Mazda CX- 3

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - MOTOR GUIDE -

From page 1

Biggest un­der­bon­net news is the fit­ment of a SKYACTIV-D 1.8-litre turbo-diesel en­gine in place of the 1.5-litre unit. This new unit lifts power to from 77kW to 85kW from 77kW. Torque is un­changed at 270Nm be­tween 1600 and 2600 rpm, but there’s a strong em­pha­sis on driv­abil­ity and lower fuel and emis­sions.

New Mazda CX-3 is avail­able in both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive with ei­ther the six-speed man­ual or six-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. DRIV­ING Mazda laid out an in­ter­est­ing drive route for the launch of its re­vised CX-3. It be­gan at Tul­la­ma­rine air­port in Mel­bourne, took us out about through beau­ti­ful ar­eas of the Yarra Val­ley and back to Tulla. With a to­tal of close to 300 km it fol­lowed your typ­i­cal Sun­day drive with the fam­ily.

That’s the good news, the bad news was that CX-3s with the new tur­bod­iesel en­gine were still on board the ship bring­ing them to Aus­tralia. Any­how, we had plenty of time to en­joy the im­proved petrol units in both man­ual and au­to­matic guise.

This is a sweet mid­size en­gine that’s nicely re­spon­sive and pulls well on hills and pro­vides suf­fi­cient power for safe over­tak­ing in a rea­son­able short dis­tance.

The gearshifts on the man­ual are smooth and easy but we found the auto was re­luc­tant to shift down at times un­less given a pretty hard prod on the ac­cel­er­a­tor.

Han­dling is neat and pre­dictable at all times and you have to be go­ing pretty hard be­fore the driver as­sis­tance sys­tems step in to keep you out of trou­ble.

Ride com­fort is gen­er­ally good, but as can be the way on small cars the sus­pen­sion was caught out at times on rough Aussie back­roads.

Seat­ing is fine in the front, with the sort of com­fort you would ex­pect from a car a size larger than this small SUV. How­ever, the back seats are cramped for space un­less the fronts are moved for­ward a few notches to add legroom. Check this out on your pre-pur­chase test drive of the car.

Also, the boot is rather small be­cause the CX-3 is based on the Mazda2 small car, not the Mazda3 as you might ex­pect from the SUV’s name. SUM­MING UP Mazda is on a win­ner – no, onto a series of win­ners – in Aus­tralia at the mo­ment and any­one look­ing to buy a small SUV should cer­tainly have the CX-3 on their shop­ping list.

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