DRIVEN: Mazda 2.0 CX-3 Individual Plus Auto

When the Mazda CX-3 launched it instantly became one of my favourite cars from the Japanese automaker – and it seems South Africans love it too. I recently spent seven days with this car, and here are my thoughts on this subcompact crossover SUV.

Compared to its competitors the CX-3 wins in the aesthetics department and is by far my favourite from the whole Mazda range. Finished in a stealthy Jet Black Mica paintwork finish, big wheels and a short overhang are some of the design cues that make the car stand out. Though the CX-3 is inspired by the Mazda 2, it features a jacked up suspension which makes the car taller which increases its desirability.

The Mazda CX-3 has a very sought after interior. It has a very premium feel to it. We have a leather-wrapped steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake. I love the button placement and switchgear which also feel quite easy and natural to use. Up front, the seats are quite comfortable, whilst the rear seats can support three adults I wouldn’t recommend it on a long trip. The rear seats would be great for either two adults or three children. Boot space is not one of the CX-3’s strong points, coming in at 265litres it is considerably less than its competitors such as the Nissan Juke and Honda HRV.

I love Mazda’s infotainment system. Controlled via a clicky wheel (similar to Mercedes-Benz & BMW) near the handbrake, and via the touchscreen. Mazda has conveniently placed the volume knob near the clicky wheel which I found pretty convenient. The graphics on the infotainment are very dated and could use a bit of an upgrade, other than that it works perfectly well.

The CX-3 does give a pleasant ride and can offer a more dynamic ride when it comes to having fun. Powered by a non-turbo 2.0 litre 4-cylinder making 115 kW and 204 Nm of torque. It is quite a rev happy engine. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the car tends to struggle to find a proper driving gear especially when cruise control is engaged. It kicks down too many gears in order to eventually find the correct gears to shift into. Mazda claims a 6.1 l/100kms which was an unachievable figure as I only achieved a best of 8.4 l/100kms even with civilized driving.

The Mazda 2.0 CX-3 Individual Plus Auto sits on top of the CX-3 model range and is priced at R388, 400.00. That’s premium cost, but you are getting a premium car. This means you’re getting:

Power sliding and tilt glass sunroof
18 in wheels
Auto fold mirrors
LED fog lamps
Reverse camera with rear parking sensors
Privacy glass (rear, side and back)
MZD Connect with a 7-inch screen
BOSE sound system
Satelite navigation
Lane Departure Warning
Blind Spot Monitoring
Smart City Brake Support (front and rear)
Driver Attention Alert

Essentially you are getting a lot of car for your money. Aside from the gearbox issue, I enjoyed my time with the Mazda CX-3.

Specs

  • Engine: 2.0 litre 4 cyl petrol
  • Power: 115kW @ 6000rpm
  • Torque: 204 N.m @ 2800
  • rpmTransmission: 6 Speed Automatic
  • Acceleration: –
  • Top Speed: 192 km/h
  • Fuel Consumption: 6.1l per 100km (claimed)
  • Price: R 404, 200

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