Mazda CX-3 Active a smart SUV

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There’s no mistaking the curb appeal of the CX-3 in Soul Red.

The lines of this compact SUV are enticing and the stance promises a sporty drive with road holding to match on it’s 16″ alloy wheels.

The model we tested is the 2.0 litre Auto Active. It is the entry model in the CX-3 range with cloth seats and aircon and modest 7 inch display screen essentially reserved for the radio and phone setup screens. The vehicle we drove did not have the satnav installed.

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Interior of the CX-3 Individual pictured above

The cabin is spacious and well laid out. There is plenty of head room for even the tallest of drivers and entry and exit from the vehicle is comfortable and requires no contorting skills. The seating position is easily adjusted and I found my comfortable position in seconds. The mirrors are electric and I was able to position them effortlessly to my driving position. A small concern might be the rather small rear window but the rear park distance control system quickly solves that issue when parking.

The auto transmission handled really well. Shifts were smooth and noise was barely noticeable. The hill we live on pushed the noise levels up when accelerating from standstill but only a fraction. If you’re so inclined, the sport button can be engaged for a little extra roar from the engine although at altitude I’m not sure it offered any extra grunt in exchange for the roar. The boot space is a little limited with the rear seats in the sitting position. If load space is required the rear seats can be lowered, or split 60/40 for longer items in the boot cavity.

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Sleek lines with an aggressive grille and wide stance

The stand-out performance of the test drive was the ease with which the Bluetooth connected to my mobile phone. Only 4 voice commands and we were connected. That’s right, 4 voice commands. No training. Just 4 words.

ZOOM ZOOM – you’re connected!

Just two weeks prior I spent more than twenty minutes trying to configure a different manufacturers device with dealer support and in the Mazda it was literally done in under a minute.

The CX-3 is no slouch with a top speed of 192 (claimed) and combined fuel consumption of 6.1 litres (claimed). We achieved closer to 8.5 without vigorous acceleration in an urban cycle. On the open road she purrs along on far less fuel. The power is supplied by the 2.0 litre 115kW/204Nm Skyactiv-G petrol engine mated to a six-speed auto known as the Skyactiv-Drive.


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Attractive from every angle

For the moment there is no diesel model in the South African range but there’s always a possibility according to Mazda managing director David Hughes.


The CX-3 collision protection is top-class, thanks to a highly rigid body integrating SRS airbags. A confident grasp on the road is aided by Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Traction Control System (TCS). ABS brakes feature Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) which matches braking to vehicle load, while Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) boosts stopping power when emergency braking is sensed. An Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) triggers the hazard lights to warn following drivers if you have to brake suddenly from speed.

Warranty and service plan

The CX-3 comes with the 3-Year Mazda Unlimited Kilometer Warranty and covers all scheduled services for 3 years, regardless of your mileage. The service plan operates alongside the Mazda Unlimited Kilometer Warranty. Mazdacare is also included for 3 years of unlimited roadside assistance, towing and medical assistance.


The CX-3 is an excellent crossover vehicle for those not quite ready to leave the traditional car sector behind for the SUV market. Equally, those moving from a large SUV to a car might find this in-between step meets their need for a slightly elevated driving position compared to a lower slung model. We enjoyed our time with the CX-3 and look forward to the range topping Individual model we’ll be driving in July.

Download the CX-3 brochure

Book a test drive in a CX-3

Price: R 254 900 incl VAT

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