Small Blessings

by Petrol Mum
Mazda CX-3 G 20 Evolve FWD Aero Grey metallic

The new Mazda CX-3 may be the smallest SUV in the Mazda range, but its stylish and spacious design features the latest technology and safety, even for the base model G20 SPORT.

All models in the Mazda CX-3 range are powered by the same 2.0 litre in-line 4-cylinder petrol engine that produces a maximum of 110kW of power and 195Nm of torque. The official combined fuel economy is 6.3l/100km and for my week with the CX-3 I used 8.4l/100km. Even with Sport mode engaged there is only a modest amount of power on offer that is transferred to the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission.

This cute Aero Grey metallic CX-3 is the G20 EVOLVE and it’s the middle rung of the CX-3 specification ladder. In addition to the G20 PURE features it also comes with gloss black exterior mirrors, 18-inch machined alloy wheels and front parking sensors. Plus, the seats are trimmed in white Maztex/Tan Grand Luxe suede with Grand Luxe Tan suede door and dashboard trim inserts.

The CX-3 EVOLVE has keyless entry, but you need to press the button on the key fob to open them. The small buttons on the side of the key fob are my biggest pet hate with Mazda vehicles. Once you’re in the CX-3 you can manually adjust both front seats for recline, seat height and forward/back controls and then push the start button. I’m not keen on white car interiors in general, but I do like the combination of materials used in this CX-3.

I’m glad that Mazda has retained its old-style rotary controller for the 8-inch infotainment display, as it avoids fingermarks on the touchscreen and as there is almost no gloss black surfaces on the centre console, you avoid finger marks here also. Voice control can also be used to navigate the infotainment menus by pressing the button on the steering wheel with the masculine-looking silhouette on it. The voice control operation worked well for making a phone call, changing the radio station and it can set an address on the sat nav, but it is a multi-step process to do so. Media sources available include AM/FM radio, DAB, aha, Stitcher, Bluetooth, USB, AUX, Apple CarPlay (wireless) and Android Auto (wired).

Other indications that this CX-3 is a $30k vehicle are the older style head-up display screen and the basic digital displays on either side of the analogue taco. There’s only single zone climate control with rotary controls for temperature, speed, and mode. My thoughts on the overall dah design are that I think there should be a second round air vent on the left-hand side below the screen as it looks a bit odd with a rectangle vent here, and then centre the hazard lights button under the screen.

In a small SUV storage needs to be well thought out and I like that under the arm rest in the CX-3 there is a space with multiple use and depth options for cups or other items. At the front of the centre console there is a ledge for your phone with two USB-A ports, one 12V socket, and one AUX jack. And in the front and rear doors there are good size and shaped drink bottle storage cubbies.

The size constraints of the CX-3 are evident though in the rear seats with limited head and leg room for adults. The CX-3 has two ISOFix/three rear tether child seat restraint points, but only enough room for two seats due the overall width of the rear seat. The centre seat does fold down as an arm rest with two drink holders in it, but rear passengers miss out on air vents and USB ports and the transmission tunnel is quite high with no carpet mat over it.

This CX-3 has a power assisted manual open tailgate with manual closing and the boot can fit a small weekly shop or some grocery bags placed on top of a pram. If more room is required the rear seats have a 60:40 split fold mechanism. The boot space has four plastic tie points, a light and under the lower boot there is a temporary use spare tyre. There is a removable floor that can be completely taken out to make the boot area deeper or if you leave the removable floor in place then you can use this space for storage of items that you don’t use all that often like a spare set of clothes for your children.

The new Mazda CX-3 has not been rated by ANCAP yet, but all models come with front (driver and passenger), side (front), and curtain (front and rear) airbags. Smart City Brake Support [Forward/Reverse] with front pedestrian detection, Blind Spot Monitoring, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are fitted to all CX-3s and from the G20 Pure up you also get Lane Departure Warning. This CX-3 has a standard reverse camera with front sensors (that default to ‘off’ so you need to remember to turn them on) and rear sensors that are always active. For convenience you also get auto lights and auto rain sensing wipers and the this CX-3 has standard cruise control.

All new Mazda vehicles are backed by a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty plus five year’s Mazda Premium Roadside Assistance. The CX-3 service intervals are every 12 months or 15,000kms, whichever comes first and the cost for the first five basic services on the CX-3 G20 EVOLVE is $2,132.

Being the smallest SUV in the Mazda model range is not a limitation for the CX-3, if fact many would see it as an advantage. The Mazda CX-3 G 20 EVOLVE FWD is priced from $31,050 plus on-roads and this CX-3 has no options fitted. You can Build you Mazda CX-3 online or visit your preferred Mazda dealer for more information.

Practical interior featuresYou have to turn on the front parking sensors
Voice control worked wellNo rear air vents
Rotary infotainment controller avoids fingermarks  No ANCAP safety rating at present

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.

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