The SUV boom has long since reached the small car class. Also Mazda jacks up the two for a chic crossover. In addition to sleek design, the newcomer named CX-3 will also compete against Opel Mokka and Co. with unusual drive technology and modern assistants from June. The price list starts at 17.990 euros.
The design of the CX-3 is based on the dynamic style that the brand has introduced with models such as the larger CX-5. Here too there is a tight, coupé-like design and a long, distinctive bonnet that ends in a fairly confident, steep radiator grille. The downside of the brisk appearance: the proportion of the side and rear window surfaces is very small. While you can live with it well in the front seats, it gets quite dark in the back. However, the available space and headroom are surprisingly generous. The trunk volume can also convince for a vehicle of this size. With 350 liters, it is on the level of a compact class sedan; if you do not occupy the rear seats, you can even load up to 1.260 liters.
Mazda continues to use relatively large cubic capacities for the engines and does not have turbo support for the petrol engines. The two direct-injection gasoline units deliver 88 kW / 120 PS and 110 kW / 150 PS and balance a maximum of 204 Newton meters on the crankshaft. Mazda specifies the consumption with 5,9 and 6,4 liters, whereby the weaker version has front-wheel drive, the stronger version always has all-wheel drive. The small petrol engine will probably be the volume model in Germany, since the diesel is more worthwhile for frequent drivers. With the 120 HP of the gasoline engine, the CX-3 is by no means underpowered. The power of the unit is sufficient for normal freeway journeys, for the city anyway. The unit is pleasantly quiet, especially since Mazda has insulated the vehicle quite well. Only when you step hard on the gas does the engine speak up, tinny. The vehicle is very comfortable, without appearing spongy, the exact steering fits perfectly.
The only diesel is a four-cylinder turbo with 1,5 liters and 77 kW / 105 PS. It can be ordered with front or all-wheel drive. In the most economical variant, the small SUV requires 4,0 liters. As an alternative to the crisp six-speed manual transmission, all three engines can also be combined with a six-speed automatic - quite unusual in this vehicle class.
In terms of connectivity and assistance systems, the CX-3 holds a top position in the B-SUV category: the adaptive cruise control with radar-based distance control, which is anything but self-evident in this class, is particularly worth mentioning here. There are also the usual systems such as city emergency braking, parking aid or lane change and lane keeping assistant. LED light is also available.
With its basic price of just under 18.000 euros, the Japanese is one thousand below the base model of an Opel Mokka, for which it is likely to be a very serious competitor.
Author: Peter Eck / SP-X