(Phoenix, Arizona) Mazda has finally breached. Faced with a disparate auto market, the Japanese manufacturer – one of the very few independent – take too many risks. Indeed, over 84% of its sales are made through 3 and CX-5. This is very dangerous! Mazda is thus forced to play double or quits during each launch or renewal. That’s why the arrival of the CX-3 in the fastest growing segment of the market represents a real opportunity for Mazda to better defend and grow.
In its way, the CX-3 is positioned at the confluence of several trends upward to work in the automotive world. This utility, whose appearance compels attention, sacrifice the concept, very fashionable, the crossover. It merges the characteristics of several worlds: a 4X4 silhouette, the convenience of an urban car, the interior of a small family. Such a model is the new Eldorado of the industry. It also considers that this sub-segment will show the strongest growth over the next 10 years.
Designed to link more “emotional” with the buyer without losing side “vroom, vroom” so dear to the brand, the CX-3 is committed to offering an impressive list of accessories. This is to surf the aspiration of consumers to have not a vulgar mass product, but a custom car of his own.
To satisfy this need for individualization, the catalog offers a wide range. The menu sensors blind corners, high head display device, tricolor processing and intelligent brake assist system in town. From sweets Mazda alas reserves at its best with Version (GT), offered $ 30,495 … That said, there are two other more affordable versions Catalogue (GX and GS) and very correctly fitted in equipment series. The latter – the GS especially – will be appreciated by those who consider it necessary to increasingly invest in their automobile.
Eager to respect and advance the aesthetic codes of the brand, the Hiroshima style office designed a front face spicy, composed of a complex rectangular grille framed by a pair of optical bevelled. This gives the dog to this “urban 4X4” nervous profile, but the tailgate slightly massive lack of personality.
Both pretty and stylish, the new Mazda car yet measures just over 4 meters long, like other vehicles categorized pocket utilities. Compared to these, the main difference mainly affects height.
The CX-3 is shorter, which does not allow him to offer such a large interior volume. Moreover, the space / livability report is nothing exceptional, no more than the capacity of the trunk when the records of the rear seat are planted vertically. Once they turned down, however, the cargo capacity of the CX-3 compares more than that of its direct competitors, but never be equal versatility displayed in this area by the Honda HR-V.
Up front, the Japanese occupants moved in well-designed and comfortable seats. At the rear, we must prepare to play the elbow as space is limited there.
If the GT version (premium) is the most rewarding declination of the range, the inner presentation – although less colorful – GS and GX equally surprising to the attention to detail. Added to this are a flawless ergonomics and adequate storage space, if not exceptional.
Built on a unique technical platform – it will also serve as basis for future subcompact group, 2 -, the CX-3 incorporates the whole concept of the SKYACTIV technology. The latter, remember, is to optimize all components of the vehicle – not just the mechanical – to reduce consumption while maintaining the dynamism of behavior.
To animate the CX-3, Mazda SKYACTIV-G use of 2-liter engine which, against all expectations considering the weight of this model, is not a rocket. Barely more powerful than the 1.8-liter HR-V tried in our pages last week, the 2-liter Mazda also lacks verve. Mention that mates solely on an automatic six-speed gearbox.
However, unlike the HR-V engine, this engine offers a broader range of use, which results in a higher velocity at low and medium revs. The game of comparisons, the CX-3 is faster than the HR-V and the XV Crosstrek (Subaru) but less than the Juke (Nissan) or the Fiat 500X (2.4 liters). It was impossible to measure consumption, but our observations lead us to believe that the CX-3 will consume more than the HR-V and that it will require more frequent trips to the pump because of the smallness of its fuel tank (see our data sheet).
Stable, the CX-3 showed a lot of agility and short turns. The motorway journeys do not scare him, especially as soundproofing is properly secured. Despite a relatively short wheelbase (equivalent to that of the Fiat 500X), the CX-3 is based on suspensions offering an excellent compromise between comfort and dynamism. Neither too soft nor too hard, the suspensory elements admirably well control the movements of the body. Management for its part offers a touch remarkable road and accurately indicates the position of the steering wheels.
Far from being ridiculous on side roads, the CX-3 does not feel so far a soul climber. In its four-wheel drive configuration, the torque is transmitted to the rear wheels, but only if necessary. The most of the time, this Mazda swallows kilometers in two-wheel drive mode, allowing it to reduce its energy consumption and save his tires.