Very well con­nected

Warwickshire Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Peter Keenan

ARE­CENT re­vamp makes the Mazda CX-3 more re­fined than a bag of sugar. It’s sweet to drive as well fol­low­ing a num­ber of tech­no­log­i­cal im­prove­ments in­tro­duced to re­fresh the cross­over first launched on to the mo­tor­ing world in 2015.

I’m a sucker for snazz­ily named giz­mos so couldn’t re­sist look­ing into Mazda’s G-Vec­tor­ing con­trol sys­tem – now avail­able across the 13-model line up. The blurb claims it gives more re­spon­sive han­dling, greater grip and ‘su­per sporty driv­ing dy­nam­ics.’ This is backed up on the road as cor­ners are treated with dis­dain by the front-wheel drive mo­tor while the steer­ing is sharp and in­for­ma­tive.

Mazda have a ‘Fun to Drive’ phi­los­o­phy which runs through all the mod­els they make and the CX-3 up­holds this ideal in spades. The ride smooths out any humps and hol­lows thanks to a sus­pen­sion that also ben­e­fits from a small tweak.

To­gether with what Mazda calls its Soul of Mo­tion de­sign with the award-win­ning SKY­AC­TIV tech­nol­ogy, the CX-3 of­fers a great driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence whether ne­go­ti­at­ing in­ner city roads or tour­ing the coun­try­side.

The mod­ern cabin is well in­su­lated from the out­side world with im­proved sound in­su­la­tion while the en­gines are also qui­eter so less in­tru­sive. There is also an ef­fi­cient cli­mate con­trol sys­tem in­cluded on the more ex­pen­sive mod­els.

It all makes for a calm­ing at­mos­phere so the CX-3 is a pleas­ant place to spend a long jour­ney.

The 2.0-litre petrol en­gine is punchy with 62mph reached from a stand­ing start in nine sec­onds while fuel econ­omy is rea­son­able. There are also diesel al­ter­na­tives avail­able as well as four-wheel-drive.

Safety im­prove­ments also abound with an ar­ray of new tech­nolo­gies avail­able.

On the SE-L Nav model I drove th­ese in­clude smart city brake sup­port which au­to­mat­i­cally ap­plies the an­chors when de­tect­ing a low-speed col­li­sion is likely. It uses a cam­era to de­tect ob­sta­cles with the ve­hi­cle col­li­sion avoid­ance thresh­old now raised to 31mph.

There is also a lane de­par­ture warn­ing sys­tem that does ex­actly what it says on the tin should you stray from your lane when driv­ing on dual car­riage­ways or mo­tor­ways.

Mazda’s cross­over is also ex­tremely well con­nected thanks an in­tu­itive in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem that gives ac­cess to all your mu­sic, so­cial me­dia, text mes­sages via your fin­ger­tips. It’s easy to use and forms the cen­tre­piece of a dash­board that gives the driver all the in­for­ma­tion he or she will ever need.

Heated front seats are also in­cluded on the well kit­ted out SE-L Nav model which also gets pri­vacy glass at the rear as well as rear park­ing sen­sors, LED front fog lights, dusk-sens­ing head­lights and rain-sens­ing front wipers.

As the model name im­plies there is an in­te­grated nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem with three years of free Euro­pean map up­dates.

Qual­ity ma­te­ri­als are used giv­ing a lux­ury feel to pro­ceed­ings.

The seats are com­fort­able and there is plenty of room for four adults. The fit and fin­ish are be­yond re­proach as every­thing is well screwed to­gether.

The lat­est CX-3 also in­cludes a new flag­ship model – the GT Sport spe­cial edi­tion which is lim­ited to just 500 cars. It fea­tures the same kit as the Sport Nav model but adds unique styling cues and a more lux­u­ri­ous cabin trim.

TEST DRIVE MAZDA CX-3 2.0

Nav Mazda CX-3 2.0 120ps SE-L £19,895 120ps, 1998cc, 4 cylin­der petrol en­gine driv­ing front wheels via 6-speed man­ual gear­box 119mph 9 sec­onds 47.9 16 137g/km 26% 3yrs / 60,000 miles

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