Test: Mazda CX-3

200 km / h fast, as big as a Golf and still completely different, what else is driving in this class? Mazda makes the CX-3 a lot different, but above all better. Test of B-segment SUVs with Golf format. 

You did not want an SUV?

Review Mazda CX-3

There should still be people who are not completely into the SUV trend. Drivers who want to opt for a compact one. Out of the question for the SUVs. Actually. But even people who never really wanted to drive an SUV should take a look at the Mazda CX-5. We did that. The “little one” was in our test for 14 days. It starts quite banally with the size: At 1,54 meters high, the Japanese crouches flatter on the road than many others in its class, such as the Opel Mokka or Fiat 500X. However, its length of 4,28 meters makes it one of the larger specimens of the mini-SUV category. That stretches the entire appearance. But it also grows into the compact class, for example a VW Golf is only 4,26 meters long.

Test driving report 012 Mazda CX-3

Small base, big appearance

It's amazing what a Mazda2 can become. Even an SUV. Because the CX-3 has around 80 percent of the parts in common with the small compact. If you disregard the ingeniously well drawn body. Mazda calls its own design line "Kodo". The long bonnet, the cabin sitting far to the rear with the roof rounded off like a coupé and the window areas that taper sharply towards the rear show strength and forward thrust. So you know it from current SUVs. The CX-3 - like its bigger brother, the CX-5 - gets its special flavor from the lines of the side panels, the descending and ascending curves, the broad shoulders and the typical Mazda face. As for exterior design, Mazda has had a good run with Kodo.

Outside hui. Inside hui. The design of the CX-3 also looks extremely successful in the interior. Well, the red and white, leather here, lacquer there, could make you a bit hippy and the white leather covers of the Sports Line we run immediately catch your eye and - presumably - they get dirty just as quickly. But the interior looks spectacular and modern. The thick, leather multifunction steering wheel and the design of the dashboard create an ambience between elegance, modernity and sportiness. It also feels high quality. However, the interior can then no longer deny the segment. It all feels very cozy and tight. Elbow room, head room, the limits of the B-segment become noticeable.

Test driving report 025 Mazda CX-3

Premium equipment

Just as long as the correct model name - "Mazda CX-3 SKYACTIV-G 150 AWD SPORTSLINE”Of the test car is the list of the standard equipment details and the possible options: It starts with the City Emergency Brake Assist, which can prevent a collision up to 30 km / h, via an adaptive cruise control system, the Lane Keeping Assist, LED headlights (! !!), fog lights and taillights (also in LED !!), high beam assistants, light and rain sensors, seat heating, six-speed automatic, driving mode switch, 18-inch wheels, reversing camera, head-up display as well as a parking aid, a Bose sound system, dynamic cornering lights and a wide range of infotainment options including navigation and is therefore ready for the premium segment.

Seriously. With the LED lights, also for the fog lights, in conjunction with the active cornering lights, the small CX-3 turns night into day. That should be the benchmark in its segment.

Test driving report 007 Mazda CX-3

Drive and propulsion

Against the current trend, please. Also under the hood: Here sits a two-liter gasoline engine, called “Skyactiv-G 150”, with 150 hp at 6.000 revolutions and 205 Newton meters of torque. A classic naturally aspirated engine. High-speed, but flexible to drive. With its standard consumption of 6,3 liters per 100 km, it should still fit in with the times. But those who call up the power of 150 hp are dependent on the high speeds of the equally highly compressed 16V petrol engine (14: 1). Back to the good old days.

In everyday testing, the Skyactiv-G 150 brings back memories of “the good old days”. 150 HP naturally aspirated engine, 16V valve train and around 1350 kilograms for the car and driver. If you want to move forward quickly, you shouldn't be afraid to diligently stir the gear ratios on the easy-to-shift 6-speed gearbox. If you stick to it, you will reap an impressive urge to move forward, in keeping with the good old “16V custom” of the 90s.

Although the CX-3 looks a bit like an SUV, it drives like a compact one. The front axle is slightly damped under tension, presumably the result of the longer and harder springs that are used to raise the vehicle, but does not reveal any other weaknesses. On the contrary. The CX-3 cheerfully wags over country roads, is not afraid of jagged cornering and lives from the joy of turning its 2-liter petrol engine. The fact that there are still compact cars in the SUV segment in 2016 that drive so lively - a real delight!

test consumption

Mazda speaks of 6.4 liters per 100 kilometers for the 150 PS petrol engine. A value that we have not achieved. On the minimal round we were satisfied with 6.2 liters. Everyday life, however, tends to level off at 7.7 liters. However, the CX-3 also seduces to a brisk pace. Its lively nature, the revving engine, the reflexive driving behavior in curves - everything always related to the fact of sitting in a SUV-chen - misses a lot of driving fun. There are also 8 liters in order. But if you spend everyday life on the highway, you can also experience great thirst. Speedometer 215 are feasible, the CX-3 G-150 is specified at 200 km / h. Those who use them on long distances easily land above the 10.5 liter mark!


Oh? Never wanted an SUV? But do you like Mazda's design line as much as we do? A compact one would be enough, the family is still small, or the children already out of the house? And do you hardly drive more than 12.000 kilometers a year in everyday life? Bingo. The CX-3 makes a “cute” SUV and is a real fun maker. The processing is also right. Good reasons to take a closer look at the price list and make an appointment with the friendly Mazda dealer!

[toggle title = ”Engine and Gearbox”]
MazdaCX-3 Skyactiv-G 150 AWD 6 gear
EngineR4, petrol, naturally aspirated, high compression
capacity1.998 cc
Performance150 hp @ 6.000 rpm
Kraft204 Nm @ 2.800 rpm
gear6 gearbox, manual
drive axleAll-wheel drive, hang-on, variable
[/ toggle] [toggle title = ”Dimensions and mileage”]
Length Width Height4.275, 1.765, 1.535 mm
wheelbase2.570 mm
Tare1.310 kg
turning circle10,6 m
top speed200 km/h
Acceleration 0-100 km / h8.7 sec
standard consumption6,4l / 100 km
[/ toggle] [toggle title = ”Consumption in the test”]
everyday driver7,0 - 7,5 l / 100 km
Eco-expert- l / 100 km
Field service mode10,5+ l / 100 km
 New round of standard (small)6,2 l / 100 km
[/ Toggle]

(Photos: Bjoern Habegger)

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