3 feature image

Mazda CX-3 Safety

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) and
    • 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.

MAZDA CX-3 front 1

Mazda CX-3 Summary

The saying goes, if it aint broke, don’t fix it. That applies to the Mazda CX-3. Rather Mazda has made marginal improvements.

Let’s leave the final words to Mazda themselves.

Managing Director of Mazda Australia, Vinesh Bhindi, said the changes to New Mazda CX-3 enhance its appeal as an SUV.

“This latest round of upgrades enhances the winning elements of the Mazda CX-3, elevating its elegance, performance and functionality, firmly cementing its place as the small SUV of choice.” he said.

We will bring you more drive impressions as we test a few models over the next few weeks

MAZDA CX-3 side 1

Mazda CX-3 drive away pricing

 

CX-3 MODEL DRIVE AWAY PRICE
CX-3 6M NEO SPORT PETROL FWD $23,990
CX-3 6A NEO SPORT PETROL FWD $25,990
CX-3 6M MAXX SPORT PETROL FWD $25,490
CX-3 6A MAXX SPORT PETROL FWD $27,490
CX-3 6M STOURING PETROL FWD $28,740
CX-3 6A MAXX SPORT PETROL AWD $29,490
CX-3 6A MAXX SPORT DIESEL FWD $29,990
CX-3 6A STOURING PETROL FWD $30,740
CX-3 6A STOURING PETROL AWD $32,740
CX-3 6M AKARI PETROL FWD $33,990
CX-3 6A AKARI PETROL FWD $35,990
CX-3 6A STOURING DIESEL AWD $35,240
CX-3 6A AKARI PETROL AWD $37,490
CX-3 6A AKARI DIESEL AWD $40,490

MAZDA CX-3 rear

What’s Good:

  • Practicality
  • Internal space
  • Fit for purpose

 What’s Not So Good:

  • Needs diesel engine
  • Lack of character
  • Manual steering wheel adjustment

Model: Mazda CX-3 Maxx Sport

Model Price:                      $27,490 RDAP

Engine:                                SKYACTIV-G 2.0L 4 Cylinder Petrol Engine

Drivetrain:                         FWD 6 Sp AT

Power:                               111kW @ 6,000 rpm

Torque:                              195Nm @ 2,800 rpm

Safety:                                5 Star ANCAP

CO2 Emissions:                  146 g/km

Economy:                          6.3 L/100km (ADR comb)

Tow Capacity: Max              1200 kg

Tow Ball Rating:                  120 kg

Servicing: Capped Price      TBC

Warranty:                            5yr/ unlimited km with optional full roadside assist

Overall Rating     75/100

Behind the Wheel     7

Comfort                      8

Equipment                 8

Performance              7

Ride & Handling         8

Practicality                           9

Fit for Purpose                   9

Towing Ability                     5

Off Road Ability                  5

Value for Money                 9

Mazda CX-3 Range
4.0

Summary

The saying goes, if it aint broke, don’t fix it. That applies to the Mazda CX-3. Rather Mazda has made marginal improvements.

About Rob Fraser 803 Articles
Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. He constantly mutters something about way too many red wines one evening being to blame. He first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, many years ago. He has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures. He has towed either a caravan or camper trailer to most parts of Australia, has run guided tours for camper trailers’ and instructed drivers in off road towing Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive.

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