View all Mazda CX-3 reviews
Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5


  • Looks
  • Handling
  • Generous equipment list


  • Ride on 18-inch wheels
  • Slightly cramped rear
  • Pricey


The compact crossover craze is hot property right now, which is why the Mazda CX-3 has been created, combining an SUV image with small hatchback practicality. Fighting with the Nissan Juke, Peugeot 2008, MINI Countryman, Vauxhall Mokka and Renault Captur it has a tough task on its hands.

We ran one as a long-termer - read more here

Petrol and diesel engines

Mazda has continued its SkyActiv programme of lightness and efficiency with the CX-3 and, for petrol engines at least, has shied away from turbocharged downsizing, instead believing larger, naturally-aspirated motors are the way to go.

With 118bhp, the 2-litre petrol unit is fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with a six-speed automatic optionally available, sending power to the front wheels. Economy and CO2 emissions are rated at 48mpg and 137g/km for the manual, 49mpg and 136g/km for the automatic.

Choose the CX-3 in Sport Nav trim and you can also order the petrol model with four-wheel drive. Power jumps to 148bhp, but efficiency figures for the manual-only edition are worse at 44mpg and 150g/km.

Cheaper running costs come courtesy of the 1.5-litre turbodiesel, producing just 104bhp, although at 270Nm, peak torque is 66Nm higher than the petrol offerings. Manual transmission is the only choice with the front-wheel drive arrangement, serving figures of 71mpg and 105g/km.

Four-wheel drive is optional with the 1.5-litre diesel, again only combined with Sport Nav trim, with both manual and automatic gearboxes available. Running costs suffer in the process, Mazda claiming 60mpg and 123g/km for the manual, the automatic at 54mpg and 136g/km.

Trim choices

The familiar Mazda trim hierarchy of SE, SE Nav, SE-L, SE-L Nav and Sport Nav are employed on the CX-3.

Equipment levels are fairly generous with all CX-3 models getting alloy wheels, air conditioning, electric windows DAB radio, Bluetooth, cruise control, push button start and a seven-inch colour multimedia screen as standard. Choosing an SE-L adds front fog lights, rear parking sensors, heated front seats, climate control, lane departure warning system and tinted rear windows. Both SE and SE-L can be supplemented with satellite Navigation as part of the SE Nav or SE-L Nav spec.

Sport Nav comes with satellite navigation already and upgrades the 16-inch alloy wheels to 18-inch items plus the interior is spruced up with half leatherette sports seats. Adaptive LED headlights, Bose Stereo, a reversing camera, keyless entry and a head-up display complete the picture.

Prices do start higher than many of its competitors, but the CX-3 is well-equipped and a pleasure to drive with a robust cabin. Read the rest of the Parkers Mazda CX-3 review to find out if it’s worth the premium over its competitors.

What owners say about this car

GOOD POINTS. A handsome looking car with excellent performance from the 2 litre petrol engine driving through a PROPER automatic... Read owner review

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