Why do people buy an SUV or Crossover?
According to research by Mazda, 50% like the design, 40% say the size suits them and 23% enjoy the driving characteristics.
The first sight of Mazda’s own first-time compact SUV or crossover, gives the impression of a car bigger than it actually is.
Clever design, then, for Mazda’s all-new and first small SUV, with a distinctive ‘face’. Interesting new colours, too, ranging from a very pale Ceramic metallic to a deep, dark blue and Mazda’s signature Soul Red Metallic is also available.
It’s an eighteen-model lineup, starting at £17,595. Engines include the 105PS diesel and two petrol engines, delivering 120PS and 150PS. Both automatic and manual gear boxes are on offer as are front-wheel drive and the latest generation of Mazda’s all-wheel drive.
I tried all three on some superb roads in Northumberland and the Scottish borders.
The first of these was the diesel Sport Nav automatic — the highest specification version that includes a head-up display. Driving away from the launch base at Newcastle Airport and later from Gateshead, first impressions were of a quiet and refined feeling to the car. Once I became familiar with it and the roads opened up, I could push the diesel harder; here, it was more obviously being stretched and you could hear it. Nothing much wrong with that, however, and to be expected from any small engine, 1.5 litres in this case.
Performance from this unit was not exactly exciting and at times it seemed a bit anaemic. So, if you are happy with average performance and do quite a high mileage, this could be the version that suits. On my drive in the full range of traffic conditions, the car’s trip computer recorded a fuel consumption of 44.7 mpg.
The 2.0 litre 120PS petrol was a different kettle of fish, distinctly fun to drive. The manual gear change was superb and added a lot to the experience. Over a similar route, the fuel consumption showed at 40.4 mpg.
The most powerful CX-3, with 150PS from the same basic engine, was more fun again and able to show how well the car handles and deals with a variety of road surfaces quite ably.
All versions proved to be comfortable to ride in and steered and braked nicely. The Stone leather and suede seating looked and felt good. Space is good and there is an adaptable boot.
As an overall package, all CX-3s offer a competitive deal. Equipped with high-grade technology, according to your budget, and appear to be very nicely put together, as well as having a fair bit of style, both inside and out.
All models feature connectivity to the outside world with a 7-inch touchscreen. Insurance is competitive in part thanks to all the safety technology on board.
Nice one, Mazda…again!
SkyActiv-G 150ps AWD Sport Nav Petrol
On-the-road pricing: £22,495
0-62mph: 8.7 secs
Top Speed: 124 mph
Combined MPG: 44.1
CO2 emissions: 150g/km
VED Licence: F
Insurance group: 19E
SkyActiv-G 120ps 2WD Sport Nav Petrol
On-the-road pricing: £20,495
0-62mph: 9.9 secs
Top Speed: 116 mph
Combined MPG: 48.7
CO2 emissions: 137g/km
VED Licence: E
Insurance group: 17E
SkyActiv-D 105ps 2WD Sport Nav Diesel
On-the-road pricing: £21,895
0-62mph: 10.1 secs
Top Speed: 110 mph
Combined MPG: 70.6
CO2 emissions: 105g/km
VED Licence: B
Insurance group: 15E
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