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There is no doubt that Mazda’s design language in the past few years have evolved to be one of the best you can see on a Japanese car manufacturer.
The successful KODO design language that now runs across all Mazda vehicles is something other Japanese manufacturers have been struggling to crack for years now. What makes it stand out more though is the fact it’s so original and works across all of Mazda’s lineup from sedans, crossovers and SUVs.
Taking advantage of this, the car we’re talking about today is the Mazda CX3 and because of that the 2019 CX3 still has the same design we got from last year. Like they say “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
The car that’s with me today is the Mazda CX3 GS which is sold as the lowest trim you can buy from Mazda in the UAE. This entry level trim will cost you AED 77,000. Let’s see what do you get with this CX3.
Well, you still get the long hood, sporty lines and big grille that give this little car presence that is missing from almost all of its rivals. While other cars in this segment either go all out traditional and utilitarian or all out weird and funky. The Mazda CX3’s design is elegant, mature and sporty.
This beauty and elegance aren’t affected by the fact this trim only gets halogen headlights, as you still get body colored mirrors with side turn lamps, body colored bumpers and door handles and 16-inch alloy wheels.
Step inside and the picture turns a bit dark. Although the cabin still gets Mazda’s interior styling, with rounded side AC vents, sporty looking instrument cluster and a dashboard mounted infotainment control system. The designers seem to be obsessed with Black. I know black is elegant, but not when everything is black. As the only different color you will find is some chrome looking plastic pieces on the door panels and a line of chrome running across the dashboard. I really wish they added some more contrasting colors and materials around the cabin, that would’ve highlighted the nice design much more.
However, the features on this lower trim of the CX3 are not bad at all. It’s a great thing to find things like push-button start, sport drive mode selector, cruise control and an electric parking brake with auto hold as standard on the CX3. In addition to that, you still get an Audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, CD player for those music purists, an AUX jack and USB charging port and a traditional AC system.
One note on the push-button start before I move on to how the CX3 drives. This should be something that any car company considers. Whenever you give me push-button start keyless entry should be a must. You see with this CX3 you’ll have to pull the key out of your pocket to open the doors from the key, then you step into the car and you find that the key isn’t needed to start it so you either put it back in your pocket or just thorough it in the cup holder. The whole point of having push-button start is to remove the need of using the key to begin with. I think keyless entry (either with a button on the door handle or with just touching the door) should always go hand in hand with push-button start, the two complement each other and make the experience of entering the car and starting it a seamless task.
As for how it drives and as it is with me and every Mazda, they drive so well but they also just disappoint. What do I mean?
With every Mazda I’ve driven and the CX3 is no exception, The handling is so good, you have so much fun throwing this little car around corners, but you will always feel it needs more power. You see the CX3 comes fitted with a new 2.0L SKYACTIV-G engine that produces 148 HP and 192 NM of torque. That’s enough to accelerate this little crossover to a 100 KM/H in almost 8.5 seconds while keeping decent fuel economy figures around 7.5 L / 100 KM. This engine is more than enough to give you a smooth and playful ride especially within sport mode as the 6-speed auto holds lower gears and lets you enjoy the car more. But with all that said you always have this feeling in the back of your head that I wish the car had a turbo and those power figures are a little bit more, cause you know that the car’s chassis and suspension can handle more.
Generally, the Mazda CX3 is still one of my favorite looking compact crossovers in the market. A well-equipped little car that comes to us in the UAE in 4 different trim levels, the CX3 GS, GT, GTL and GTX which are priced at AED 77,000, AED 85,000, AED 95,000 and AED 103,000 respectively. Although it lacks great passenger space in the back and needs some tuning in term of power is should always be on your consideration list when looking for a compact crossover.
|Engine||2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G / 4-cylinder|
|Power||148 Hp / 192 Nm|
|Top Speed||190 km/h|
|Price||AED 77,000 as tested|