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'A brilliant car in its element' - Mazda CX-3 Driven

2017-11-27 08:25

Rouel van Nelson

Image: Mazda

'The CX-3 is a pleasant experience in its natural habitat - the city', writes Wheels24's Rouel van Nelson as he drives the new Mazda CX-3. 

Cape Town - You grab your wallet, you pat your pockets searching for your phone... you find it. Just as you leave your front door, you unhook your vehicle's keys and off you go.

The sun is shining, the rays pierce the sunroof as you're effortlessly cruising around town with your favourite tunes playing in the background.

I figured, the ideal way to experience the Mazda CX-3 was its natural habitat. To do so, I made my way through the city before tackling the mountain tops of Cape Town. My experience? Well the Mazda CX-3 2.0-litre Individual Plus Auto delivered exactly what I expected from the crossover... a pleasant driving experience.

First impressions... 

The cabin of the CX-3 is an aesthetically pleasing environment; it’s a case of less is more with Mazda characteristically getting the basics right in the interior design department. Mazda’s colour co-ordination, mixing black leather with red cross-stitching, gives the vehicle an upmarket feel.

The red/black theme is maintained throughout. 

And while something like air vents go unnoticed, the chromed spheres adds to the premium appearance of the interior. Overall, two thumbs up on the interior, Mazda, well done. 

What about its functionality?

I'd hate to say this but don’t let its wide exterior fool you, as the CX-3 is has narrow confines, made even worse if you’re a tall person. The backseat is only comfortable for two adults. Anything more than that and you'll be lining up occupant like sardines. The rear window is quite small as well, this is due the risen wheel-arches at the rear end.

Now you might argue that a smaller window might be a trivial topic to talk about but coupled with limited seat space… you feel even more cramped. This is rather disappointing because while you're planning a road trip, which the car is highly suited for, you'd want more of your mates to tag along. However, not everyone will be able to make the cut, at least not in comfort.

Image: Mazda

Driving it

Where the Mazda CX-3 may lack interior space, the vehicle comes into its own with great handling ability and ride quality. Cornering and taking on inviting bends are a breeze thanks to its SKYACTIVE technology. Mazda’s goal with the SKYACTIVE technology was to create a lighter chassis, changed wheels angles and pivot points at the rear makes for a softer ride and increased braking power. 

Its precise handling is complimented by a 4-cylinder 2.0-litre 115kW/204Nm motor. It’s hardly a fire- breathing monster but one can definitely associate the CX-3 with being a capable city cruiser. Averaging 6.5litres of fuel per 100km means that the CX-3 is also quite kind on your pocket… provided you don’t have a lead foot.   

The CX-3 is naturally aspirated unlike most 2.0l vehicles on the market today. One can only but come to the conclusion that Mazda wanted to create a vehicle for driving pleasure. 

#Mazda with voice recognition, the MZD Infotainment System frees you up to enjoy the freedom of the drive even more.

A post shared by Mazda Southern Africa (@mazda_sa) on

In a nutshell…

As far as crossovers are concerned, the Mazda CX-3 provides more than is expected. Its more of a luxury crossover than anything else in its segment. With a starting price of R284 800, it might sound expensive but given its stylish looks, good engine and superb handling, its price tag is more than justified.

So if you're looking for a city slicker that ticks many boxes, the CX-3 could be the car for you.

Image: Mazda

Read more on:    mazda  |  rouel van nelson  |  cape town  |  hatchback  |  crossover  |  review

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