Mazda CX- 3
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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.