DRIVEN: Mazda CX-3 Individual Plus remains a good offering
The compact crossover vehicle segment has advanced over the years with some of the most appealing models on sale today.
The Mazda CX-3 is one of the sportiest models on sale today and take it or leave it, the range-topping Individual Plus model I had an opportunity to sample takes things even further.
The year 2018 saw the introduction of the refreshed Mazda CX-3 that still spawns the now-familiar KODO design that is very similar to the CX-5, Mazda 3 and Mazda 2. My test unit came fitted with sexy 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and rear lights as well as chrome side door garnish and power sliding and tilt glass sunroof.
Interior quality is wonderful. My test unit being the range-topping Individual Plus trim meant it came fitted with comfortable full leather seats plus head-up display. The overall feel of the interior is solid and upmarket.
The is a very dominant seven-inch colour touchscreen that incorporates SatNav, Bluetooth, sadly, there is no Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
The system is easy to navigate through, thanks to the rotary switch as well as shortcut buttons situated in the centre console.
There is a lovely seven-speaker Bose system that was a pleasure to have during my trip down to Mpumalanga. The system delivers impressive sound for such a small vehicle, so if you think of getting the CX-3 after reading this, make sure to tick the Bose sound system box in the options list.
Space remains an issue at the rear seats. It leaves an impression that the rear seats are best left for kids while the boot offers adequate space and it was able to gulp sizeable items such as bags and grocery packs.
If space remains on top of the list of things you want in a vehicle, the bigger CX-5 is worth looking at.
Powering the Mazda CX-3 is a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder SKYACTIV petrol engine with 115 kW of power and 206 Nm of torque. The engine is mated with a six-speed automatic transmission that drives the front wheels.
It is not the best engine in its class but gets the job done. It tends to drone under hard acceleration and overtaking prowess, however, it drives fairly well when driven with the softest foot.
There is a notable amount of wind noise at speeds over 110 km/h, however, Mazda has added more sound deadening material around the cabin and in the doors to boost refinement and that can be felt.
It is one of the thirstiest crossover vehicles I have tested in my motoring career. The fuel consumption figures were far from what Mazda claims.
Safety comes courtesy of ABS, EBD, Airbags, EBA, DSC, HLA, G-Vectoring Control, Blind Spot Monitoring, Smart City Brake System, Driver Attention Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist and Parking Sensors (Rear) with reverse camera
This standard is backed up by a 3-year unlimited kilometre service plan. To provide complete peace of mind motoring, a 3-year factory warranty, 3-year roadside assistance and a 5-year Corrosion Warranty are also included.
What I like
Safety box checked
Decent ride with impressive handling.
Bose sound system is great
What I dislike
Space remains an issue
Lack of Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
The Mazda CX-3 makes a great proportion with its great driving dynamics, excellent interior and cute styling cues, however, it does not come cheap at all at a starting price of R433 900.
About Author: Ntsako is an avid car fanatic and a motoring journalist who enjoys driving and writing about all things cars.