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First Drive: Mazda CX-3

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We went to Barcelona to check out Mazda’s new compact crossover, the CX-3 writes Suzanne Keane

What is it? The CX-3 is Mazda’s first compact SUV that they are hoping will take a chunk of the crossover market this summer. With CX-5 like styling and a premium internal finish the Mazda CX-3 is certainly a contender.

First impressions of the Mazda CX-3? Featuring Mazda’s signature look – a large “wing” grille, sharp lines and aggressive headlamp styling with a sporty stance the CX-3  is a good looking car and could easily be mistaken for a CX-5 from a distance.

What about the interior? Inside a 7” touchscreen and cruise control are standard and sat-nav is available as an additional option.  The interior finish feels premium – especially in GT trim. There’s 350 litres of boot space with the seats up which expands to 1,260L when they are folded down.

And behind the wheel? The CX-3 is exceptional to drive – both on motorways and on winding roads. Once you get behind the wheel you can forget you’re in an SUV as it handles more like a hot hatch on bends and also felt at home at motorway speeds.

CX-3 in the city: At home in the city it is easy to manoeuvre and visibility is good. Both engines have enough power to nip in and out of traffic and noise inside the cabin is minimal.

CX-3 on the open road: We drove both the 1.5 turbo 105bhp Diesel and 2.0 120bhp Petrol engines in the new CX-3 – both in 2 wheel drive versions. The 1.5 diesel feels adequate but if you want a bit of a kick from acceleration and a slight grunt from the exhaust the 2.0 naturally aspirated petrol engine is the way to go! Road tax on the diesel engine will cost €190/year (€270/280 in 4 wheel drive) and the 2.0L petrol will cost €280/year to tax.

How Much?  Prices start at €20,695 for the petrol version and the diesel starts at €24,195.

What about my options:  Petrol models are available in 2 wheel drive in both SE and Executive trim. Opting for Diesel will give you optional 4 wheel drive and access to 2 additional trim levels – Executive SE and the range topping GT with a Bose Sound System. However, it would be great to see a range topping GT petrol model available in Ireland!

3 words to describe the Mazda CX-3: Stylish, Spirited, Fun

 

 

For more information check out Mazda.ie, the Mazda Ireland Facebook page or follow them on twitter here

 

Suzanne Keane

9th June, 2015

 

Author: Suzanne Keane

A confirmed petrol head with a penchant for Retro VW’s, Suzanne has been taking apart (and sometimes putting back together) her own cars for years! You can follow Suzanne on Twitter at @_suzannekeane

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