2015 Mazda CX-3 2.0 AWD Sport Nav Review

DRIVEN: 2015 Mazda CX-3 2.0 150ps AWD Sport Nav Review

Following a short test drive of the Mazda CX-3 2.0-litre AWD Sport Nav at a Mazda test day, here is what I think about this all new funky mid-sized SUV.

What’s the 2015 Mazda CX-3 2.0 150ps AWD Sport Nav all about?

The mid-size SUV market is a hot market at the moment and Mazda may have been a little late to enter it with their Mazda CX-3, but now it’s here, let’s take a look.

It is actually one of the most modern looking and well-designed Mazdas we have ever seen. I love the front-end of this car and how it has a slightly aggressive look. The rest of the car looks pretty good too and I congratulate Mazda for what they have done with it.

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The car on test is the Sport Nav variant which includes 18″ gunmetal alloy wheels, LED headlights and rear signature lights, half black leatherette seat trim with red piping, premium Bose surround sound system, smart keyless entry and head-up display. So it is fairly well kitted out.

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The CX-3 is powered by a 2.0-litre, 150bhp engine matched with a six-speed manual gearbox that puts the power to all four wheels. This means that the car does 0 to 60mph in 8.7 seconds and will do a top speed of 124mph. The car also weighs 1,310kg which isn’t too bad for a car of this size.

How does it drive?

Getting into the Mazda CX-3 I was very excited to see how this new car got on. Taking a drive in the car for the first time, the biggest thing that struck me was just how much useable space there was inside the car. There was plenty of room on the inside yet when driving the car, it didn’t feel too much different to a hatchback; it somehow had a bit of a tardis effect.

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The CX-3’s new suspension was beautifully smooth when out on the UK roads, this helps give a calming effect on the interior and this emotion was reflected in many parts of the car. The steering was relatively light and was no effort to use, and the accelerator mapping was relatively smooth; the pedals and gearbox felt beautifully balanced creating an all-around easy drive.

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The 150bhp model that we are testing here felt like it had more power than I needed most of the time, so if saving on the fuel bill is of interest to you then I’m sure you could step down to the 120bhp model without noticing for 90% of the time.

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What’s it like inside?

Small SUVs often compromise internal space as they have a significantly smaller footprint. Inside the Mazda CX-3 there is actually a great compromise. You can seat four adults in the car without any issues and there is still plenty of room in the boot for all of your luggage too. The quality of materials used inside of the CX-3 is great and the overall look of the interior is fantastic; you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a Mercedes, except for the Mazda badge!

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The entertainment system uses a large screen mounted on top of the dashboard that allows you to work your sat nav, phone integration, and look at car information as well as your radio and CD usage. The user interface works very well and is very intuitive to use. You can either use it with the touchscreen or the directional controls down by the handbrake.

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The Experience

The experience of the CX-3 is almost a perfect compromise. The car has the room that you would expect from a mid-size SUV but the technology and entertainment you would expect from a premium full-size SUV. The CX-3 leaves you feeling relaxed, and more than anything else it’s actually the look of the car that really gets you. It’s the kind of car you would be proud to have on your drive and you would find yourself having a sneaky look out the window at it every now and then.

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The introduction of the Mazda CX-3 will be well received by customers, a great decision by Mazda and the car competes well in a busy area of the automotive market. As I’ve mentioned the CX-3 offers a good looking, comfortable and powerful car, a great alternative to the less vibrant cars on the market.

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Video Highlights


2015 Mazda CX-3 2.0 150ps AWD Sport Nav
  • Price: £23,955  
  • Engine: 2.0-Litre Petrol
  • Power: 150bhp
  • Torque: 204Nm
  • Transmission: 6 Speed Manual
  • 0-62mph: 8.7 Seconds
  • Top speed: 124mph
  • Weight: 1,31okg
  • Economy combined: 44mpg
  • CO2: 150 g/km

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Author: Paul Hadley