The B-SUV segment is the fastest growing segment in Europe and the third most important for Mazda. But it is also a sector where competition is high – there are eighteen proposals on the market – and therefore it is important to always have a fresh and updated product. So Mazda put his hand to the CX-3, its smallest crossover born in 2015 and already updated once in 2018, which is by far preferred by a male audience (79%), confirming first of all the absence of the engine. Diesel. The reason is obvious: consumers demand it less and less and for this reason it will also be removed from the lists of the Mazda3 hatchback and the CX-30, which is the best-seller of the house. Speaking of numbers and considering the B-SUV, C-SUV and C segments, in Italy we are still at 26%, but in Europe the share of Diesel has dropped to 4%. So the CX-3 can only be had with the 122 bhp 2-liter naturally aspirated petrol engine, which can be combined with a manual gearbox or automatic with torque converter, in both cases with six speeds.
The manual includes the cylinder deactivation system, which turns off two cylinders at reduced loads or at constant speed, reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 14% in the combined cycle. The 4-cylinder Sky-Activ is perfectly centered on the needs of a car that slightly exceeds twelve quintals, but it is a pity that the gear ratios are very long and that they turn off the verve a little. For the rest, the CX-3 is satisfying and, if you could drive blindfolded, Mazdas would be among those few cars that can be recognized even without the aid of sight, but only thanks to the sensations they transmit. A peculiarity that does not go unnoticed in a generalist car like the CX-3. Another point in its favor are the new seats, which have the conformation introduced on the Mazda3 and on the CX-30; they have been designed with the aim of keeping the pelvis in an upright position and preserving the natural S-curve of the spine, thus contributing to the stability of the head, for high comfort.
But, more generally, the CX-3 is a very well built car that doesn’t surprise with gadget or infotainment special effects. This task is left to the driving dynamics, which compared to its competitors is almost a reference. There are many similarities with the MX-5, starting with the precision of the steering and shifting, and continuing with the responsiveness of the gas pedal. The 9 seconds it takes to shoot from 0 to 100 km / h are more than flattering on this kind of car and good news also comes from the consumption front, as long as you do not frequent the top area of the rev counter too much. The 2-liter, in any case, does very well even at the lowest revs. What deserves approval, however, is the suspension adjustment which represents an excellent compromise between the car’s dynamic character and the comfort requirements of a compact crossover.
Speaking instead of design, which has always been one of the strengths of the CX-3, it has remained practically unchanged, except for the new badges on the bodywork that reflect the style already seen on the rest of the range. Therefore, the original and sharp Mazda trademark style remains, which has the only defect of not generating much internal volume on a 4.28 meter long body. The trunk stops at 350 liters and to be comfortable in four, it is necessary that those in front do not pull the seat too far back. Speaking of hi-tech, on the other hand, one could object to the obsolescence of the non-touch display, but the truth is that using the knob it maneuvers very well and that not being able to touch it with your fingers you are less prone to distraction. Finally, also in terms of active safety, the CX-3 is promoted, because there are all the devices that today one cannot do without, starting with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian recognition, even at night. The latter is standard on both versions that make up the range.